In 2022, BMW scores highest in their automotive sector. How do you explain this amazing evolution over the past years? First of all: we are super happy to get this recognition! It is the result of many years of hard work and especially valuable to us as the Best Brands Awards reflect the opinion of consumers, not a selected jury. For the last 2 years, we have been focusing on opening the brand. Being close to our audiences. Premium, but accessible for a broad community. This clearly increased the emotional appeal of BMW. Although decided before the Covid pandemic started, this focus on accessibility turned out to be the perfect way to cope with it. The current health crisis really was an opportunity for us to stand out, break the existing order and make it to the top. Covid never was an excuse for us not to act, instead, it pushed us to develop new concepts: in experiential marketing, in digitalization of our processes and in communication. Do you think that customer expectations have changed over the past year or since the global health crisis? Absolutely! Like in many industries, consumers made the switch to digital and discovered the advantages of it. A nice example is our 24/7 App with which customers can make a service appointment anytime and anywhere. Although developed well before the health crisis started, we see that is used intensively now. This would have come anyway, but Covid speeded up the transition dramatically. Another example is the taking of an appointment before going to a dealership to buy a car. This was almost unthinkable before Covid but now customers have discovered the advantages. We encouraged this trend by integrating a booking tool for all dealers on our national website.
We know that since Covid-19, the Suez Canal crisis, and the move towards electrical and more connected vehicles, cars are low in stock, and supply is rare. How do you plan on solving this issue?
The worldwide supply chain is disrupted and will be for some time. Semi-conductors will remain scarce throughout this year and new shortages are arising in the field of battery cells. That is the reality for all brands. Difference is made is in how to cope with it.
How does BMW manage hybridity and its digital and physical touchpoints? With our BMW Group Goes Phygital show during the motor show period last year we have been frontrunner in combining digital and physical experiences. We reacted fast in times where most car brands were paralyzed by the covid crisis. Since then, we have continued to invest in our digital capabilities. And I explicitly call it capabilities rather than digital sales.
Especially in the beginning of the sales funnel, excellent online tools can make the difference. That is why we have launched a new stock locator with possibility to reserve your dream car. We also optimized the online configurator, focusing on mostly pre-configured cars from which you can create your own in only a few mouse clicks. And when you have configured your car, the dealer of your choice can conveniently pick-up your configuration in his IT systems to avoid having to start all over again.
What is BMW’s vision for premium mobility? The goal BMW set itself is to preserve premium individual mobility for the next generations. Preserve the fun of driving your own vehicle without having to feel guilty about it. BMW wants to continue to show the way forward. We stand for first class individual mobility and contribute to the sustainable development of our planet. Customers are our main focus and BMW meets their needs by offering thrilling products – today and for the future generations. This is possible with powerful innovations and with our passion to shape the future of sustainable mobility. Sustainability and, even more so, circularity are becoming the new premium. Individual mobility goes beyond moving the body. It’s also about touching the heart and stimulating the mind.
How will you maintain this Best Brands first place in the coming years? That will only be possible if we manage to continue to appeal to our customers and prospects. BMW wants to move ahead, showing the way forward. Driving a BMW has to be not just a symbol of your status in society, especially for younger generations, BMW needs to be a brand they can identify with, a company whose values they can share. BMW has a proven track record, being elected to most sustainable car brand for many years in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. With the BMW I Vision Circular concept car, BMW has shown that it will be possible to produce cars 100% from recycled materials that themselves can be re-use entirely again. Through our actions, we will continue to make a real difference to our collective future.
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