BMW Financial taps app in lending turn
BMW Financial Services, in a twist for a captive lender, is offering a $300 voucher toward the purchase of a 2012 BMW 3 series to customers who arrange a test drive through a smartphone app.
To cash in the $300 voucher, the customer has to buy a new 3 series and finance it through BMW Financial Services.
It will be "the only offer" available for the redesigned model, says Pawan Murthy, general manager of online business for BMW Group Financial. The 3 series arrived in dealerships in February.
The offer is aimed exclusively at BMW Financial Services customers to reward them for loyalty, Murthy says. The captive is covering the cost of the vouchers, he says.
Customer incentives are typically provided by the factory.
"It's not often that a captive is involved so directly in driving customers to dealerships," Murthy says.
To get the voucher, customers have to use the BMW "Ultimate Drive" app to set up the test drive. The Ultimate Drive app is aimed at getting BMW drivers to share their favorite driving routes with each other. The latest version of the app, which can be downloaded free from the iTunes App Store or Android Market, also allows BMW Financial Services customers to schedule a test drive.
The captive says it could extend the idea of offering a bounty for test drives to other BMW models if the new program is a success.
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