With cutting-edge training concept, leading digital platform, and state-of-the-art equipment, BMW China Training Academy is committed to providing engaging, inspiring, and innovative learning experiences for the dealers and their employees by adopting the latest technologies. BMW China Training Academy is now adopting HoloLens 2 widely by 3D rendering the car models 1:1 to provide a disruptive and immersive training and car shopping experience, and thus driving business growth for BMW in China.
BMW China Training Academy is BMW’s professional training and consulting division for products, sales management, and post-sale training, as well as HR management services for BMW dealers. With its four training centers, BMW China Training Academy has provided outstanding training services to 661,800+ employees of 600+ BMW, MINI and BMW Motorrad dealers in China since its establishment in 2006. Just as we could not imagine the popularity of smartphones 20 years ago, we may not be able to fully envision the untapped potential of Mixed Reality in retail sphere. At BMW China Training Academy, we want to deliver a futuristic user experience like no other using the cutting-edge HoloLens 2 for our customers.
Pu Qinyang: Senior e-Learning Specialist
BMW China Training Academy
Do more with less: Speed up new car launch through immersive training
BMW has 600+ dealers in China. For them, the real challenge is that vehicles are quickly evolving, but they don’t have enough time to thoroughly study new models. BMW China Training Academy has been looking for new methods to make sure that the salespersons across the country can learn about and expertise with the newly launched models and their features as soon as possible.
Traditional training methods rely mainly on 2D images and audios, such as promotion videos, H5 programs, and PDF documents. Training packs as such not only takes a long time to prepare, but also fail to deliver selling points accurately and intuitively. Especially for the BMW NEVs launch in China, it’s hard to apply the know-hows from the previous gasoline cars on new energy cars directly, of which it almost doubled training burden on BMW’s salesforce.
With Mixed Reality, however, BMW China Training Academy is reshaping its training experiences. They developed a Mixed Reality car viewing app for BMW NEVs with capabilities offered by the Microsoft Mixed Reality Partner Program (MRPP). This application allows the user to see through the car with its actual size and building materials. It can also demonstrate features of a new model interactively and immersively , so that the salespersons can learn the new features intuitively and quickly. This contributes to less training time yet yields better results. „HoloLens 2 has made training much more efficient for us, so that our salespersons can get ready faster for the launch of new cars,“ said one of the dealers.
Seeing is believing. A manager at the local dealer says that their salespersons feel training session are becoming “more attractive” because of HoloLens 2. As a result, salesforces are more concentrated and engaged. A chart of features is projected to the real car, making it much easier for sales to understand. Some salespersons even reported that “memorizing becomes a natural process”, and that they even “don’t really need to a script to demo confidently”.
Thorough understanding for higher sales conversion rate
“Thorough understanding” constitutes a critical stage of automobile purchase journey since car prices are highly relevant with its complex functionalities and adopted technologies, Especially for NEVs and smart vehicle. The buyers are relatively new to their features and functionalities, and they usually turn to an informed salesperson for advice. With the spatial anchors, object anchors and remote rendering capability of Azure Mixed Reality PaaS solution, HoloLens 2 constructed an immersive Mixed Reality environment for customers to explore and thoroughly understand the new models, which effectively boost sales conversion rate and customer experience
Rendering a digital model in a physical environment enables the user to “see through” a car, and to examine its materials and complex structure, including its chassis, its suspension, and its electric drive system (EDS). A potential BMW customer wearing HoloLens 2 can virtually walk around a disassembled car and click on different parts to listen to explanations. By clicking on the EDS, they can hear the professional explanation about its key structure and understand why the EDS of BMW NEVs is exceptional.
With HoloLens 2, customers can also “experience” new model’s performance better in a real-world environment. HoloLens 2 “brings” road to life and allow the customer to actually “feel” the operation of various advanced and intelligent features, when they click on a module such as the warning system, the advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) and the automated parking assist (APA) system. Some advanced features that were difficult to explain in the past now can be experienced intuitively. For example, through the display of virtual radar waves in the digital space, customers can clearly see where the radars in a real car are located and see how the radars help to ensure safety.
This Mixed Reality experience that BMW China Training Academy made possible with HoloLens 2 serves is not only a booster for in-store visits, but also as a powerful instructor to demonstrate a car’s components, functionalities, and safety features, and thus making decision process simpler for potential customers.
A futuristic experience: Reimagine brand touchpoints
“Just as we could not imagine the popularity of smartphones 20 years ago, we may not be able to fully envision the untapped potential of Mixed Reality in retail sphere. At BMW China Training Academy, we want to deliver a futuristic user experience like no others, using the cutting-edge HoloLens 2 for our customers,” said Pu Qinyang, Senior e-Learning Specialist, BMW China Training Academy, who believes leverage MR to deliver innovative car shopping experience is a trend in the future.
With HoloLens 2, consumers can see the details of a car at any BMW dealer in China and learn about various features in an immersive manner. Besides, their virtual car viewing experience is both practical and futuristic. With more and more automakers trying to make smart NEVs the third interfaces after computers and phones, being cool and futuristic itself is indeed a strong selling point for NEVs.
Empowered by BMW China Training Academy, BMW dealers are making the best of this futuristic capability today. For example, to demonstrate BMW’s APA system, you can put on
HoloLens 2 to enter the virtual space and have an immersive view of a scenario with pedestrians, roads, and vehicles. One can handle like-real emergencies such as avoiding cars from behind. This will allow customers to have a deeper and vivid understanding of BMW’s safety features.
Brand loyalty is important for BMW, and its dealers play a critical role in delivering the brand’s customer experiences. Today’s consumers don’t just care about what products to buy. They also focus on the car buying experience. With the help of HoloLens 2, BMW China Training Academy is providing a futuristic in-store experience. This is in line with BMW’s commitment to technology and innovation. It also provides a new idea on how to extend brand experiences into stores for the auto industry and the retail industry.
Be the first to get into the industrial metaverse
BMW’s use of HoloLens 2 and its collaboration with Microsoft’s Mixed Reality team are well-received by its internal teams and its dealers.
Next, Microsoft will help BMW develop more business scenarios based on HoloLens 2, and extend scope to include all its NEV models. In addition, Microsoft will also support the adoption of MR at BMW dealers across the country and meet BMW’s retail and exhibition needs. With the help of Microsoft Azure PaaS, BMW will be able to create its own metaverse.
In the future, the Microsoft HoloLens 2 team will work with the MRPP partners to further expand the ecosystem and drive MR innovation in the auto industry.