Column: The M brand is special after all

For the skeptics in the group that feel BMW is watering down the M brand, the company has announced a special center program to promote and differentiate M brand vehicles in showrooms. The program is called the M Certified Center initiative and combines three key elements: Comprehensive Sales Training, Interior and Exterior Communications Components, and specific M Certified materials.

Certification

M Certification incorporates specialized training of M Sales and Service professionals trained to cater to the demanding M customer with a dedicated M showroom display and specialized M product knowledge. The M display will be highly visible and provide an exclusive experience for M customers.

The elements help create the proper selling environment to highlight M vehicles and accessories. Participating as an M Certified Center is a voluntary, opt in program with annual certification requirements to maintain M Certification. The M Certified Center will also afford exclusive M brand advertising opportunities and additional M leads for M Certified Centers.

Certification Elements

To become an M Certified Center, the dealership is required to send two personnel annually to one day of extensive sales training at the BMW Performance Center in Spartanburg, SC. This training is exclusive to M Certified candidates and will include special tips for working with “top-tier” M brand clients will learn about a complete suite of BMW M products as well as those of BMW’s key competitors. Among other things, this training will teach dealerships to properly sell the engineering advantages built into every M vehicle.

Training is currently scheduled for September and November.

Benefits of M Certified

M has always set the standard when you think performance and epitomizes “The Ultimate Driving Machine.” Being an M Certified Center can set a dealership above the rest and highlight it as specializing in “M” sales and service. Some of the benefits of being an M Certified Center:

• Additional support from Germany’s M division (ZS) for M Certified Centers.

• Access to M Power Experience (Portugal).

• Special sneak previews of M products.

• Race Events – coordinate customers/center personnel events with driver appearances.

• Ability to run ads using M Certified Center.

• BMWUSA.com identifies M Certified Centers for prospective M customers.

Centers will also be able to advertise using the M Logo as an “M Certified Sales and Service Center”

Currently, BMW NA is working with the Dealer Forum to identify even more benefits to the M Certification Program. M Certified Dealers may receive additional consideration with respect to limited special production M vehicles (such as Frozen Black, Grey or Silver).

I’ll be heading to the Performance Center next month for my training for inclusion in the program. Stay tuned for details in the programs impact.




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