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      11-21-2020, 10:48 PM   #10
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Drives: BMW G01 X3, M-B GLE350W4
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Indiana

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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.