BMW's challenge of how to stock and market its growing product range will require changes in dealer showrooms.
"The big issue that we face, long term and strategically, is five or six years ago BMW had 40 products," said Damon Shelly, head of the BMW National Dealer Forum. "In the next couple of years we will have 100.
"All the luxury manufactures are moving downstream with less expensive deals, and how do we adapt with that new customer?"
One way will be with new facilities with electronic displays and iPads. Another will be a BMW Genius, who explains product features but doesn't sell cars, said Shelly, owner of Irvine BMW and Irvine Mini in Irvine, Calif., and Shelly BMW in Buena Park, Calif.
Dealerships that haven't improved facilities for 10 or more years had to submit plans by the end of last year and must begin renovations in 2014, he said. Newer stores must have plans ready by 2016.
Said Shelly: "BMW will give them some time because they have just invested. They are trying to be more reasonable. Their leadership is sensitive that BMW dealers have invested money over the years. They realize their worldwide standards and design story has changed."
Boosting low customer service scores is another goal. BMW ranked below average in the last several annual J.D. Power and Associates customer service index surveys. "It is surprising, and it is a disappointment," Shelly said. "We are looking at it from the angle of the manufacturer and product quality and reliability and whether are we asking the customer the right questions and looking at the right things."