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Reborn BMW ‘Batmobile’ shines at Motorclassica
Melbourne Motorclassica show hosts second outing of BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R
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20 Oct 2015
AUSTRALIA’S leading classic car show will take another step towards establishing itself as the nation’s premium motoring event this week, when BMW rolls out the lavish 3.0 CSL Hommage R at Melbourne’s Motorclassica for the first time since its worldwide debut.
The ultra-exclusive retro concept broke cover at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance earlier this year, but with such a strong local hi-po BMW following, the German car-maker chose the blossoming Melbourne event for the car’s second global appearance.
Since the cessation of Australia’s more conventional motor shows, Motorclassica has been gaining momentum as the country’s main car event, with a significant boost to its notoriety when Mercedes-Benz chose the show for its S-Class local debut in 2013.
But BMW is hitting back at the three-pointed star’s presence with an onslaught of show-stopping high-performance cars, including the 1970s 3.0 CSL tribute, the now-confirmed production M4 GTS and all-new Mini Clubman.
Speaking to GoAuto, BMW Australia CEO Marc Werner said Motorclassica offered the perfect platform to showcase exotic concept vehicles, new products and models from the company’s rich history.
“We will show the 3.0 CSL Hommage R, but we'll also reflect in the heritage of BMW,” he said. “It will be standing next to the 1975 CSL in order to really leverage on the BMW heritage on the one side, but more importantly I think there is growing demand, or appreciate from Australian customers engaging with vintage cars.”
Mr Werner explained that with the end of the Australian International Motor Show (AIMS), other more unorthodox events were presenting themselves as replacements.
“Given the fact we do not have motor shows here, there's certainly a gap at the moment. I think that the Motorsclassica is a perfect venue in order to bridge that gap. That was the main reason we decided to go to Motorclassica.
“It's the 100th anniversary of BMW coming up, and we want to do something there. We definitely want to showcase what the BMW brand is all about.
“However, having said that there is an increasing demand of Australian customers to take a look at not only vintage cars, but also future cars and what these cars could look like.”
No production version of the Hommage R concept has been announced – which is so valuable it will be accompanied by two ‘bodyguards’ from Munich – but the exclusive M4 GTS is chalked for production and will be on sale at the show.
A price and Australian allocation is yet to be confirmed, but with global supply strictly limited to 700 units, customers are expected to jump at an opportunity to own a piece of BMW history.
“From a pure marketing point of view, you would look at share of voice. Then the main driver whether its actually worth it to have this event, and on the other side we're showing a number of cars, the M4 GTS for example, and we're taking orders. So it's not only limited to the M4 GTS,” said Mr Werner.
The BMW head would not reveal how much investment was required to exhibit at the show, or if the tariff exceeded the bill of AIMS, but said Motorclassica represented good value for the company, even if it was a challenge getting approval to fly the Hommage concept in.
“We wouldn’t be doing it if it wasn’t a value proposition for us,” he said.
“It was an intensive dialogue with our board of management, let’s put it like that. However, we got full support and really appreciate the support we received from the board. The importance of the Australian market is growing.
“With growing important you get not only increased focus, but also additional support. This is the kind of support you receive from HQ. It’s very much appreciated by us, but also by the Australian customers and in particular by the Australian dealer network.”
Like the M4 GTS, all new BMW models will be up for sale at the show, which will build the value and relevance of BMW’s presence at the Melbourne event.
“We will have dealer staff on the stand and they’ll take orders and if these order turn out to be successful, then obviously then it’s worthwhile doing this kind of undertaking,” said Mr Werner.
“In that sense, I believe we'll have a unique, probably a standout value proposition for customers to attend Motorclassica.”
While BMW is committed to the Motorclassica show for this year, the guest list for the inaugural Australian Motoring Festival – which is also looking to plug the gap of the departed AIMS – remains unconfirmed.
“It’s another opportunity and we're looking into that,” said Mr Werner. “I think you can’t do all, and I think you need to focus on what you're doing. We believe that Motorclassica, in particular, is a perfect opportunity for us to engage with very affluent motorists, if you want to call them that.
“We start with that, and everything else remains to be seen.”
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