You are what you drive. Vehicles are not just about horsepower, fuel economy and convenience. They are part of our lives. We live with them, care for them, enjoy them and yes, even love them. Beyond the speci? cations, there is an intangible quality that connects with our own personal identity and few companies understand that connection better than BMW.
From its earliest beginnings in 1916 as the Bavarian Aircraft Works - the blue and white BMW logo represents a spinning aircraft propeller - to its reorganization a year later as the Bavarian Motor Works, the company has always reached out for excellence above all else. Today, that excellence is expressed in vehicles that are designed to provide a driving experience that comfortably reflects the aspirations and the lifestyles of its owners.
It's true that BMW took some tentative steps in the early years -the tiny Austin 7-based Dixie (1927-31) and the Isetta 'bubble car' (1955-62) were diversions that reflected tough economic times. But in 1956, BMW introduced a milestone model - the 507 - that changed the automotive landscape with its sweeping, graceful lines and superb engineering. It was the beginning of a new era.
Today, BMW brings together the pleasure of the ownership and the pleasure of the drive in a unique way. They call it 'Joy'.
When BMW Nanaimo opened for business on July 23 Warren and Verna Dick were first through the door. They had been patiently watching the countdown to opening day. "We were in the market but didn't want to have to go to Victoria ," said Warren, "so it was worth waiting a little longer for the Nanaimo dealership to open." Warren and Verna operate Beachside Garden B&B located in beautiful Evening Cove on the East side of Ladysmith Harbour. "We didn't start out with the idea of running a B&B," said Verna. "We were looking for an ideal Oceanfront location to build our retirement home. But then we noticed all the kayakers, boaters and snorkelers drifting by and the idea just took hold."
Three years later TripAdvisor ranks Beachside Garden B&B as No.1 in Ladysmith and No.8 out of 480 B&Bs on Vancouver Island. The custom built, wheelchair accessible units offer ocean views, queen bed, ensuite bathroom, TV and individual control for heating and air conditioning. "Guests come from all over the world," Warren explained. "We've had guests from as far away as New Zealand and one couple from Arizona came here to celebrate their 54th Anniversary." The sheltered beach is a paradise for boaters and sunbathers while the front garden offers vantage points to watch bald eagles, seals, otters, marine life and even the occasional killer whales.
That visit to BMW Nanaimo had a purpose and resulted in Warren and Verna becoming the very first customers of the new dealership. "We've been BMW fans for more than 25 years," said Warren. "In fact Verna has never owned any other car. I admire the engineering precision, the refinement and the responsive handling that is characteristic of all BMWs. I always preferred the sportier coupe versions of the 3 and 6 Series, so making the move to the new Z4 seemed like a logical step."
The Hyper Orange Z4 is a perfect match for the quality and refinement of the Beachside Garden B&B and the lifestyle of Warren and Verna. To learn more about the Beachside Garden B&B go to: http://www.beachsidegardenbnb. com
The love affair that lasts a lifetime. Most of us remember the car we learned to drive on. Most of us remember our first car. Few of us keep them forever. Jim Ballard is the proud owner of this 1972 BMW 2002Tii which he bought new from a Buffalo, New York dealership for the grand sum of $4,724.45. While not his very first car, it is the car he just hasn't been able to part with. "BMW wasn't that well known in North America at that time," said Jim. "In fact the dealer I bought it from was a Saab dealer who took on BMW as a sideline. The importer was Max Hoffman who was responsible for bringing in just about every foreign car make after WWII. He brought in VW and Jaguar, Porsche, Alfa Romeo, Mercedes-Benz and BMW and he often suggested model changes. This BMW model was originally marketed with a 1600 cc engine. Max recommended they replace it with the 2.0-litre. You have to remember that stuffing big engines into cars was all the rage then. The 1964 Pontiac GTO was just a Tempest with a big 389 V8 stuffed under the hood. Well, when the BMW 2002 appeared it just electrified the automotive press. This is, without doubt, the car that made BMW in North America. The rest, as they say, is history."
The car was Jim's 'daily driver' for many years. "When I started in real estate, in 1983, this was my real estate car - I had no money so I cleaned it up and ran it for a year - no air conditioning, no nothing." But there came a moment when he considered selling it. "It must have been around 1991 or 92. I thought this is crazy, keeping this car going, so I advertised it in Victoria and got an offer. It was winter, so I backed the car out of the garage and started to clean it up for the handover. As I cleaned it up I just got more and more depressed. I was sick, absolutely sick. The gentleman drove up on the Sunday morning and when I opened the door, I said 'I'm sorry, but I can't do this.' He was really mad. But that's when I knew I would keep the car forever." Jim has lived in Nanaimo since 1974 and is still in the real estate business with Coast Realty but the 2002Tii is no longer his 'real estate car.' These days he drives it about 500 kilometres a year and draws admiring looks wherever he goes. At the recent Grand Opening of BMW Nanaimo, Jim's 2002Tii drew as much attention as the newest machinery in the showroom. We can't all own great 'old' cars but they hold a special place in our lifestyles.
A really Grand Opening. Zaak Ghelani is the Sales manager for BMW Nanaimo. The Official Grand Opening took place on August 15 when some 360 people flooded the BMW and MINI showroom. I asked Zaak if he was surprised at the turnout. "Not at all. We had a core of BMW and MINI owners in this area and we used various media to get out the invitations. We are looking at an area stretching from say, Duncan north to Campbell River.
Providing service is an essential part of the ownership experience and it was time to make it more convenient for owners in this area."It was clear from the turnout that making BMW and MINI products more accessible in this area will lead to incremental sales as well. The two brands are quite different with the BMW brand being the more dominant. Zaak explained that the national experience is that there are 3 BMW sales to every one MINI sale and that Nanaimo will probably conform to that ratio. The demographics would suggest there is a difference between the typical BMW and MINI customers but Zaak doesn't believe this is relevant. "It's hard to judge and that's something I train staff not to do. Whether you are interested in a $25,000 MINI or a $120,000 BMW 7 Series, we want to ensure that the experience is identical." One thing is for certain; the people who come in are well aware of the heritage of these brands and identify with the special qualities they represent.
The joy of ownership. Lynn Jamieson was tired of the mundane and ordinary. She was looking for something different, something fun and yet practical. "I loved the look of the MINI from the outset. Then I took it for a test drive on Jinglepot Road and it was just so eager and responsive.
I had to have it." There is certainly nothing mundane about her MINI 'Bayswater' Special Edition, finished in Kite Blue with bonnet stripes and individual mirror caps.
"It has excellent all around visibility and there is plenty of cargo space for my business needs as well." It sounds like the 'perfect fit' for the owner of Julia's ladies clothing boutique at 6581 Aulds Road in Nanaimo. As someone in retail business, Lynn was impressed with the whole purchase process. "The staff at BMW Nanaimo were impressive. I think they got as much pleasure out of my excitement as I did."
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