Two dealers in Singapore to serve BMW customers from Oct 1

BMW Asia said the move is to manage a growing demand for cars in the premium segment. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - From Oct 1, BMW buyers will have two official dealerships to go to if they want to buy a new car or send their existing model for servicing or repairs.

Eurokars Auto, part of motor trade tycoon Karsono Kwee's multi-brand Eurokars Group, has been appointed a full-fledged dealer - alongside incumbent Performance Motors, a division of Malaysian conglomerate Sime Darby.

Confirming a report by The Straits Times on May 13, BMW Asia said this week that the move is to manage a growing demand for cars in the premium segment.

Speaking to motoring writers on Wednesday, BMW Asia managing director Lars Nielsen said having more than one dealer in a market the size of Singapore - with sales of around 5,000 last year - is not uncommon for BMW.

"This is certainly not unique to Singapore. There are several markets in the world where we have two or more dealers," he added.

"We believe competition will ultimately be good for customers."

He said he believes the rivalry will also increase sales.

The second BMW dealership will be at 11 Leng Kee Road, which currently houses Eurokars' used car division.

This is expected to move to Eurokars' new headquarters complex in nearby Kung Chong Road next year.

The Kung Chong Road facility will feature BMW's recently unveiled Retail Next design concept.

The concept moves away from a harshly lit showroom packed wall to wall with cars.

Instead, it creates a comfortable setting with plush furniture, soft lighting and food and beverage.

The BMW Retail Next showroom concept which will be introduced here next year. PHOTO: BMW

Performance Motors' flagship facility remains at 303 Alexandra Road, which is a stone's throw away from Eurokars' showroom.

Performance Motors has two other service centres at 315 Alexandra Road and 280 Kampong Arang Road in the east.

In Singapore, exclusive dealerships have been the norm for several decades.

Very few car brands have had more than one authorised dealer - and, if so, only briefly.

About 10 years ago, BMW appointed another dealer for BMW M - a high-performance division within the Munich-based brand.

But that ended after a few years, following Performance Motors' purchase of a majority stake in the M dealership.

BMW's latest move in appointing a second dealer here is unlike changes sweeping the motor industry.

Most other changes involve the manufacturer assuming a bigger role in the retail business.

Eurokars' Mr Kwee said: "This is an exciting milestone for Eurokars Group as we expand our long-standing partnership with the BMW Group in the region."

The group clinched the franchise for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars - owned by BMW Group - for Singapore and Indonesia in 2003.

A year later, it landed the BMW dealership in Indonesia. And in 2006, it secured the franchise for Mini - another BMW-owned brand - here.

Sime Darby Motors (Singapore, Thailand & South-east Asia Development) managing director Pang Cheong Yan said: "Enhancing the customer experience is our focus, and we will continue to give our customers the best experience every time, strengthening the BMW brand in Singapore."

Performance Motors has been the sole BMW dealer for more than 40 years.

Parallel importers here also bring in some BMW models, although they accounted for only 2.4 per cent of total BMW sales here last year, versus 34.3 per cent for Mercedes-Benz cars.

In several recent years, BMW has ranked as the top luxury car brand here - outselling Mercedes-Benz cars sold by authorised dealer Cycle & Carriage.

In 2021, it was ranked the second top-selling brand here, with Toyota in the pole position.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.