Modern showroom opens in prime Tokyo district
In addition to financing a mortgage or wedding, purchasing a car is one of the greatest expenses a person incurs in life. Buying a car in Japan, moreover, comes with its own challenges, the language barrier being the greatest concern for most foreigners.
The good news is that quality service with pedigree in the car industry—a BMW partner even—is on hand.
“We have been selling so many cars to foreigners in Japan. So we know what they worry about (car insurance) and what they need to do when they get into an accident”, said Ryota Abe, CEO and president of Abe BMW, a dealership based in Tokyo.
“We can advise our customers on what to do, especially when driving in an unknown city [such as Tokyo]”, Abe said.
Speaking to BCCJ ACUMEN, Abe was in a sprightly mood as workmen were putting the finishing touches on a state-of-the-art Abe BMW showroom in Higashi-Azabu, Tokyo—a stone’s throw away from international supermarket Nissin and Tokyo Tower.
The new showroom will be the dealership’s second in Tokyo. “We did everything: the floor, walls, roof and all the lighting. And we also added a special lighting system, outside the window, which is a first for a BMW showroom”, he said.
The results are impressive. Sleek, silver railings and creamy-white walls with a large, glass-fronted entrance allowing natural light to stream onto comfy seats creates a professional and welcoming atmosphere—a signature of the Abe BMW marque.
Attention to design detail forms only part of Abe’s focus, however. His other passion is customer service. As a third-generation member of Abe Motors Corporation—established in 1964 as an importer of foreign cars before specialising in BMW imports beginning in 1979—Abe speaks with authority on customer service and brand loyalty.
“I want … everybody to feel at home and to be relaxed. I want our customers to enjoy a tailor-made service”, he said.
Focused on detail but inspired by customer care that includes English-speaking staff and a family-friendly atmosphere, the new Abe BMW showroom displays four cars, including the new 435i Convertible. A parking space to the rear of the shop can hold up to 15 cars for test-driving, including the 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 series, as well as the X-series, which is popular with foreigners.
Indeed, Abe BMW provides a bespoke door-to-door and after-sales service for its customers. This includes a pick up and delivery service, on-going car maintenance, and a top-of-the-range BMW car navigation system in English, with the option of customised destinations. Customers also benefit from BMW’s round-the-clock customer help-line with English support.
In line with the company’s customer-orientated approach, Abe BMW manages an invitation-only Golf Cup Challenge, where customers play rounds at the exclusive Tokyu Seven Hundred Club, while a Circuit Day outing provides a high-speed BMW Driving Experience at the Fuji Speedway International racetrack.
Celebrating 50 years as a family enterprise and 35 years as an authorised BMW dealership, Abe is upbeat about 2014 and optimistic for the future. “I’m sure the import car market in Japan will continue to increase”, he said, “which means more people shifting from domestic to import brands”.
Abe BMW’s showroom opened on 1 June.
Abe BMW Azabu Showroom
1-10-11 Higashi-Azabu, Minato-ku