The experience of buying a new car can be frustrating and wrought with uncertainty. But upgrading to a luxury vehicle can be downright intimidating. It’s the automotive equivalent of worrying that you’re under-dressed for the fancy restaurant that you chose in the hopes of impressing your date. Am I using the right fork? Why are there no prices on the menu?
Which is why BMW is changing the game of car buying. Inspired by Apple Support (offered to new owners of Apple technologies such as iPads, iPods, etc.) BMW is now offering in-store classes for new BMW owners, helping them to transition to their newfound level of pretentious entitlement.
Beverly Sanskrit is 47-years old. At the age of 22, she graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration, completing her MBA before her 24th birthday. Soon afterward, she married her college sweetheart Jeff, a local police officer. As they both want a family, Beverly chooses to apply her business acumen to her love of flowers, opening a local florist shop that gives her flexibility to raise her children while running a successful local business. As the years pass, her business thrives, she and Jeff would remain happily married, and they raised two daughters and a son, all of whom go off to graduate from college. Jeff retires from the force, and the couple begins to enjoy the freedom of an empty home, and the financial security they’ve worked so hard to earn.
Deciding to treat herself, Beverly begins to search BMW for Sale. Finding her perfect vehicle, she makes up her mind to make the car her very own. But after finalizing the purchase, Beverly begins to realize that she’s not an asshole. Separated from other BMW owners by her lack of assholery, she begins to feel disconnected from her new vehicle and begins to wonder if she made the right choice in buying her dream BMW. If only someone had taught her!
It’s More Common Than You Think
“In 2016, over 346,000 BMWs were sold in the United States alone,” shares Guy Awanapunch, BMW Vice-President of U.S. Pretentiousness. “I’d offer to break that down to BMWs sold per day, but ya know (motions to his assistant’s empty desk) ’the girl’ is on break. You get the idea, though…it’s more than a couple.”
“Think of it like the ‘Cool Kids Table’ in high school. You either sit there, or you don’t. Listen, there’s nothing wrong with being smart, or good at a musical instrument, but writing good essays and playing the french horn isn’t going to get you laid, am I right? Rhetorical question, of course, I am. My point is this…Josie the fat girl might be awesome on the alto sax, but she can’t just get a new outfit and suddenly fit in at the cool table. Well, unless we’re talking about her shedding a few kilos over the summer without losing her ta-ta’s, then she might fit in because who knows? There might be a pretty face behind the Play-Dough Fun Factory she calls cheeks. But I digress. The bottom-line is that you either fit in, or you don’t. Same thing applies to first-time BMW owners.”
Make no mistake, BMW has no desire to be an exclusionary vehicle. Anything but, actually.
“We think everyone should buy a BMW,” says Mr. Awanapunch. “We just want to make sure that, once they do, they fit in with the rest of us. It’s the inspiration for our new ‘BMW InteGR8’ support services.”
We visited BMW of North America’s Corporate Headquarters in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey to audit some of the ‘InteGR8’ classes offered at their Eastern Regional Technical Training Center. Upon our arrival, we were welcomed by BMW Corporate Trainer Fritz Deutschnazel, and by ‘welcomed by’ we mean ‘nodded at, and permitted to enter the facility to be toured by an intern who we might be more comfortable with’. That intern is Kip Spelunker.
“Yeah, so, BMW InteGR8 represents a paradigm shift in how we can best-acclimate new BMW owners so that they’re a strategic fit for their new ecosystem. How do we do it? Glad you asked. It’s a revolutionary ideation that disrupts the entire industry. We take customers offline, where our BMW Gurus can make sure that they’re synced up with our bandwidth. Once we get them there. Boom. Double-Click. Mic drop. Welcome to the fold.”
Since none of us are fluent in buzzword-ese, we decided to see it for ourselves. Auditing several classes, we were able to get a better understanding of what the BMW InteGR8 classes offered new owners.
A New Way of Driving
Meet Dean & Melissa Turwilliger, Albany newlyweds and the proud owners of a new BMW 3 Series sedan.
“BMW InteGR8 really opened our eyes,” said Mr. Turwilliger. “It’s like Drivers Ed for grown-ups. Remember how when you go to school, they teach about the Presidents but only the details that want you to know? Like telling you how Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration but leaving out how he fathered illegitimate children with his slaves. Well, InteGR8 is kind of like that.”
Mrs. Turwilliger agrees, “Exactly. Most of us took Drivers Ed classes when we were teenagers, and we learned how to drive by-the-book, but they didn’t tell us everything. Like the ‘turn signal’. Did you know that turn signals are completely optional? That’s the kind of thing you learn, once you own a BMW.”
“Or parking,” interjects Mr. Turwilliger. “If you look at a parking lot, you see all of those white lines. You know what I’m talking about, right? They’re a little wider than normal car widths, almost like you’re supposed to park between them? (laughs) Yeah, they’d LIKE you to do that, wouldn’t they? Any BMW driver worth their salt knows that you’re supposed to straddle those lines, ensuring that you have ample space on either side of the car.”
A New Way to Drive
On average 950 new BMWs hit American roads each day. Within 18 months, the manufacturer expects that over 97% will be graduates of the InteGR8 program. God help us all.