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2Addicts | BMW 2-Series forum BIMMERPOST Universal Forums General BMW News and Cars Discussion Have any of you had the opportunity to work at BMW or at a BMW dealership?

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      11-20-2020, 05:46 PM   #1
Mosaud1998
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Have any of you had the opportunity to work at BMW or at a BMW dealership?

I had two opportunities to work at my local BMW dealership but I rejecting them because covid cases started to rise and I have a health condition that makes me prone to getting the virus easily. It's always been a dream of mines to work for BMW. But, opportunity always come and go. I actually just found out my old highschool friend works at BMW USA in South Carolina. He inspects the cars after they're finally assembled. Apparently, it's a pretty laid back job. He also told me that BMW is planning on bringing back European Delivery sometime next year .
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      11-20-2020, 08:39 PM   #2
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I started selling BMWs in 1976. I've been at my current dealership for ten-years next month. Working at a dealership is not "working for BMW".
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      11-20-2020, 10:08 PM   #3
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I spent 6yrs at a local BMW dealer as an ops manager. For a gearhead, it was the best time of my life. It was stressful as my dealer was a high-volume store and the clientele was definitely not the easiest to please. However, I loved seeing the local BMW product specialist stop by with camoed or pre-released cars, and getting to drive everything under the sun. Especially fun getting to drive trade-ins like Mclarens, Ferraris, Porsches, and even the cheaper stuff I wouldn't regularly get to check out like civic si's focus rs etc.

It definitely makes you appreciate the people and the system. Dealers get allot of flack and allot of times its earned, but working there makes you realize how tough it is and how little control they have. Many of the issues are uneducated clients being unrealistic.

Give it a try if possible, especially if you're a fan of the product.
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      11-20-2020, 11:55 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by TheDudeMan View Post
I spent 6yrs at a local BMW dealer as an ops manager. For a gearhead, it was the best time of my life. It was stressful as my dealer was a high-volume store and the clientele was definitely not the easiest to please. However, I loved seeing the local BMW product specialist stop by with camoed or pre-released cars, and getting to drive everything under the sun. Especially fun getting to drive trade-ins like Mclarens, Ferraris, Porsches, and even the cheaper stuff I wouldn't regularly get to check out like civic si's focus rs etc.

It definitely makes you appreciate the people and the system. Dealers get allot of flack and allot of times its earned, but working there makes you realize how tough it is and how little control they have. Many of the issues are uneducated clients being unrealistic.

Give it a try if possible, especially if you're a fan of the product.
but working there makes you realize how tough it is and how little control they have. Many of the issues are uneducated clients being unrealistic.


Oh trust me on that, I worked at a Kia dealership for 1.5 year. When Kia introduced the new 2020 Kia Telluride, there were so many people getting frustrated at the sales consultant because their orders were late or not arriving on time. The sales consultants don't have control over what goes on in the factory. At the time the Telluride came out, Kia was giving a $1K rebate to ones that were factory ordered. Later down the line, Kia took that incentive away. So, you basically paid sticker price for the car because no dealers would negotiate the prices on the Telluride since they're very hot right now. That blame came on the sales people. We do not have control over what Kia does. We just sell the product lol.

I might give BMW a try if College remains online.
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      11-21-2020, 08:07 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Mosaud1998 View Post
I might give BMW a try if College remains online.
I started at a BMW dealer (Porsche+Audi, too) within 6-months after graduating with an architecture degree. I now know, from selling BMWs to a few practicing architects, that I've made more money in my job than what they claim on their credit applications. But that's after over 40-years doing it.

My dealership general managers (and believe me I've had many) will often send a new-hire to me for advice. I always ask them if there isn't something else they could be doing for a job. Seriously, the hours suck, the pay sucks, the benefits suck, and your dealership doesn't give a rat's ass about your welfare.

The Peter Principle is at work at dealerships where you are elevated to positions where you've exceeded your competency and that's where you sit. No one gives a crap about what car brand they sell, or if they know anything about it. It's all numbers.

