Welcome to our membership that are lucky enough to live in the beautiful geographic region that is encompassed by the Southern Worcestershire Post Codes, plus those of Herefordshire and Gloucestershire with the Cotswold Hills and Vales to our East and the Malvern Hills to our West and the Forest of Dean in our South-West quarter. For those of you reading this, that are less familiar with the area, we currently have the Cotswold Group with 3 dealership locations in Cheltenham, Gloucester and Hereford. All 3 DP’s are very keen to be associated with BMW CC GB and have been very supportive of our approach to them. I will be working in the near future with their various teams of Retail Business Managers and their Genius support staff in order to promote the club on our behalf to those Customers who have yet to make the discovery !
The big news for the region and Cotswold Group is the development of a brand new site that will see the current Cheltenham & Gloucester sites close and re-locate on a 4 acre development close to Junction 11 on the M5. The site will house the full BMW car line-up including M vehicles, i-vehicles, BMW Motorrad and of course Mini together with a central lounge and café area which will house a collection of heritage vehicles that are currently either being acquired or restored at the superb Cotswold Group Body-shop in Tewkesbury. The new site when it opens will be largest single site dealership in the UK and the fourth largest in Europe, offering 7 days a week Sales, Service and Parts. The actual opening date will be largely dependent upon the weather conditions over the coming Winter, however it is hoped to open the doors for business sometime between September and December of 2015. Club members will of course be invited to join in those celebrations, when the time comes, as well as to host future events or meetings at the site. The Cotswold Group is therefore the nucleus for our new region and we are the first region to coincidently name itself to align with a dealership group. My personal thanks therefore go out to Paul Neale, Peter Redfern and Andy Clements at Cotswold Group for helping me to make this happen and possibly, to David Frith for twisting my arm!
It is clearly too late in the year to plan any specific new events for the region and therefore I am already thinking about possibilities for 2015 and will be working with Central, Central West and Western Regions to look at joining forces where it makes sense and to augmenting their event schedules with new events that are firmly rooted in our own region.
I will be reaching out to the regional membership via e-mail as we need to develop our own social network with pub meets that will provide a more frequent chance to catch up, to meet and greet new faces and to plan our future. My initial thoughts are centered on possibly 3 locations, meeting in each once per quarter to give more of the membership a chance to get to a meeting, if not every month, then at least perhaps 4 times a year or more if they so choose. I would like to test the theory with the membership as we develop ourselves and to see how this goes. Watch this space therefore for further news …….
We had our first semi-official function in June with the launch of the new F80 M3 & F82 M4 models at the Cheltenham site. I was asked to try to find a couple of heritage vehicles for showroom display for the launch weekend, duly accomplished courtesy of club member Stuart Gale with his E30 M3 EVO 2 and Cotswold Group employee, Charles Pestridge with his E46 M3 Coupe, so thanks to both of them for the loan of these cars and to giving me the first photo opportunity for “Cotswold Region”. I had a fun but tiring weekend rounded off on Sunday afternoon with an extended test drive in the M4 that just reinforced for me all of the reasons that we love our cars and why BMW is so special.
I therefore look forward to meeting as many Cotswold Region members as possible in the months ahead and a schedule of events for 2015 that we can all enjoy.
Covering Gloucester, Hereford and part of Worcester, this is a new region - more info later