Woodcliff Lake, NJ – March 30, 2011 – BMW Financial Services has found that by removing the desk from the equation and taking specific financing elements directly to the consumer and the car, customers reap the benefits of accuracy, immediacy and a comfortable interaction within the finance process, all at the same time.
After earning a significant CSI advantage, achieved through a six-month dealer pilot program, BMW Financial Services' ability to bring the technology of iPads and other tablet products into the dealership, opens an entirely new arena in financial dealings and communication. Today's launch of InfoBahn Mobile, an extension of the company's B2B portal, enables dealer mobility to address both dealer and customer needs while facilitating credit applications, credit inquiry and dealer self-inspection (form and signing) functionality.
According to Shaun Bugbee, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for BMW Group Financial Services, the benefits of mobility inherently facilitate an easier flow of business within the F&I world. "Our pilot program for lease-end initiatives alone showed that dealers utilizing the iPad for the dealer self-inspection process improved their CSI scores at more than twice the rate of the dealer network," said Bugbee. "We are providing transparency to what can be a contentious process. Our mobility solution enables seamless dialogue between dealers and customers which clearly results in the higher satisfaction scores we are seeing."
The DSI (dealer self-inspection) pilot program began in October, 2010 and was introduced to five BMW dealers located on both the east and west coasts. The program increased to target 16 pilot dealers in various parts of the country and launches nationwide today.
With iPad and tablet integration, DSI can be completed and signed real-time while the customer and dealer are physically inspecting the vehicle. Unlike the company's coveted and successful eContracting system, an industry first that is currently being utilized in 11 states, the iPad DSI program is not a state specific program and has no state specific requirements – anyone with access to an iPad or other laptop/PC with browser capabilities such as Microsoft Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari or Google Chrome, and is on BMW Financial Services' InfoBahn business portal, can have access.
Bugbee noted that while all BMW dealers affiliated with BMW Financial Services have shown consistent CSI improvements, an internal survey has additionally indicated that dealers utilizing the iPad process show an even larger increase. Though the off-lease DSI process for iPad is the first of many technological applications moving forward for the brand, Bugbee maintains that while continued innovation by BMW Financial Services may benefit both the dealer and consumer, the company is not in the technology business – but rather the mobility business -- as a means to transport the F&I structure that much further.
About BMW Group Financial Services
BMW Group Financial Services was established in the U.S. in 1992 to support the sales and marketing efforts of BMW of North America. Since then, the group has expanded to provide service to markets in multiple countries and continues to evolve beyond its role as a captive finance unit.
BMW Group Financial Services offers a wide range of leasing, retail and commercial financing and banking products tailored to meet the needs of the BMW customer. The group also provides financing to BMW dealers for expanding dealership capabilities and enhancing overall operations.
With more than $30 billion in serviced assets and 900,000 automotive lending customers across the U.S. and Canada, BMW Group Financial Services finances about half of the BMWs sold or leased in the United States. BMW Group Financial Services employs more than 800 people, including consultants and temporary workers, most of whom are located in the Hilliard, Ohio Regional Service Center.
In 2001, the MINI Financial Services division was established to provide support for the brand's dealer and customer networks by offering various financing and leasing options. Alphera Financial Services was established in 2006 to provide financial services to dealers who are not part of the BMW and MINI networks.
BMW Group Financial Services also offers credit card products through its subsidiary, the BMW Bank of North America. up2drive.com is a division of BMW Bank of North America, a wholly-owned subsidiary of BMW Financial Services NA, LLC. BMW Insurance Agency, Inc., a property and casualty producer, is also part of BMW Group Financial Services.