Maserati GranTurismo S Limited Edition
An exclusive limited 12 edition release marks the celebration the 150th anniversary of the Italian unification, luxury sports car maker Maserati as they present the GranTurismo S Limited Edition version in a matte blue finish.
“The Granturismo S Limited Edition is characterised by unique trim levels and contents. The model’s exterior sports the exclusive matte Sebring Blue, which shows off its elegant lines yet also highlights its sporting aggression. These characteristics are also emphasised by the use of carbon elements, in particular the front spoilers, side mirrors, door handles and rear spoiler. The brake calipers are made of hand-polished aluminium and stand out beneath the 20-inch rims, the side skirts are painted matte black, as are the headlights, to lend the car a still more aggressive appearance.
As far as the interior is concerned on the other hand, the blend of sport and elegance is perfectly expressed by elements common to the MC Stradale version. In this case too, carbon finishes frame the instruments and the controls on the dashboard and central tunnel.
Finally, the commemorative Centocinquantenario (“150th Anniversary”) of Italian Unification plate is located at the base of the central console. This bears the official logo as well as the number of units produced, to confirm the sheer exclusivity of this version.”
BMW Latest to Pick Up Apple 'Genius Bar' Idea In Showrooms
If Apple retail-store employees get tired of working under the sign of the fruit, a whole bunch of them could have good careers in the auto industry. BMW has just joined Lexus in moving to establish “genius bars” — roughly modeled after Apple’s approach — staffed with extra-knowledgeable new-product specialists at its car dealerships.
The move is part of a concept just launched by BMW called Future Retail and kicked off with the grand opening of its first new BMW Brand Store in the most luxurious area of metropolitan Paris this week. The German luxury brand signaled that it is stepping up investments in its dealers and retail network to better equip them to win BMW’s worldwide fight with Audi for luxury-vehicle sales leadership — and in the United States, with Mercedes-Benz for upscale-segment supremacy. JMK BMW , New Jersey
The Brand Store is really just a halo outlet. Much more important to BMW overall will be how it executes the Future Retail concept in its dealerships worldwide. Besides introducing Product Geniuses, BMW plans to increase the number of contact points with customers and prospects, increase the services and benefits offered in its retail channels, and enhance the retail experience “at all touch points,” as it said in a news release. JMK BMW, New Jersey
It’s all part of a wave of attention being paid by nearly all luxury brands to exactly what happens in its dealerships during those “moments of truth” when consumers decide to buy — or not.
Upscale buyers want to be coddled especially, of course, so there’s a strong element of fundamental service that is behind these new initiatives. That’s why Cadillac, for instance, is learning tricks from the service-first Ritz-Carlton hotel chain, for instance, and Lincoln has hired Les Clefs d’Or, an international association of hotel concierges, to consult on creating something the brand is calling the Lincoln Academy.
Also, of course, nearly every automotive OEM, especially in the luxury space, now is requiring its dealers to make significant investments in new showroom designs and other physical upgrades of their dealerships, often to the tune of millions of dollars.
The Genius Bar idea and others like them are another part of the wave.
To be sure, the Product Geniuses will know horsepower and torque data on BMW models. But increasingly, BMW buyers are as flummoxed as any automotive consumer by the array of digitally inspired possibilities now presented to them, ranging from infotainment devices and systems to a spate of accident-avoidance technologies. Many of these new capabilities are complicated to understand; lots of them take a long time to explain; and nearly all of them have the potential to frustrate rather than enrapture buyers.
BMW also has had a particular problem with past efforts to court customers with gee-whiz technology in the cockpit. Its iDrive user interface consists of an LCD panel mounted in the dashboard and a controller knob mounted on the center console, and it controls a vast and disparate number of functions in BMWs. But early versions, especially, frustrated some customers who didn’t appreciate how difficult it was to learn iDrive and how distracting it could be to operate the system properly. JMK BMW . New Jersey
The Product Genius is a big part of BMW’s answer to all of this. Borrowing the concept from the Apple-store Genius Bar — similar to what Lexus already has initiated with its Product Specialists and Delivery Specialists — BMW wants to make sure that this new type of dealership staffer “better supports customers with in-depth product knowledge as well as enables the customer to better utilize and configure products in accordance with their particular needs.”
These geniuses, naturally, will be equipped with computer tablets to aid in easily explaining product features and technologies to customers. JMK BMW, New Jersey
Wealth and Wheels
The newest trend for wealthy homeowners is fit for auto enthusiasts and collectors alike. Luxury garages in homes are becoming increasingly popular in mansion; not just for housing their mobile toys but for entertaining and living as well. Some homeowners are even spending more on their luxury garages then on the cost of the house itself.