BMW NA open house in Woodcliff NJ, Bike Week

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by nachtflug, May 19, 2002.

  1. nachtflug

    nachtflug I'm not going to talk about that.

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    I'm not going to talk about that.
    I'm pissed. When I loaded the battery in the digicam this morn, sometimes it changes settings on its own. So I ended up taking a bunch of nice 1/2 meg pics, which are too big to post, and I dont know how to size them, and in my bumbling I ended up deleting the entire folder with those and other pics. Gone. Oh well, NY had mid 40's weather on Saturday and rain, cold rain. It broke around noon and I'm told they had a marginal turnout on Saturday. So today Sunday we had nice sunny but still brisk weather, hi only 60 or so. Since I dont have all the corny boring pics to post I'll whine about BMW. This facility was top shelf, plush, etc etc. Very nice. Coffee and donuts and bagels were available in the AM which was OK. Lunch however was, Hot dogs, OR cheeseburger or a bratwurst, not that they were enforcing double dipping. This also came with a bag of chips, which I felt was el cheapo. We have local dealers put out better food for there open houses, much better. This facility had a full kitchen/cafeteria and a little potatoe and macaroni salad would not have been asking too much, given the type of even this was. I was on a demo ride from 11:30 to 12:30, and when I ate, there wasn't even any chips. This along with the general overall vibes I got from most but not all of the corporate stuffed shirts who represent BMW Motorcycles gave me a less than favorabe impression of there operation. I got the distinct feeling that BMW Motorcycles for a lot of these people is in there salary, not there blood. Typical marketing business types who would jump ship and go work for Coca Cola or any other big $$$ job that came along. So instead of 20 or so pics of GSA's, Olympic torch GS's, cool unique paint jobs on GS's, M3 sedans, Mini Coopers, etc etc, heres the only picture I got, this goddam T shirt, a compass keychain, and a goddam mouse pad, all part of the register (free) package. Anybody got any ideas for what I can do with a goddam mouse pad?

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    #1
  2. Zodiac

    Zodiac loosely portrayed

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    You hit it right on the money Nacht,

    Was there sat. not all that impressed, w the whole operation. Raffle, food etc nothing to write home about. I too have seen better open houses at local dealers.
    Seemed to me there was just no enthusiasm from the Corporates there, which then showed up in the attendees. Oh well, the weather DID suck, might of had somethin to do with it.

    Did wear my ADvrider T but only met one familiar name from this site (Moons)

    I'm using my mouse pad as a change/watch/key pad on my dresser.
    The XL t shirt as always will become a rag since I'd look like a tool in a blouse that size.

    And that compass key chain - gonna use that on Mt Everest, as it will surely give a proper reading:evil
    #2
  3. davidhpark

    davidhpark Been here awhile

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    Well, both of you now have gotten a first hand taste of the 'wonderful' people that we have at BMWNA. They are really a bunch of non-performers. You've hit the nail right on the head that they are there for the pay (average) and the perks (car benefits that make them look more yuppie than they really are). Just dangle a 540i in front of a middle aged executive and you'll have them on the dole for a while.

    I've been to the facility there as well as corporate in Munich. It sounds like they went really cheap and stupid on the event prep and execution. Not suprising that it came off like a deflated balloon. IMHO weather should have NOTHING to do with it. In fact if it was shitty out and you showed up that gave them even more reason to interact with you and make a good show (i.e. more focus, less distraction).

    Remember, the building doesn't DO anything for you the customer, it's the human capital inside that really matters and my experiences with BMWNA management tells me that they are really second/third rate people/skillsets. Now I've got a lot of experience in evaluating people/management both as an analyst, venture capitalist, and entrepreneur so I don't make these comments lightly. In fact as many of you know I did a fairly extensive experiment in trying to dialogue with BMW/BMWNA about customer issues in which I got to 'talk' to management (really nothing to write home about).

    The costs of the food really aren't that much especially because they have the full service kitchen there. I agree that they should have perhaps made a better effort especially because you'd want to keep people energized for whatever time they are there.

    The BMWNA people profess to be 'riders' and to be part of the community but they really only pay lip service to this. Talk to them "in confidence" or at a business level and their true aims and intentions will very quickly come out. They view the owners as pain-in-the-asses and don't even really view their dealer network as their customer.

    Part of this is because BMWNA is set up as an importer and the political/systems connections to BMW AG (mfg) are somewhat strange. This results in things like Tom Plucinsky the #1 guy for motorcycles in the US being nothing more than a middle manager (General Manager) in the political org chart of NA with not a lot of reporting responsibility to AG nor accountability to his customers (the dealers). Simply a bad setup all around.

    What would have been so hard for BMW to have a digital camera set up with a good photo printer to take a picture of you and your test ride bike then print out a copy for you. They could also upload this stuff to the BMW web site making YOU the center of attention. Hell, the last mite level ice hockey tournament that I went to (as goalie coach) had this set up. The parents got pictures of their kids immediately after the games. It created a sense of the event and was part of the memory/bonding experience. Instead of this you got a generic left over t-shirt and some standard marketing gizmos. This is NOT experience marketing IMO. Take this one step further and have somebody follow you on the bike with a camera then put up a one minute clip on the web. Everything easy to do with a Mac right on site and this furthers the BMW investment in their web site. How does the t-shirt and compass integrate to this existing investment or create a long lasting memory (like Apple uses photos for iCards). Can you see where management is out to lunch? I bet that they were actually mad that they had to do something on their weekend instead of spend it doing whatever else they do.

    Anyways, I could write forever on this topic. Hope the demo rides were good at least.

    Regards,

    David H. Park
    www.dhpmoto.com
    #3
  4. nachtflug

    nachtflug I'm not going to talk about that.

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    I'm not going to talk about that.
    Heres another thing I forgot to post. As we were getting ready for the demo ride, Susan, the "host" told us to take the form we filled out, and give her the white copy when she called our name. Now the yellow copy, would be turned in after the ride, and if we filled out the questionaire on the back, we would get a calendar. I wasn't expecting a calendar of the Hooters girls but I was expecting a calendar. So I fill out the yellow form, blasting the demo ride route and speeds of the leaders, which I'll post about on my lunch break, and she hands me a credit card sized wallet calendar.... thanks.
    #4
  5. RKT

    RKT Adventurer

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    I was also very dissapointed. Absolute "no show" by BMW management. It felt as though the lights were on but nobody was home. Cheap gadgets, cheap food with an atmosphere to match.

    I was hoping for more seminar type arrangements, or at least a Q&A session with BMW big wigs. What's new, whats coming, etc.
    Nothing. Almost every average Harley dealer puts on a better Open House event. Again, considering what we paid for our rides, a very porrly run event. The people in charge were obviously overwhelmed or didn't care. A big dissapointment on the part of BMW.
    #5
  6. BJZ

    BJZ Been here awhile

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    My son had a Basket Ball game Sun morn. By the time I got there at 10:20 all spots for the test rides were taken. I hung out at the 11:30 ride roll call to see if there were any no shows but got skunked. Glad nachtflug got to ride the ADV.; thanks for the report. I complained about the lack of test bikes and was offered another opportunity at Lake George in a few weeks.

    Had the cheapo hotdog and hit the road.

    I agree it was very apersonal move em in, move em out kind of deal with not a whole lot going on.

    Great day to ride though!
    #6