Now there are exceptions, but as a percentage it may be nearly unmeasurable. Look at any dealership and take the average time-on-the-job of the sales force. It often won't exceed three-years. It will burn you out, and they don't care. Don't hit your goals, and they'll hire three more starry-eyed youths to make sure you can't earn a living. Take time off around the holidays? Just better off not coming back. Work 60-hours, or more, and earn hourly what a fast-food employee would.

There are exceptions, again, who've been around a while. I'm one. Still most will try to talk you out of it, especially if you have yet to finish school. I know times are tough right now but they won't be getting better in the car biz, either, during the pandemic. We've already had one round of furloughs and layoffs and we're planning for another.

I started back when the guy who owned his store lived up the street. That was a great 15-year run. That's not the case anymore. They guy who owns our store is the shareholder in a corporation 600 miles away. They survey you for your satisfaction and suggestions and then ignore your input. And I've been a salesperson, service writer, service manager, sales manager, as well as general manager over my career.

If you truly love BMW, or just cars in general, why ruin a good hobby by making a dealership your career? Look at the history of those in charge of most mega dealers today. They were all bean-counters in other industries. They don't value their run-of-the-mill dealership employees other than to pay lip-service and send paper awards for longevity. They steal your money, pay only minimums on most cars because the managers give them away to make their numbers, and manipulate what you earn through excessive packs and lot charges taken out of your "profit".

Got to a college offering degrees in automotive technology and work for a manufacturer. It doesn't pay much, either, but it should be more fun and less stressful being paid a salary rather than relying on a manipulated commission plan.

Last edited by BMWCCA1; 11-21-2020 at 08:29 AM..
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      11-21-2020, 12:12 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by BMWCCA1 View Post
I started at a BMW dealer (Porsche+Audi, too) within 6-months after graduating with an architecture degree. I now know, from selling BMWs to a few practicing architects, that I've made more money in my job than what they claim on their credit applications. But that's after over 40-years doing it.

My dealership general managers (and believe me I've had many) will often send a new-hire to me for advice. I always ask them if there isn't something else they could be doing for a job. Seriously, the hours suck, the pay sucks, the benefits suck, and your dealership doesn't give a rat's ass about your welfare.

The Peter Principle is at work at dealerships where you are elevated to positions where you've exceeded your competency and that's where you sit. No one gives a crap about what car brand they sell, or if they know anything about it. It's all numbers.

Now there are exceptions, but as a percentage it may be nearly unmeasurable. Look at any dealership and take the average time-on-the-job of the sales force. It often won't exceed three-years. It will burn you out, and they don't care. Don't hit your goals, and they'll hire three more starry-eyed youths to make sure you can't earn a living. Take time off around the holidays? Just better off not coming back. Work 60-hours, or more, and earn hourly what a fast-food employee would.

There are exceptions, again, who've been around a while. I'm one. Still most will try to talk you out of it, especially if you have yet to finish school. I know times are tough right now but they won't be getting better in the car biz, either, during the pandemic. We've already had one round of furloughs and layoffs and we're planning for another.

I started back when the guy who owned his store lived up the street. That was a great 15-year run. That's not the case anymore. They guy who owns our store is the shareholder in a corporation 600 miles away. They survey you for your satisfaction and suggestions and then ignore your input. And I've been a salesperson, service writer, service manager, sales manager, as well as general manager over my career.

If you truly love BMW, or just cars in general, why ruin a good hobby by making a dealership your career? Look at the history of those in charge of most mega dealers today. They were all bean-counters in other industries. They don't value their run-of-the-mill dealership employees other than to pay lip-service and send paper awards for longevity. They steal your money, pay only minimums on most cars because the managers give them away to make their numbers, and manipulate what you earn through excessive packs and lot charges taken out of your "profit".

