Woodcliff Lake, NJ – Through the use of the iPad in the dealer showroom, BMW Group Financial Services is taking valuable financial aspects of the buying experience to a new level, in an effort to create a more seamless interactive experience between customers and dealer personnel. In partnering with AutoNation, a dealer group that includes 13 BMW dealerships nationwide, BMW Group Financial Services has enlisted BMW and MINI of Dallas to pilot the expanded mobility program, and showcase the ability to conveniently seek credit inquiries and gain credit approvals on a near immediate basis, perform DSI (dealer self inspection) procedures, read dealer bulletins through the company’s Infobahn system all directly from the iPad.
According to Shaun Bugbee, vice president of sales and marketing for BMW Group Financial Services, the new abilities create one of the most advanced options for dealerships to date. “We’re working to blend the mobility experience with elements that go beyond the basic financing process,” said Bugbee. “By enabling the finance aspect of the transaction to be truly mobile, we not only save time for the customer, but we create an interaction that can push the process forward without taking potential new owners away from the physical car – and that in itself provides a more comfortable process.”
With a short term goal to expand usage to any tablet on the market, the current iPad experience includes finance capabilities that will allow for a credit application to be taken anywhere with internet connectivity. Because the program is not a desktop solution, numerous functions can keep the financial aspects in a more personal setting than just the F&I office.
Kevin Westfall, senior vice president of sales for AutoNation, is anxious to bring mobility channels into the dealership. From his perspective, the ability to connect with customers in a way they feel comfortable is of utmost importance. “BMW and MINI of Dallas are in the perfect geographic location to test the waters,” said Westfall. “Dallas is a large upscale market where buyers come to regard the latest technology as a given. We’re adding the personal approach to the process and by bringing this type of technology to our customers, we can better interact and literally conduct our business anywhere.”
BMW Group Financial Services plans to extend the mobility program to all BMW and MINI dealerships nationwide in the coming months. Following the initial pilot mobility program, AutoNation intends to expand adoption to its other BMW dealerships throughout the country.
About BMW Group Financial Services
BMW Group Financial Services was established in the U.S. in 1992 to support the sales and marketing of BMW products. Since then, the Group has expanded to provide service to markets in multiple countries and continues to evolve beyond its role as a captive finance unit.
BMW Group Financial Services offers a wide range of leasing, retail and commercial financing and banking products tailored to meet the needs of the BMW customer. The Group also provides financing to BMW dealers for expanding dealership capabilities and enhancing overall operations. With more than $34 billion in serviced assets and 1,000,000 automotive lending customers across the U.S. Canada and Mexico, BMW Group Financial Services finances almost three-quarters of the BMWs sold or leased in North America. BMW Group Financial Services employs more than 800 people, including consultants and temporary workers, most of whom are located in the Hilliard, Ohio Regional Service Center which serves the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
In 2001, the MINI Financial Services division was established to provide support for the brand’s dealer and customer networks by offering various financing and leasing options. Alphera Financial Services was established in 2006 to provide financial services to dealers who are not part of the BMW and MINI networks.
BMW Group Financial Services also offers credit card products through its subsidiary, the BMW Bank of North America. up2drive.com is a division of BMW Bank of North America, a wholly-owned subsidiary of BMW Financial Services NA, LLC. BMW Insurance Agency, Inc., a property and casualty producer, is also part of BMW Group Financial Services.