BMW: Olympic effort in biggest market
Updated: 2012-07-23 16:39
By Xu Xiao (China Daily)
BMW JOY Night at Bird's Nest began with a drifting performance by MINI cars and BMW M series models. [Photo provided to China Daily]
Dr Christoph Stark, president and CEO of BMW Group Great Region China, with anchorwoman Zhu Dan, recalled the university campus days in Beijing riding a bicycle. [Photo provided to China Daily]
With China as its No 1 market, the carmaker launches new programs
As a six year exclusive automotive partner of the Chinese Olympic Committee, BMW is holding a series of Olympic activities to welcome the 2012 London Olympic Games that will open on July 28.
As the global sports gala gets underway, the latest sales figures show that China became BMW's largest market in the world in this year despite an overall downturn in the Chinese auto market.
The move to support the China's Olympic teams shows the carmaker's commitment to the local market, said the top executive of its China operations on July 14 after the launch of BMW's all-new 3 Series.
"The cooperation between BMW and the Olympics is deep and sustainable," said Ivan Koh, president of BMW China Automotive Trading Co, during an exclusive interview with China Daily following the launch ceremony.
Koh noted the six-year cooperation between BMW and the COC started from 2011.
As prelude to the 2012 London Olympic Games, BMW has hosted several activities in China incorporating its brand value "JOY".
The 2012 Olympic JOY Festival that began in July includes a gala night show, a summer camp and a sports competition.
The two-hour JOY Night on July 14. Began with a drifting performance by MINI cars and BMW M series models. Several Chinese pop singers followed with performances that ignited passion in the audience.
In fact, "passion, dreams and inner beauty are why more than one-third of Chinese Beijing Olympic champions chose BMW cars in the past few years", said Koh.
"The active and upward attitude toward life, as well as the courageous spirit expressed by our brand, can also be found in Olympic champions," Koh said.
"Our after-sales service is another important factor why champions choose us," he added.
He said focusing on caring for clients and surpassing expectations are keys to BMW's constantly improving services.
The carmaker's express initiative offers car owners 12 services finished in just two hours. The maintenance will be free of charge if it takes longer.
BMW has several set service lists with clear, standard prices. The restoration workshops at dealerships are open to view to enable clients to inspect the work underway.
BMW also provides 24-hour Roadside Assistance.
"In general, our services lead the industry," said Koh.
"This is where our brand value 'JOY is best embodied," he added.
At the 2012 London Olympics, BMW Brand and MINI Brand will sponsor the Chinese fencing, sailing, snowboarding and freestyle skiing Olympic teams.
Koh said elegance, perseverance and focus in those sports are compatible with BMW's core values.
He said the carmaker will support more sports at future Olympic Games.
"In general, all the sports should share the same spirit, which I would say is 'focus'," he told reporters.
Koh said the BMW focus for Olympic marketing is long-term brand building rather than short-term profits.
Part of that long view is an Olympic promotional program for Chinese youth with the theme of "breaking through the 'JOY dream".
The program will help develop young skills in basketball, golf and freestyle skating.
Koh said BMW not only promotes the spirit of sports, but also protection of the environment as shown by the 4,000 BMW and MINI cars provided for use during the 2012 London Olympics.
He added that the carmaker will unveil an all-new brand for electric and hybrid cars this year made at its joint venture BMW Brilliance.
Localization of new energy vehicles is part of BMW's overall strategy of increased local production, Koh said.
Its new Tiexi plant that expands capacity in the city of Shenyang in Northeast China started production in May.
The factory is designed to produce 200,000 vehicles annually by 2014, double the existing capacity at its facility in the city's Dadong district, the company said earlier.
The joint venture's production could rise to 400,000 vehicles in the future, the automaker said.
The new Tiexi plant uses the latest manufacturing technology and a state-of-the-art design that lowers energy consumption and emissions.
"In 2012 we have put in more efforts in localization, especially in our new Tiexi factory and new energy vehicles," Koh said.