Got to a college offering degrees in automotive technology and work for a manufacturer. It doesn't pay much, either, but it should be more fun and less stressful being paid a salary rather than relying on a manipulated commission plan.
Got to a college offering degrees in automotive technology and work for a manufacturer. It doesn't pay much, either, but it should be more fun and less stressful being paid a salary rather than relying on a manipulated commission plan


That's exactly why I quit the sales job at Kia. I did make a good amount of money (for a 21-year-old) the first year I worked there. Made around $50k. Kia wasn't my first sales job. But, it's the job where I was actually properly trained and learned most of my sales techniques. I used to work at a Honda dealership. I was thrown out of there within 2 months because I wasn't selling enough cars. Keep in mind, this was my first sales job. I got hired on site. I went to get my Honda serviced there and saw they were hiring so I was like "why don't I just apply. Yolo". I applied and the sales manager walked up to me asked me a few questions and told me to come in tomorrow and he'll set me up to work. I was 19 or 20 at the time. I knew a lot about the product (I know a lot about cars in general) but I didn't know how to sell the product. So, I obviously couldn't sell them.

I am in college right now. I am getting a Bachelors's Degree in Operation Management and Information systems (Similar to Analytics). I've got two more years left and I'll be done . But, when I was working at Kia, my plan was to stay there, keep the sales job as my main income and do real estate on the side. But, that went down the drain since I decided to go back to college. Funny thing is, the day after I quit, everyone got a promotion The finance guy that was working there when I was there made around $80-$90k (depending on how many extra items he sold). He was about 24 or 25 at the time. He got promoted to General Sales Manager. So, he's going to make a decent amount of money. He started working at the dealership when he was about 21 as a Sales Consultant. Now he's going to be making at least $100k/year. That's more than what an average college graduate makes a year.
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      11-21-2020, 01:47 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by BMWCCA1 View Post
I started at a BMW dealer (Porsche+Audi, too) within 6-months after graduating with an architecture degree. I now know, from selling BMWs to a few practicing architects, that I've made more money in my job than what they claim on their credit applications. But that's after over 40-years doing it.

My dealership general managers (and believe me I've had many) will often send a new-hire to me for advice. I always ask them if there isn't something else they could be doing for a job. Seriously, the hours suck, the pay sucks, the benefits suck, and your dealership doesn't give a rat's ass about your welfare.

The Peter Principle is at work at dealerships where you are elevated to positions where you've exceeded your competency and that's where you sit. No one gives a crap about what car brand they sell, or if they know anything about it. It's all numbers.

Now there are exceptions, but as a percentage it may be nearly unmeasurable. Look at any dealership and take the average time-on-the-job of the sales force. It often won't exceed three-years. It will burn you out, and they don't care. Don't hit your goals, and they'll hire three more starry-eyed youths to make sure you can't earn a living. Take time off around the holidays? Just better off not coming back. Work 60-hours, or more, and earn hourly what a fast-food employee would.

There are exceptions, again, who've been around a while. I'm one. Still most will try to talk you out of it, especially if you have yet to finish school. I know times are tough right now but they won't be getting better in the car biz, either, during the pandemic. We've already had one round of furloughs and layoffs and we're planning for another.

I started back when the guy who owned his store lived up the street. That was a great 15-year run. That's not the case anymore. They guy who owns our store is the shareholder in a corporation 600 miles away. They survey you for your satisfaction and suggestions and then ignore your input. And I've been a salesperson, service writer, service manager, sales manager, as well as general manager over my career.

If you truly love BMW, or just cars in general, why ruin a good hobby by making a dealership your career? Look at the history of those in charge of most mega dealers today. They were all bean-counters in other industries. They don't value their run-of-the-mill dealership employees other than to pay lip-service and send paper awards for longevity. They steal your money, pay only minimums on most cars because the managers give them away to make their numbers, and manipulate what you earn through excessive packs and lot charges taken out of your "profit".

Got to a college offering degrees in automotive technology and work for a manufacturer. It doesn't pay much, either, but it should be more fun and less stressful being paid a salary rather than relying on a manipulated commission plan.
BMWCCA1 Thanks for sharing your experience. If it is as you say, and I don't doubt anything in your post, why have you stayed in this occupation for as long as you have?
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      11-21-2020, 06:41 PM   #8
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I worked at a BMW dealership from July of 1971 until October 24, 2001.
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      11-21-2020, 07:28 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by chassis View Post
BMWCCA1 Thanks for sharing your experience. If it is as you say, and I don't doubt anything in your post, why have you stayed in this occupation for as long as you have?
The first 15-years under the resident-owner of the dealership was fun for a gear-head. My boss was supportive and we could make $2500 profit on a $7700 3-series. Now you don't make that on a $100,000 8-series! BMW has cut profit over the years in response to dealerships giving it away anyway. Customers have gotten used to the low-ball dealer's pricing and it is very tough to make money selling BMWs unless your dealership underwrites your efforts with bonus and spiffs.

