Richmond Hill, ON. What does a premium auto show experience look like during a pandemic? For BMW, it remains something to enjoy with the entire family; it continues to provide access to the hottest, most in-demand products; and, it offers that coveted glimpse into the future. Most importantly, it’s virtual.
In keeping with the brand’s digital transformation, BMW Canada brought an innovative auto show experience directly into the homes of its customers, fans and enthusiasts. On Saturday, February 27th, approximately 7,000 Canadians were introduced to the models and innovations driving BMW forward through a virtual event entitled “Auto Show and a Movie.” This digital auto show experience featured BMW performance models – including the all-new and highly-anticipated M3 and M4 – and showcased the past, present and future of BMW’s expertise in electrification, culminating in a preview of the upcoming BMW iX and i4. At the end of the event, guests received an exclusive access code for a movie from the Cineplex Store. Two hundred guests had the chance to win a giveaway package which included a BMW blanket and treats to enjoy during the movie, and 25 guests won Bowers & Wilkins headphones.
“We miss seeing fans of the brand face-to-face,” said Andrew Scott, director, BMW Brand Management. “Auto shows give us the opportunity to share our passion for BMW with the people who love our cars as much as we do. We couldn’t let a year go by without getting together with them or telling them how much we appreciate their support, so we brought our products directly into their living rooms. Digital formats are a great way for us to remain connected with our community. Our customers are our priority, and a key step in supporting that is being where they need us to be.”
The exclusive opportunity to participate in this BMW presentation is in line with the brand’s other recent digital platforms that put products directly in front of customers and fans, and which bring BMW and its enthusiasts together. BMW Live From Ultimate Drive – an online series of live, interactive product walk-arounds by Canadian experts – began in 2020 as a way to introduce new vehicles to the public. The Virtual Showroom offers customers and prospects the opportunity to explore the latest generation of BMW models, watch product videos and schedule a virtual vehicle walk-around with a BMW retailer. These digital means of bringing BMW vehicles directly to Canadians are housed on the company’s website, BMW.ca.
Digitalization is a major focus for the BMW Group. “We will be investing a triple-digit million euro amount annually up to 2025 in the digitalization of our sales and marketing, and are working together with our retail partners to offer the industry’s best customer experience going forward,” Pieter Nota, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Customer, Brands, Sales, stated in mid-January.
“There is clearly a hunger for BMW product content out there,” continued Scott. “We originally planned to host 6,000 guests at our Auto Show and a Movie event. When registration began, it quickly became clear that our limit was too low, so we upped the number to 6,500. The event ended up having over 7,000 Canadians registered to participate. We’re glad we’ve found a way to satiate that hunger, and are looking forward to introducing new ways to keep that appetite fed.”
The 20-minute program was available in English and French. It showcased 15 models and offered a special preview of the all-new, yet-to-be-released BMW iX and BMW i4. Participants received a link to the event following registration, and were sent the code to access their movie selection after the auto show was complete.
BMW Group in Canada
BMW Group Canada, based in Richmond Hill, Ontario, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BMW AG and is responsible for the distribution of BMW luxury performance automobiles, Sports Activity Vehicles, Motorcycles, and MINI. BMW Group Financial Services Canada is a division of BMW Group Canada and offers retail financing and leasing programs and protection products on new and pre-owned BMW and MINI automobiles, as well as retail financing for new and pre-owned BMW Motorcycles. A total network of 51 BMW automobile retail centres, 21 BMW motorcycle retailers, and 31 MINI retailers represents the BMW Group across the country.