BMW GROUP PRESS | 09/07/2020
• New Car Locator live at https://stock.bmw.co.uk and https://stock.mini.co.uk
• Powerful search functionality enables customers to find their perfect BMW or MINI from stock across the UK
• Online vehicle reservations up 130% in May
• Chris Brownridge, Sales Director, BMW Group UK, forecasts accelerating shift in consumer habits and growth of digital tools in 2020
BMW and MINI retailers across the UK have reopened their doors to customers, and as inbound enquiries continue to rise, BMW Group UK has launched new digital car locator tools on the BMW and MINI websites to support customers with their next purchase. The launch of this new tool is the result of the BMW Group’s investment in STRATEGY NUMBER ONE > NEXT, which leverages the most innovative technologies and digitalisation to deliver unique customer experiences.
BMW and MINI customers using the New Car Locator will have real time access to the entire network of new stock vehicles at retailers across the UK. Each vehicle listing provides extensive technical details, specification information, pricing and accompanying imagery.
To start the process customers select the models they are interested in and set their initial budget (monthly or ‘on the road’). They enter their postcode and are prompted to select one retailer from a list of their five closest locations. Newly introduced functionality provides for a powerful search of the retailer’s local, group and national new vehicle stock that is typically available for handover within two weeks.
Vehicles can be sorted by ‘on the road’ pricing, or, thanks to full integration with BMW Financial Services, by the customer’s monthly payment budget. The latter feature supports a high level of refinement as customers are able to adjust their finance product, deposit contribution, contract duration and/or mileage terms to suit their circumstances.
Results can then be filtered based on personal preferences such as colour combinations, fuel types, transmission and more. Up to three vehicles can be added to a shortlist throughout the refinement process and compared side by side in detail.
Once the perfect vehicle has been identified, the final step of the process involves either submitting a contact enquiry to the chosen retailer, or paying a £500 reservation deposit by credit or debit card there and then. Where customers choose to reserve their car online, their selected retailer will contact them directly to discuss the next step.
Following a challenging period for the automotive industry, BMW Group brands in the UK are now seeing a sustained rise in web traffic. BMW online car reservations were up by 130% in May on the previous month, with this trend continuing into June. The launch of the new vehicle locator tool comes at the right time for customers who are researching their next car purchase.
Chris Brownridge, Sales Director, BMW Group UK said: “BMW and MINI customers have high expectations, and these extend well beyond the vehicle into the purchase process itself. BMW Group is taking the lead and investing in digital sales platforms, ensuring that customers have a premium experience throughout the purchase journey.
“In what is clearly going to be a challenging year for automotive retail, it is more important than ever that we provide customers with the right tools to research their next vehicle from home. The new BMW and MINI vehicle locators deliver more choice for our customers with powerful search tools and seamless integration into our national and retailer websites, providing a full end-to-end customer experience. The investment in this technology also supports our retail partners by promoting all their current stock to potential customers, digitally, for the first time.”