BMW, the world’s No. 1 maker of luxury automobiles, is redesigning the way its dealerships operate by including more “Genius” product specialists and fewer sales personnel, Fortune is reporting. The concept of Geniuses or in-store specialists was first introduced by Apple, who explain the company’s products to customers in a convenient and more relaxed way.
The publication notes that Lexus, which has ambitions to catch the German car maker one day, is also thinking in the same direction employing “Lexperts” at Longo Lexus in El Monte, California. Greg Penske of Penske Motor Group said that even though the idea is derived from the Apple Genius concept, they have been able to recruit college students “who can learn about the business, see the career paths they can take—it’s a very similar income as an Apple Genius starting out—and drive cool cars”.
Ian Robertson, BMW board member for marketing, said, “the automaker is changing the entire retail experience, and the geniuses are the front line to make it more informative and friendly for our customers.” More than 1,500 are working in dealerships in 43 countries, including one in Tibet. Following a meeting of geniuses in Munich this month, Robertson said, “they’re excited, they like the new role, and they especially like seeing how much customers enjoy an atmosphere of information and no sales pressure.”
BMW said it’s closing in on a goal of having 500 Geniuses employed at 339 U.S. dealerships by the end of the year. The idea was rolled out at BMW dealerships for the first time in early 2013.