I sold cars (Caddy’s…right when the Escalade came out) during one college summer break. I was a techie back then too, and would have killed to NOT be a salesman, but be the young kid who helped customers hook up their cellphones, and showed them other geeky things they could do with their cars.
Back then, probably the ONLY thing I could have showed customers was how work the dual-zone climate control and how to connect their Motorola StarTac in their ride. Nowadays, all kinds of technology gobbledygook is loaded into cars today. Touchscreens, car apps, bluetooth, hard drives, navigation, wifi, entertainment systems, communication…and that’s just the Dodge Dart.
You can imagine the level of sophistication crammed into “high-end” vehicles like BMW. Have no fear, a BMW Genius is here.
In a straight idea jack Taking a page from those blue shirt guys (and gals) in the always crowded Apple store, BMW is enlisting the help of some tech-savvy, college-aged kids to patrol showrooms armed with iPads helping customers understand all the technology features in its cars to potential buyers who have just cashed in some stock dividens.
The program has been going on in Europe for quite a while, and the ‘Geniuses’ who are paid a flat salary, will roll up on a customer in a white polo shirt and khakis (I just added the khaki part…sounds like a nice combination) and help them make sense of all the tech aspects of the car, while the salesman worry’s about his profit margin on the trade-in.
According to BMW Car Club of America (I’m a member and own a BMW, so that crack about the stock dividens doesn’t apply to me – I got bills), the U.S. BMW Genius program is part of an enlarged package of video and audio information at BMW of North America. The package will include vehicle and feature explanations on the BMW USA website, on special iPad and iPhone applications and via the BMW Assist call button inside every vehicle.
“The strategy is to make our knowledge about our brand more interesting and more accessible to the consumer,” said Ian Robertson, BMW board member for sales and marketing. “The videos will be rolled out starting in the third or fourth quarter  and will be available on BMWUSA.com. They also will be used for dealer internet training.”
The U.S. version will be looking to employ the same tech-savvy college kids looking to make some extra bucks after classes and on the weekends. Bimmer has an i3 electric car in the works for early 2014 and wants U.S. Geniuses to be in place ready to roll by then.
I would have jumped at the opportunity to talk car tech with
a bunch of bougie car buyers fellow Bimmer enthusiasts in love with the “Ultimate Driving Machine”.
…The correct slang for BMW is Bimmer, not Beamer (In case you were wondering).