When a BMW dealership moves to a new location, what happens to the vacated site?
For the Dilawri Group, the answer in Calgary was simple: turn it into a classy outlet for used vehicles, name it the Used Car Gallery, and make it easy to find on the Internet.
That’s what happened when BMW Gallery opened a new store in Calgary’s Northwest Auto Mall earlier this year.
Open since Feb. 1, the Used Car Gallery, run by general manager Doug McLean, has exceeded his expectations.
It resides in a building originally constructed to BMW dealership standards with a showroom that holds 10 vehicles, although a couple more could be fitted in, and there’s room for another 100 stored underground and about 30 more on the lot outside.
“Business has been better than we expected,” says McLean, who doubles as general manager of Mini Crowfoot. “We’re pleased with the volume we’re doing and it’s not often you exceed the expectations you set.”
It’s a unique situation since the used-car operation is larger – about 30,000 square feet (2,800 square metres) – than the Mini store that’s attached to it, but it’s a symbiotic relationship that McLean says works well.
The Used Car Gallery has a full-time sales staff of four plus a sales manager, “although the three sales people at Mini Crowfoot also sell used vehicles.”
There’s a service manager who serves both stores as does a sales coordinator, two business office staff, lot attendants and detailing staff.