As a young BMW owner just out of college, I loved that BMW would take us to tracks to show off a new model against the competition. They don't waste their money on that anymore. No one invests in their sales force because the business is so lousy they just don't stay around very long.

But, after you've done if for a while, given up the career you were educated for, had a couple or three kids to raise, feed, and educate, you realize it's just a job and if you're good enough at it you'll get repeat business from customers who trust you. But at that point it's still just a job. I could have made twice as much doing the same job in a larger city, but I wanted to retain as much of my quality of life as I could by staying where I live. At 67, I've worked under probably 20 different owners and managers, held nearly every job in the dealership, and I still make a respectable living doing what I've been doing. If I were a 20-year-old just starting out today, I don't think I'd be able to make the money to make the negative aspect worthwhile. Sure, you can try it for a while. Many do—and then move on. That's why I said ask at your local dealerships and see how long the average salesperson has been on that job at that store.

The business has changed in the 40-years I've been in it. Along with Internet information on dealer cost comes the Wal-Mart-ing of America where the customer simply wants the lowest price. You've seen it on this board. No one gives a crap if you know anything about the cars, love the cars, or are just warming a desk. They want your last dollar to go to them, and they'll throw you under the bus for $500. Your managers will be so driven by their boss's volume goals they'll match any deal from another dealer and no one makes any money. I assume you are in it to make a living? If not, go right ahead and dive in. Eventually all dealerships will be extinct and cars will be sold through Amazon Prime. Customers hate salespeople but they are the ones creating the environment they say they detest with dealers resorting to deceit just to make a buck. You can see what Wal-Mart has done to Mom-and-Pop stores and what Amazon has done to old-line book-sellers. It's coming to every mercantile near you soon.

So, to answer your question, it was fun when I started. It's just a job today, and I'm too old and have devoted too many decades to this line of work to change now. I enjoy my old BMWs more than I do the new ones. I'm not a computer-programmer so I get no thrill from coding cars to get them to do things I never needed them to do before. I buy a car for the driving experience. Today, the Infotainment system and interface is more important than the way the car drives. I bought the third Apple Macintosh sold in my town when they were first introduced and I've been an Apple nut ever since. I hate Carplay. My 128i M-sport has all the infotainment I need with iDrive and USB iPod connectivity with a Bluetooth phone link. Those are passive. Carplay makes you actively dick around with your electronics when you should be driving.

So, "get off my lawn" and enjoy your hobby. Get an education and get a good job so you can buy whatever BMW you want, and drive the crap out of it and enjoy it. Don't ruin your hobby by working at a dealership.
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      11-21-2020, 07:58 PM   #10
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My closest such experience is selling Teslas for a year around the time the Model S launched. Those were exciting times and the company was trading in the $20s. Obviously nothing like working at an actual dealership. There were fellow college students working there hoping to make the jump into corporate either in the sales or engineering side, and many of them did. However this was a unique experience and really has nothing in common with working for a traditional dealership.

I'll echo what one of the other posters said. Cars are my biggest hobby but I never viewed them as a career. Watching my father be an automotive engineer and be underappreciated, earning so-so money, and always worried about being laid off drove my to an entirely different profession. My time at Tesla was really just to boost my resume so I could enter grad school for a high earning profession and actually be able to afford my dream cars. I'm only a few years out of college but that would be my greatest advice: let cars remain a hobby. Working for BMW sounds fun, but it should be temporary and as a stepping stone to something else.
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      11-21-2020, 10:48 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by BMWCCA1 View Post
The first 15-years under the resident-owner of the dealership was fun for a gear-head. My boss was supportive and we could make $2500 profit on a $7700 3-series. Now you don't make that on a $100,000 8-series! BMW has cut profit over the years in response to dealerships giving it away anyway. Customers have gotten used to the low-ball dealer's pricing and it is very tough to make money selling BMWs unless your dealership underwrites your efforts with bonus and spiffs.

