EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this story misspelled Ayaz Somani's name.
In his role at BMW Canada as manager of aftersales systems and innovation, Shawn Stephens has two areas of responsibility.
Aftersales systems entails managing all the systems that dealerships use for service write-up and scheduling, as well as the systems theyuse to diagnose, service and repair vehicles.
The other area, denoted by the innovation label, is leading technical support for vehicle connectivity, encompassed by infotainment and safety systems, and telematics.
Those two areas don’t appear to be an obvious natural pairing, but Stephens has the unique credentials to make it work.
“I started my automotive career as a technician, working at a five-bay shop. After four years turning wrenches I decided that I wanted to work in the corporate side of the industry, so I went back to school to earn a university business degree.”
Soon after, he landed at BMW Canada in the customer call centre where he quickly became the go-to person for technical matters. The aftersales department took notice and recruited him for a series of roles with increasing responsibilities. He showed interest and aptitude for understanding connected-drive technologies and it wasn’t long before BMW Canada asked him to manage tech support, in addition to his aftersales duties.
“In both cases the objectives are the same, to provide the vision and strategic direction, and to introduce and adapt new technologies and systems within the Canadian market.”