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BMW takes customer-centric focus

Focused: BMW Australia CEO Vikram Pawah says a focus on its customers has played a crucial part in the brand’s current sales success.

Greater focus on customers to help BMW replicate 2019 sales success

21 Feb 2020

BMW Australia believes its 2019 sales success, in which it went against a falling new-car market to register sales growth, is due in part to an increased focus on its customers.


The German premium brand grew its sales by 1.1 per cent in 2019 against a market that dipped 7.8 per cent, and BMW Australia CEO Vikram Pawah said he expected that sales growth to increase in 2020.


BMW is in the midst of an aggressive model rollout with a broad range of new offerings touching down this year, however Mr Pawah said its focus on what its customers want is the biggest reason for the sales success.


“It’s actually been more customer centric that delivers (growth) actually, product is a derivative of what we’re talking about with customer centricity,” he said.


BMW’s model range has undergone a serious refresh, to the point that by the end of the year, the oldest model in its line-up will be the X3 medium SUV that landed in November 2017.


Mr Pawah said that as a luxury brand, offering customers the brand’s latest technologies played a big part in increasing sales.


“If you look at what the customers are looking for, they’re looking for something new, something exciting, something innovative, and that’s what you want to do when you’re looking at cars,” he said.


“Regardless of what the economic situation is, we all need cars, we all need mobility, you cannot stray from mobility, so the only thing what we’ve decided is should I replace my current mobility option that I have or not.


“For us we are winning because we are focusing on that part – are we delivering new values to our customer? Be it through our product design, or dealer financing solutions … giving value to customer and putting them at centre of everything.”


Another part of its customer-centric approach is to offer customers the ultimate choice of powertrains, with a goal of providing petrol, diesel, plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and full-electric variants across its model lines.


Mr Pawah said that was already underway, with a range of PHEVs set to touch down in Australian showrooms this year.


“By the end of 2020 we will be having plug-in hybrid options at every price point so you will be having PHEV 3 Series, 5 Series, 7 Series, or on the X3 and X5,” he said. “Plenty of choices for the customer to choose from.”


When asked whether its focus on customer centricity was based around feedback from owners, Mr Pawah said it was simply the most logical strategy.


“I think it’s purely based on our strategic intent of what we want to do,” he said.


“So you always have to have a focal point in your strategy, and it was based on our experiences – inputs from our customers, from out dealer partners, from our stakeholders that we have, our global intentions that are there – so you all merge them together and say, ‘OK, what is a focal point we can think about’, it happened to be the customer.


“They’re the ones that make the decisions, so we put them in the centre – not rocket science, it was just something basic, and we just wanted to make sure that we actually talk basic, we don’t need to make it complicated.”

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