BMW South Africa does not rank in the top 10 of global BMW markets.
Yet, the country is ranked in the top 5 sellers of the M brand in the world.
A total of 916 BMW M cars were sold here in 2014, while the BMW M Performance brand shifted 1 049 units.
That is quite remarkable, and probably points to a deep love for that high-performance brand.
And so it came to pass that this love was translated into what took place in Pretoria earlier this month, namely the unveiling of the second standalone M showroom in the world, after Singapore.
Legacy Auto Group, through their Zambesi Auto dealership in Tshwane, inaugurated the posh space in the presence of no less a dignitary than BMW AG Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Sales and Marketing Dr. Ian Robertson.
No stranger to South Africa, Robertson is a former MD of BMW South Africa and is clearly still a fan of this country.
“I am delighted to be in South Africa again for the launch of the second biggest standalone BMW M showroom in the world” he said. “This fits in well with our Strategy NUMBER ONE > NEXT, which includes the future expansion of both the M product range and our powerful M Performance model range within the higher volume segments. This expansion will enable us to capitalise on the growth of the BMW M brand, reaching out further to BMW M’s strong fan-base of customers.”
While this is a first for South Africa and in fact, Africa as a whole, it will not be the last.
Other BMW dealerships are being encouraged to follow suit in order to give their customers are personalised, specialist client service reflective of the calibre of their performance cars.
The showroom itself is decorated in modern décor, with a clean inviting reception.
Step inside and you are greeted by the roaring monsters themselves, whatever is currently on show/sale.
For our sins we were “punished” with the fresh sight of the brand new M2, ready for its South African introduction.
Seating space for relaxation purposes, a coffee bar and smoothie table are available to welcome you like you’re in the comfort of your home.
“Zambesi Auto has always been a pioneering dealership in terms of the ‘M’ brand within the southern hemisphere. Our initial independent ‘M’ outlet has been hugely successful. This has been proved by the sales volumes generated. Irrespective of the difficult economic times we are facing, we believe that this particular segment will continue to grow,” said the two Legacy Auto Group partners Rob Sexton and Christo Lindeque.
Interestingly when asked if they would consider a standalone BMW i brand showroom, the pair didn’t hesitate to say yes.
Of course a lot still has to happen for that to be realised, including an increase in BMW i sales, improved electric recharging infrastructure and so on.
BMW SA has been engaging the government on this and other pertinent issues, according to company MD Tim Abbott.