The Donford Motorrad Cape Town store opening also represents a new brand positioning for the global manufacturer, who will be focussing more on the lifestyle aspects of its two wheelers, rather than the pure technical aspects.
According to Stephan Schaller, Global President of BMW Motorrad, the group currently has 1000 motorcycle dealers worldwide. They would like to see this number increase to 1500 in the next five years.
“That is why this dealership is such a good role model because it is exactly what we want it to look like,” Schaller said at the launch event on Wednesday.
The brainchild of Leon Potgieter and Mark Philp – owners of the Donford BMW franchise in Stellenbosch – the concept store was a R40 million investment.
Potgieter explains that they pitched the idea of a satellite dealership to BMW in April last year. As a result, the pair went overseas to look at other dealerships. It was during this time that BMW was busy working on its new “Make life a ride” branding message and the lifestyle motorcycle experience store concept was born.
The store has a coffee shop, clothing store, sales area as well as a workshop to service and customise motorbikes.
Heiner Faust, BMW Motorrad’s Global Head of Sales and Marketing, explained that in addition to the five new motorcycle models launched this year, the group will launch another five next year.
This includes the new S 1000 XR – an “adventure sport” model based on the four-cylinder S platform. The other new models are the R1200 R, the R1200 RS, the S 1000 RR and the F 800 R.
Essentially, BMW wants to expand its market share and is also looking at smaller (sub-500 cc scooters and bikes). Focussing on this commuter market segment also means catering to their protective clothing needs and BMW will introduce a new range in the near future.
Lastly, the new “Make life a ride” PR campaign is heavily focussed on the lifestyle aspects of two-wheel living.
But, in true German style, the Bavarians have decided that the marketing material will contain 80% lifestyle messages and 20% technical information.