Even workaday cars are so capable now that even most auto scribes don't truly find out about a car's limits until a professional driver shows them what they are. It's the same with a vehicle's suite of features and the technology inside – there's so much of it that most people will have no idea what their cars can offer them. BMW is the latest company to make a personal effort to change that, introducing "young, tech-savvy employees" to dealerships as part of its "BMW Genius Everywhere" initiative.

Having no part in the actual sale of a vehicle, a BMW Genius is present on the showroom floor only to answer questions about the company's products and their features. If the customer decides to buy, he is transferred to a salesperson. A pilot program in the UK proved its effectiveness, it will now be rolled out across Europe and then come to the United States toward the end of this year in time for the launch of the i3. Details are still being worked out, but each BMW dealer will have at least one Genius.

For assistance that doesn't require visiting the auto mall, BMW is also putting vehicle and feature tutorials on its US website to "make our knowledge about our brand more interesting and more accessible to the consumer." They will appear online sometime in the latter half of the year, and will also be bundled into iPhone and iPad apps.


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  • 38 Comments
      ferps
      • 1 Year Ago
      They can start by explaining how turn signals work to the people who buy their cars.
      The Wasp
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm reminded of the time I went to Oreilly Auto Parts and the 'genius' there told me I didn't need a new VSS, I needed a new speedometer cable for my car. Guess whose car doesn't actually use a speedometer cable... This is like the ultimate BMW fanboi job. You get to go to a BMW dealership all day and talk down to people all day about BMWs -- not just normal people, though, but people who will probably actually listen for a while.
      Matt
      • 1 Year Ago
      So basically this guy's job is to explain to customers how to do simple functions like changing the radio station or turning up the A/C using the goofy iDrive knobstick. A decade ago, anyone could sit down in any car and easily identify the controls for HVAC/audio/etc. BMW has regressed.
        paulwesterberg
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Matt
        Maybe BMW's average customer age is 45 years old and they can't figure out how to upload mp3s to the vehicles onboard storage or use bluetooth to connect their phones and make calls.
          good
          • 1 Year Ago
          @paulwesterberg
          I don't have time to upload and re-connect to bluetooth multiple times when it fails. Let alone the patience, so let's get some Replacements for the digital crap and give me simple controls and connections that work for you and not give me the Night Club Jitters.
      Ted Ladue
      • 1 Year Ago
      Or, you know, just make the car simpler and easier to use. Get rid of that unnecessary technology, and just make cars, not computers.
        Brett Bertrand
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ted Ladue
        Apple products are known to be simple to use, yet, they have geniuses.
        Rich
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ted Ladue
        That means they wouldn't be able to charge so much for a lesser product each year...
      Rich
      • 1 Year Ago
      Haha try and explain why each chassis has completely different systems, depending on month produced, and region of the world source.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      Anderlan
      • 1 Year Ago
      More leading from Tesla! The entire point of their stores is explaining the benefits of EVs to the public, or rather Tesla's awesome EVs (golf cart is to Leaf as Leaf is to Model S).
        Greg
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Anderlan
        That is less "leadership" than a way to work around dealership laws.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      BryanGx
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is a good move on BMW's part--capture the hipsters and hipster wannabes. For the last 15 years, Apple's sales model shows that young hipster people are willing to pay substantially more for Apple products than equal competitive products just because they think Apple is "cool." Nothing's more cool than a hip young techie explaining tech features to another hip young customer (or to a customer who simply yearns to be hip), even if the customer doesn't have a clue what the techie is really talking about. The same principle will apply beautifully to cars.
      Danny Joe Smith
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is actually a great idea; I can personally speak for experience. I actually do this job for a Ford & Lincoln dealer in Texas. Every new vehicle we sale I go over in complete detail of every option equipped on the vehicle. I get more people telling me it is the best car buy experience they have ever had. Often many customers write letters to the owner telling him thanks for implementing my position at the dealership. So you may think it is a silly position but it actually is very well received and appreciated by the majority of the customers. Service is the most important part of a dealership. I have been doing this for 2.5 yrs and it has directly improved our customer relations and customer loyalty.
        SloopJohnB
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Danny Joe Smith
        It's funny, I had a loaner Audi A6 3.0T and I drove it for a couple days and then one day it just stopped running at an intersection. So, I put it in neutral and hit the start button....nothing happened. I hit it again, and the engine started and away I went. This happened twice more, not at every intersection either. I finally figured out it was a start/stop function (that could be disabled on the dash) that was enabled after the battery got charged up enough but the salesman at the dealership forgot to mention the engine was start/stop!!!
      AntBee
      • 1 Year Ago
      I just called my local BMW dealership, and spoke to the Sales Manager. I explained why I was calling, but he had never heard of the program, and highly doubts that they would participate in it, as they have highly knowledgable salespeople who can answer any technological questions in regards to any BMW automobile. I wanted to put my name in for the position(s) just in case. Who wouldn't want to go around talking about cars all day?
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
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