Two’s Company: BMW Group Asia Appoints Eurokars Auto as Second Official BMW Dealer in Singapore.

Yes, everyone! The rumours are true. In what has come as a great surprise (or even a shock) to us, BMW Group Asia has appointed a second official BMW dealer for our small sunny island, Eurokars Auto.

Set to open its doors in October 2022 at 11 Leng Kee Road, this latest addition to Eurokars’ group of dealerships will allow the group to retail BMW’s full range of vehicles, from the fully-electric BMW i models to the high-performance BMW M models. It also means Eurokars will now have the BMW’s entire portfolio of cars under their belt, Rolls Royce and Mini included.

Expansion plans, which will incorporate the BMW brand Retail Next design concept, are slated to launch next year at the Eurokars Group’s future headquarters located at 11 Kung Chong Road, just up the street.

Interestingly, even though it might seem like quite a shakeup in our automotive landscape for a single brand to appoint two separate dealers, Singapore’s single exclusive dealer arrangement is actually an anomaly when we look abroad. And while our local car population is a unique one where there can only be a finite number of new car registrations for any given period of time, Mr Lars Nielsen, Managing Director of BMW Group Asia believes that there is still room for growth when it comes to the luxury segment and to meet this anticipated (and future) demand, expanding BMW’s dealer network comes as a natural solution.

While we are still getting to grips with this rather interesting development for our local car scene, one thing is for certain. With two dealerships now officially appointed, customers will be the ones that will stand to reap the most benefits.

We’re pretty sure that by now you would have a number of questions on your mind, and so did we, and because we were lucky enough to be invited to a private chit-chat session with Mr Nielsen, here are some of our questions answered (as we can best remember them, all paraphrased of course).

Why two dealers? And will Singapore (being what many perceive to be a rather small market) be able to support two dealers in the first place?
This is probably the most highly ranked comment on the socials, but as we’ve mentioned earlier in our writeup, BMW Group Asia firmly believes that even with a very strong number of sales last year, there is still room for growth, so to drive more new customers to the brand, retain current customers and generally improve the overall experience with the brand itself, having a second partner will be beneficial for both initiatives.

In a nutshell. BMW Group Asia sees this new initiative as a scenario where instead of both partners having to share a piece of the same slice of (the BMW-buying public) pie, it is one to which an additional slice can be added.

When it comes to the issue of COEs, while it is true that the current supply is very limited, history has shown this to be cyclical, so while it might be low now, it will eventually build up again. Looking ahead, BMW Group Asia also firmly believes that Eurokars Auto, being one of the largest automotive networks in the region, is in no way going into this partnership for any short term glory.

Did Eurokars approach BMW Group Asia first or was it a BMW lead project?
It was a BMW lead project.

Does this new appointment mean PML might be taking a backseat one day?
Not at all, quite the contrary. PML was actually informed of this project from a very early stage and while it will no doubt foster some competition, the end goal is one where they are, together, able to bring in more customers who are new to the brand.

From the words of Mr Pang Cheong Yan, Managing Director of Sime Darby Motors, PML will still be committed to giving their customers the best experience every time, in order to strengthen the BMW brand in Singapore.

Will Eurokars be selling models that are unique, different or exclusive from PML?
No, this will not happen. BMW Group Asia will be the ones to decide on which models to introduce and homologate for our local market While it remains to be seen how each dealer might (or might not) eventually skew their offerings towards one target segment from another, the cars available for them to sell will be identical and decided by BMW Group Asia.

Does this mean that with anticipated growth, we might see more cars being homologated?
While this is something we’d love to see, it is, unfortunately, not in the pipeline because given that the cost of homologation is the same, selling more cars of a single model is still a higher priority than selling fewer cars with more models available.

Will more M cars be sold?
That will be an ideal situation and is a part of the growth plan with this new partnership.

Will owners of cars bought from PML be able to service their cars at Eurokars and vice versa?
Yes. Although there are no specific details for now.

Given that BMW did try such an approach with Munich Automobiles selling the M-cars and not entirely succeeding after a few years, how confident is BMW Asia that this new arrangement will work?
This is not a like-for-like comparison because, with Munich Automobiles, the BMW range was segmented off/spun off into a specific target market segment, but with this new partnership, Eurokars will be retailing the entire range of BMWs across the board as a full-fledged dealer. And again, while this might foster some competition between two large dealers, the ones who will benefit from this will ultimately be the customer.

Was there any government involvement or was there any information shared with the team from the government with regards to future transportation plans in Singapore? Future plans for EVs perhaps?
No. There was no government involvement throughout the process.

Were there any other interested parties involved?
Yes, it was open to other parties/dealer networks but Eurokars Auto won the contract in the end. Who these other parties were, we were not told. But given Singapore’s small network of automotive dealers holding multiple brands, it’s not too difficult to guess who might have wanted to partner with such a prestigious marque.

Will BMW Group Asia eventually transition to becoming a dealer/retailer?

Has Eurokars shared any visuals with regards to how their new BMW showroom/Retail Next will look like?
Not at this time point in time.

Does this mean better deals and service levels for consumers?
Ideally yes, the entire project is one where the focus is on the customer to benefit, for both acquisition and retention. Though how this plays out will be up to each individual dealer to figure out.

Will Eurokars also take on BMW Motorrad?
No. Motorrad is an entirely different market and is not involved in this project.

Do you anticipate BMW’s competitors to react strongly to this announcement?
Initially, no, because they thought it wouldn’t be that “big” of news outside of the BMW-verse, but after some discussions with colleagues, they seem quite interested to see what everyone (not just their competitors) will have to say. In all honesty, they are as curious as us as to how the Big M and Mr Vorsprung will react to this bit of juicy news.

Will there be more support for classic BMWs?
While support has always been there, additional classic-specific workshops are currently not in the pipeline. Though that would be nice to have because old BMWs are the bees’ knees. (We added that last bit in).

As an add-on, while BMW Group Asia will love to have more BMW-centric events in future with both partners to foster customer relations, there are no specific details for anything yet at this point in time.

What other future plans does BMW Asia have for Singapore?
Mr Nielsen: *Smiles but stays quiet*
(Jets away to Munich that very night to discuss future plans BMW Asia has for Singapore)

Thanks for reading! Truly exciting times ahead for local BMW fans!

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