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MINI's in as BMW ups used car ante

2003-08-12 15:22

Wheels24 revisited the programme to check on what advances have been made since we examined it a year ago.

The inclusion of the MINI, which is offered with a balance of one year/25 000 km Motorplan (on certified pre-owned cars) is a welcome addition to the BMW Approved range, adding in a lower cost option.

Over the past five years, BMW?s Approved Used Car programme has been a pioneer in the certified pre-owned vehicle market in South Africa.

During this time, Approved Used Cars has sold 36 695 vehicles, and benchmarked standards of reassurance and quality for pre-owned motoring.

Wheels24 drove a selection of cars taken from the programme, and in each case we were impressed by the "good as new" feel of the cars in terms of their overall finish and high standards of preparation.

Pavla Benguric, manager for BMW Approved Used Cars, says the target for this year is more than 10 000 cars, aided in particular by the inclusion of the MINI, and by BMW Financial service's "prime less 5%" campaign, with subsidised finance on previous model 7 and 5 Series, and current and previous 3 Series cars, as well as selected late model demonstrators.

Pavla said detailed analysis of BMW Approved Car buyers indicates that more than 20% of purchasers pay cash for their cars. Most buyers are male - although this does not necessarily mean the drivers are men - and 78% speak English as their home language.

The average buyer is 40 years old, and 80% of the buyers are white, although there has been a big increase in Indian buyers. She said black buyers were on the increase, and this bodes well for the future of the programme, although uptake is still slow.

"Our strategy has always remained to provide new car service and satisfaction levels to the used car market," says Neil Fiorentinos, National Sales Manager for New and Used Vehicles at BMW South Africa.

"We also believe that we have addressed all the perceived risks of pre-owned motoring by providing customers with peace of mind, reassurance and confidence in their purchases."

The South African Approved Used Car programme has become the benchmark for BMW subsidiaries around the world, with several already implementing the concept.

"A large number of dignitaries from within the BMW Group visit us on a regular basis to investigate our proven methods, and to implement these best practices in their own countries," said Fiorentinos.

Same standards

Whether the pre-owned vehicle is traded in by a customer at a dealership, or received from BMW's vehicle distribution centre, every Approved Used Car adheres to the same exacting standards set by BMW South Africa.

"This means that when a vehicle has received the BMW Approved Used Car stamp of approval, customers are buying a certified pre-owned vehicle and with it, peace of mind motoring," said Fiorentinos.

"As an added benefit, Approved Used Cars helps to retain high resale values for pre-owned vehicles, enabling customers to get a valuable return on their investment."

A MINI-Cooper heads up a line of BMWs during our test drive.

Only the best used cars are chosen for the inclusion in the Approved Used Cars programme, and they are extensively checked and if necessary repaired to make them "good as new" in terms of performance, reliability and safety, as well as cosmetic finishes.

Every Approved Used Car has a full service history and is subjected to a comprehensive preparation and reconditioning process, comes with mileage verification, a vehicle history check, a Motorplan or Warranty.

All repairs are completed by manufacturer-trained technicians, who possess the necessary levels of competency and expertise to protect customers' investment. In addition, only genuine parts are fitted.

BMWs have a balance of two years/40 000 km Motorplan or Approved Used Car Warranty, while. "This means that for this period, customers have guaranteed peace of mind motoring," said Fiorentinos.

The Motorplan covers all repairs and services resulting from normal wear and tear, excluding top-up oil and tyres. There is also the option to upgrade or extend the Approved Used Car Warranty cover available on a BMW.

Every Approved Used Car also gets BMW Group On Call emergency service, offering 24-hour roadside assistance, tow-in service should the vehicle be immobilised by a breakdown or accident, accommodation, free car hire or transport to your destination, and emergency medical assistance.

BMW's Approved Used Car programme incorporates a wide range of choices, from the MINI Cooper to the 760 Li.

Click here to see the detailed checklist cars must undergo to qualify for Approved Used Car status.

Click here to see the 1 200 Approved Used Cars available on the BMW website.


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