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
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.
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.