Su­per show­room for BMW in Sand­ton

IN­TER­VIEW/ Plans are afoot for fur­ther ex­pan­sion at BMW Sand­ton Auto, one of the big­gest BMW deal­er­ships in the coun­try, writes Ler­ato Matebese

Business Day - Motor News - - MOTOR NEWS -

BMW Sand­ton Auto on Rivo­nia Road in Sand­ton is com­mem­o­rat­ing 15 years of sell­ing the Bavar­ian pre­mium mar­que’s cars and Mo­tor News took the chance to chat with dealer prin­ci­pal Marc Si­mon.

With more than 18 years of au­to­mo­tive re­tail ex­pe­ri­ence hav­ing started his ca­reer at Re­nault Route 24 in Kemp­ton Park, Si­mon sub­se­quently be­came the dealer prin­ci­pal of Re­nault Benoni, now known as Re­nault East Rand, be­fore mov­ing to Re­nault Al­ber­ton as di­rec­tor of its mul­ti­fran­chise Mo­tor Hold­ings, which in­cluded Hyundai and Kia.

Si­mon thus comes with cred­i­ble ex­pe­ri­ence and is quick to men­tion that his tran­si­tion to the BMW brand was a nat­u­ral pro­gres­sion as his first af­fil­i­a­tion with it came first as a con­sumer hav­ing owned a gag­gle of ve­hi­cles adorned by the blue and white pro­peller, in­clud­ing the first-gen­er­a­tion X5.

“When I was tasked with lead­ing one of the big­gest BMW deal­er­ships in coun­try, it was quite an hon­our and a priv­i­lege as this re­mains one of the most pres­ti­gious and prime-lo­cated in the group,” he says..

“There are a num­ber of new build­ings go­ing up in the Sand­ton area, which can see an in­flux of up to 20,000 peo­ple com­ing into the area in the next cou­ple of months and that means even more traf­fic into our deal­er­ship.”

Ac­cord­ing to Si­mon, there are some 140 em­ploy­ees at the deal­er­ship, span­ning the BMW, Mini and Motorrad brands. He says the deal­er­ship can house 40 new and 60 pre-owned cars un­der one roof. Up to 90 ve­hi­cles can be ser­viced daily in its workshop, a huge through­put.

MEL­ROSE ARCH

There are plans to ex­pand the deal­er­ship as part of the Day­tona Group, of which BMW Sand­ton Auto is a sub­sidiary.

In Novem­ber the for­mer will move its ex­clu­sive brands in the form of Rolls-Royce, McLaren, Brabus and Pa­gani to new premises in Mel­rose Arch, leav­ing the cur­rent premises to BMW, Mini and Motorrad to form what Si­mon clas­si­fies as a su­per show­room, ef­fec­tively mak­ing it the big­gest BMW show­room af­ter Auto Bavaria lo­cated at Wa­ter­fall.

As part of the 15-year an­niver­sary, Si­mon says the deal­er­ship will have M Car drive days, when M Car own­ers and po­ten­tial cus­tomers will have the op­por­tu­nity to drive var­i­ous M Cars on a road trip of sorts.

He prides him­self on hav­ing one of the most en­thu­si­as­tic teams and at­tributes this to cre­at­ing an en­vi­ron­ment in which peo­ple want to work.

The pre-owned sec­tion in par­tic­u­lar is an area he says is a sleek oper­a­tion in that the ve­hi­cles sold have re­ceived the once-over to re­turn them to pris­tine con­di­tion and it re­mains a one-stop shop. From trade-ins on an­other BMW to guar­an­teed buy­backs, it has the ca­pac­ity to un­der­write spe­cific deals to suit client needs.

In­ter­est in the Mini brand re­mains strong, he says, with a loyal fol­low­ing of its JCW (John Cooper Works) high-per­for­mance mod­els and the vi­sion is to grow that mar­ket with the big­ger premises.

Si­mon says the BMW brand is go­ing through a prod­uct re­nais­sance with a new wave of prod­ucts in the wings.

Th­ese in­clude the new X4, the X7, the 8 Se­ries, the Z4 and the 3 Se­ries all com­ing to the mar­ket in the near fu­ture, sig­nalling ex­cit­ing times and op­por­tu­nity for his team to take the brand to new heights.

BMW Sand­ton Auto is lo­cated on Rivo­nia Road in Sand­ton, Jo­han­nes­burg. The deal­er­ship can house 40 new and 60 pre-owned cars un­der one roof.

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