BMW is considering how best to cope with the quick-changing needs of Chinese customers. It’s also studying if trends in the largest car market in the world such as voice messaging and tele-dining will allow the automaker to globally expand. Alexis Trolin, head of the BMW Group ConnectedDrive Lab in Shanghai, said that the young Chinese generation behaves very differently from Europeans and so it requires some effort to study them and come up with how best to meet their expectations.
BMW considers it vital to understand what these consumers need as the automaker hopes to benefit from the high auto demand in China.
In the first quarter, BMW’s sales in China grew by 7% to 80,570 units in order to help make up for the sales drop in Europe. BMW has tasked several people to learn more about this market including Trolin, who is 43 years old and who hails from Stockholm. He is credited for having assisted in the opening of the China unit of ConnectedDrive in February 2011.
He became a part of BMW in 1997 after serving in the Swedish navy as a submarine communication and navigation officer. Trolin explains that tele-dining has become trendy among people who prefer not to use up a lot of time just to travel to megacities to dine with their friends.
What these people do is to meet up with friends at a nearby restaurant while they teleconference with another group of friends from another city. Instead of e-mailing or texting, Chinese youth tend to leave voice messages. Trolin said that a call may come at a bad time and text messages are not as lively as a voice message.