Steve Rudkin, general manager of Irvine BMW in Irvine, Calif., said when the store loses a salesperson, he adds a product Genius. A few years ago, he had 36 salespeople. Today, he has five Geniuses and 32 salespeople.
To date, BMW stores have a total of 500 product Geniuses -- customer advisers who explain features and do vehicle deliveries but don't sell cars. Peter Miles, vice president of sales channel development and customer relations, expects that number to grow to 750 by the end of the year and to 1,000 in coming years. The number of Geniuses per store depends on annual new-car sales.