BMW launches ‘living billboard’

It's every car dealer's dream: A huge multi-level showroom visited by over 100,000 potential customers per day. And that dream will come pretty close to reality late this summer when BMW Canada completes construction of a new six-storey flagship dealership near one of the busiest highways in Canada.

It’s every car dealer’s dream: A huge multi-level showroom visited by over 100,000 potential customers per day. And that dream will come pretty close to reality late this summer when BMW Canada completes construction of a new six-storey flagship dealership near one of the busiest highways in Canada.

The ‘visitors’ are passing motorists, and while they won’t have a chance to sit in the leather seats and kick the tires, they will get a good look at actual BMW models thanks to an ingenious showcase enclosed in ‘crystal clear glass’ on the fourth and fifth floors of the building.

According to Rick Zebryk, director of finance for BMW Canada’s retail division, the showroom in the sky is specifically designed to show off the vehicles to drivers of the estimated 100,000 cars that travel Toronto’s Don Valley Parkway each day. Not a bad audience, when you consider that most of those people are not only car owners, but downtown Toronto commuters – a demo that likes its fancy cars.

Zebryk says the opportunity came about when the owner of the old BMW Toronto dealership resigned and the corporation took ownership. The dealership was already one of the largest in Canada, accounting for about 9% of total sales, but BMW decided to move it to a new location near the DVP and Toronto’s Eastern Avenue, up the showroom floor space and add the showcase.

In addition to the display, Zebryk says the company is looking ‘at some other mediums for communicating the BMW brand message on the facility,’ but discussions with the City of Toronto regarding what’s allowed are at a preliminary stage.

Other than that, there’s only one problem left to iron out: ‘There’s obviously logistical challenges with moving cars up and down a six-storey structure,’ says Zebryk, ‘but we’ll see how things go.’