As a young BMW owner just out of college, I loved that BMW would take us to tracks to show off a new model against the competition. They don't waste their money on that anymore. No one invests in their sales force because the business is so lousy they just don't stay around very long.

But, after you've done if for a while, given up the career you were educated for, had a couple or three kids to raise, feed, and educate, you realize it's just a job and if you're good enough at it you'll get repeat business from customers who trust you. But at that point it's still just a job. I could have made twice as much doing the same job in a larger city, but I wanted to retain as much of my quality of life as I could by staying where I live. At 67, I've worked under probably 20 different owners and managers, held nearly every job in the dealership, and I still make a respectable living doing what I've been doing. If I were a 20-year-old just starting out today, I don't think I'd be able to make the money to make the negative aspect worthwhile. Sure, you can try it for a while. Many do—and then move on. That's why I said ask at your local dealerships and see how long the average salesperson has been on that job at that store.

The business has changed in the 40-years I've been in it. Along with Internet information on dealer cost comes the Wal-Mart-ing of America where the customer simply wants the lowest price. You've seen it on this board. No one gives a crap if you know anything about the cars, love the cars, or are just warming a desk. They want your last dollar to go to them, and they'll throw you under the bus for $500. Your managers will be so driven by their boss's volume goals they'll match any deal from another dealer and no one makes any money. I assume you are in it to make a living? If not, go right ahead and dive in. Eventually all dealerships will be extinct and cars will be sold through Amazon Prime. Customers hate salespeople but they are the ones creating the environment they say they detest with dealers resorting to deceit just to make a buck. You can see what Wal-Mart has done to Mom-and-Pop stores and what Amazon has done to old-line book-sellers. It's coming to every mercantile near you soon.

So, to answer your question, it was fun when I started. It's just a job today, and I'm too old and have devoted too many decades to this line of work to change now. I enjoy my old BMWs more than I do the new ones. I'm not a computer-programmer so I get no thrill from coding cars to get them to do things I never needed them to do before. I buy a car for the driving experience. Today, the Infotainment system and interface is more important than the way the car drives. I bought the third Apple Macintosh sold in my town when they were first introduced and I've been an Apple nut ever since. I hate Carplay. My 128i M-sport has all the infotainment I need with iDrive and USB iPod connectivity with a Bluetooth phone link. Those are passive. Carplay makes you actively dick around with your electronics when you should be driving.

So, "get off my lawn" and enjoy your hobby. Get an education and get a good job so you can buy whatever BMW you want, and drive the crap out of it and enjoy it. Don't ruin your hobby by working at a dealership.
BMWCCA1 Thanks, this is insightful and hopefully helps others considering entering the retail car business.
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      11-21-2020, 11:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWCCA1 View Post
The first 15-years under the resident-owner of the dealership was fun for a gear-head. My boss was supportive and we could make $2500 profit on a $7700 3-series. Now you don't make that on a $100,000 8-series! BMW has cut profit over the years in response to dealerships giving it away anyway. Customers have gotten used to the low-ball dealer's pricing and it is very tough to make money selling BMWs unless your dealership underwrites your efforts with bonus and spiffs.

As a young BMW owner just out of college, I loved that BMW would take us to tracks to show off a new model against the competition. They don't waste their money on that anymore. No one invests in their sales force because the business is so lousy they just don't stay around very long.

But, after you've done if for a while, given up the career you were educated for, had a couple or three kids to raise, feed, and educate, you realize it's just a job and if you're good enough at it you'll get repeat business from customers who trust you. But at that point it's still just a job. I could have made twice as much doing the same job in a larger city, but I wanted to retain as much of my quality of life as I could by staying where I live. At 67, I've worked under probably 20 different owners and managers, held nearly every job in the dealership, and I still make a respectable living doing what I've been doing. If I were a 20-year-old just starting out today, I don't think I'd be able to make the money to make the negative aspect worthwhile. Sure, you can try it for a while. Many do—and then move on. That's why I said ask at your local dealerships and see how long the average salesperson has been on that job at that store.

