Dominic Hughes, who has been bundling aftermarket products for 22 years as business director of BMW of Roxbury in Kenvil, N.J., is pleased with a new bundled package from BMW: Presence Protection Plus. "It's so streamlined now, it's wonderful," he says.
Instead of having to coordinate with different providers, he now has several major BMW-branded policies -- windshield repair, paintless dent repair, and tire-and-wheel -- at his fingertips. With bundling, penetration is running upward of 45 percent on new vehicles and 68 to 70 percent on certified pre-owned vehicles, he says. "A lot of customers come back and are happy because their repair bills are paid," he says.
Lisa Solodar, finance director at Park Avenue BMW in Rochelle Park, N.J., where the Presence Protection Plus program is approaching 50 percent penetration on finance and lease deals, expects continued interest. Finance customers are taking care of their cars longer and lease customers don't want excess charges when they turn them in, she says.
BWW rolled out its bundled program in late 2011 after observing customer purchasing trends. Its Mini stores are also bundling under the Mini brand.
Shaun Bugbee, vice president of sales and marketing for BMW Group Financial Services, says BMW is looking at more bundling opportunities. It's all about "seeing what customers are interested in, finding the sweet spot and bundling accordingly," he says.
Bundling is now being done by one-third of the roughly 3,000 dealerships serviced by aftermarket program vendor Innovative Aftermarket Systems of Austin, Texas, says President Bob Corbin. Its Multi-Shield program lets dealers customize multiple-products coverage. Good dealers can exceed 45 to 50 percent penetration with bundled products, he says.
Charlie Robinson, COO of Resource Automotive -- a provider of financial services (including bundled products), consulting and training for auto dealers -- says price transparency is critical.
So is the pricing itself. Bundled products should have a lesser markup than stand-alone products, he says. He notes that multiple products may be too expensive for consumers, and lenders haven't endorsed 3-in-1 or 4-in-1 packages. Although dealers set their own pricing, he recommends marking up a $300 product to $499 and a bundle of three $300 products to $1,299 to show the customer value
Morris Nissan of Charleston, S.C., has been selling a 4-in-1 Multi-Shield program for several years. Customers receive tire-and-wheel, ding and auto-glass protection, as well as roadside assistance.