BMW is making plans for dealership renovations
ORLANDO -- BMW will disclose details of a new dealership improvement program in the second quarter.
The program, called "Future Retail," will include exterior and interior renovations.
The cost to dealers will depend on whether a facility has been improved in the past 10 or 15 years, said Damon Shelly, owner of Irvine BMW in Irvine, Calif., and Shelly BMW in Buena Park, Calif., and chairman of BMW's national dealer council.
Dealers who have made investments recently may be able to delay improvements. Also, "if the dealer has put a lot of investment in recently, the demands on him will be different," Shelly said.
Ludwig Willisch, CEO of BMW of North America, pledged the factory will do "everything possible" to assure that its dealers are among the most profitable in the United States.
That includes having the right mix of vehicles and enough inventory to satisfy demand. It also means the new facilities program won't be a major strain on dealers, Willisch said.
Despite being the No. 1 luxury brand in the U.S. market last year, BMW suffered a shortage of vehicles for the first eight months of 2012.
"We didn't have enough mix. We didn't have enough product," Willisch said. "That was all solved in the fourth quarter."
The U.S. market will have a "steady flow throughout all of 2013," he said. "The engines we need are available," as are key transmissions such as all-wheel drive for the new-generation 3 series.
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