The business has changed in the 40-years I've been in it. Along with Internet information on dealer cost comes the Wal-Mart-ing of America where the customer simply wants the lowest price. You've seen it on this board. No one gives a crap if you know anything about the cars, love the cars, or are just warming a desk. They want your last dollar to go to them, and they'll throw you under the bus for $500. Your managers will be so driven by their boss's volume goals they'll match any deal from another dealer and no one makes any money. I assume you are in it to make a living? If not, go right ahead and dive in. Eventually all dealerships will be extinct and cars will be sold through Amazon Prime. Customers hate salespeople but they are the ones creating the environment they say they detest with dealers resorting to deceit just to make a buck. You can see what Wal-Mart has done to Mom-and-Pop stores and what Amazon has done to old-line book-sellers. It's coming to every mercantile near you soon.

So, to answer your question, it was fun when I started. It's just a job today, and I'm too old and have devoted too many decades to this line of work to change now. I enjoy my old BMWs more than I do the new ones. I'm not a computer-programmer so I get no thrill from coding cars to get them to do things I never needed them to do before. I buy a car for the driving experience. Today, the Infotainment system and interface is more important than the way the car drives. I bought the third Apple Macintosh sold in my town when they were first introduced and I've been an Apple nut ever since. I hate Carplay. My 128i M-sport has all the infotainment I need with iDrive and USB iPod connectivity with a Bluetooth phone link. Those are passive. Carplay makes you actively dick around with your electronics when you should be driving.

So, "get off my lawn" and enjoy your hobby. Get an education and get a good job so you can buy whatever BMW you want, and drive the crap out of it and enjoy it. Don't ruin your hobby by working at a dealership.
With all due respect and I mean that with no sarcasm, with my 30 years’ experience from 1971 to 2001 retailing and servicing BMW's at a franchised dealer I cannot dispute a thing you have said. The internet and mega auto groups buying up family businesses changed the game.

Last edited by Pugnacious; 11-22-2020 at 10:15 AM..
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      11-22-2020, 07:29 PM   #13
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I worked for Bmw of North America for 19 years as field sales rep. Retired in 2008. Prior to that I was with a few other automobile companies, in addition to being a general manager at a Porsche Audi BMW dealership. It really is a great company, they take care of their people, both while you’re with them and in retirement. It is not a company though that is jampacked with Bmw enthusiasts, they are business people. Nothing wrong with that, they also have a great respect for their dealers. The field staff has a great many people that used to work at dealerships, it is almost a prerequisite to be a field rep.
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      11-22-2020, 09:14 PM   #14
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I worked for Bmw of North America for 19 years as field sales rep. Retired in 2008. Prior to that I was with a few other automobile companies, in addition to being a general manager at a Porsche Audi BMW dealership.
That had to be one hell of a pay cut to go from a dealership GM to a BMWNA field rep! But less pressure, stress, and better work conditions should always be a priority!

The field reps and regional managers we saw all qualified to work for BMW by virtue of their experience with other manufacturers. That seemed to be a prerequisite for BMW employment. One of our area managers had come from Winnebago and another from International Harvester (Scout!), and went on to become M-brand manager!
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      11-22-2020, 10:18 PM   #15
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I thought this post is an interesting reading. I work for an automotive components supplier, and I can tell you that doesn't matter where you are you are in the automotive industry, you are under stress and relative low salaries / benefits. The environment is just too competitive, margins are low, and there is this constant battle for cost savings, efficiency, tight schedules... and everything must be ready for launch on time.
It is stress all the way for all professionals all levels. Constantly proving yourself, demonstrating competency, and the concern to not be laid off. So my friends... automotive is not really the best place for good pack of salaries and benefits anymore.
I see the stress on me and with my team, I see the stress in the eyes of my customers (auto makers engineers), the pressure to make more with less. For sure it will not be any different for the sales teams and dealers... it is the nature of automotive beast.
And by the way... cars are getting more and more electric and self driving. The new generations are loosing interest in driving and cars, soon people will seat and the self-driven car will take where you need to go... Future will tell... quite boring in my view.

Last edited by Pauloxxi; 11-22-2020 at 10:37 PM..
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