SAN FRANCISCO -- BMW dealers want more and better communication with the brand's U.S. executives, who continue to have misgivings about dealers' requests for a dealer relations manager.
Ratings in the last NADA dealer attitude survey put BMW at the bottom because of dissatisfaction with the brand, Tim Smith, owner of Bob Smith BMW-Mini in Calabasas, Calif., said after the make meeting.
"The elephant in the room was the dealer attitude survey, and there was some discussion in the room on having someone whose sole job is interacting with the industry," Smith said.
Jim O'Donnell, CEO of BMW of North America, said the idea of a dealer relations manager has been discussed for three years. He said BMW has been reluctant "because it is an additional head count, and 2008, 2009 and 2010 were difficult years in the industry."
"I think it takes a certain type of individual to do that job, and I haven't identified that individual yet," O'Donnell said.
Dealers also were told BMW will spend 68 percent of this year's marketing budget on national TV. BMW decided to spend most of the budget on TV after dealers were polled last fall.
Commercials such as BMW's two Super Bowl spots will be made available to dealers for local advertising, Dan Creed, vice president of marketing. told dealers.
BMW will advertise during the Academy Awards, the U.S. Open golf championship and Sunday night football broadcasts.