BMW’s company-owned UK dealer group, BMW Park Lane, is dressing down for 2020.
It has adopted a new dress code policy from January 1 to try to make a more relaxed impression on customers.
“We’ve ditched the tie, introduced optional blazer or sports jackets and generally made our whole approach less formal and more business casual,” Bellal Abbas, group customer experience manager, stated on LinkedIn.
“This may not be huge news for many but this is significant change for the sales teams here as it’s the first change of its kind in over 20 years.”
BMW Park Lane handles much of the brand’s diplomatic sales, corporate sales and VIP customers.
Abbas said the change will be driven throughout the business.
Staff at some other BMW franchisees hope the more relaxed attitude shown by BMW Group UK’s flagship London dealership will spread out across the network in future.
“Let’s hope the dealer network takes notice of this shift in mentality,” said one business manager.
Another added: “This is fantastic news and hopefully a move that will filter through the network.”
One said his dealership has had a sports club casual dress code for years and staff feel comfortable and confident while customers feel relaxed in less formal surroundings.
But consultant Daniel Fenwick challenged on LinkedIn that automotive business leaders must tackle the bigger challenges as a priority.
“I agree in marginal gains. But in an industry that’s been declining steadily in the face of huge challenges and has the biggest one to come yet in Brexit, is losing ties really enough to make a difference?
“Innovation for automotive companies has been severely lacking. Transparent pricing, dealership experience, sales processes and skill sets of sales executives haven’t shifted in about 30 years,” said Fenwick.