I recently traded in my 2014 M6 Gran Coupe and bought a 2017 540i M sport. My experience with LB BMW was FAR FROM STELLAR. In my 25+ years of buying cars at dealerships, I have never once felt discriminated against till I had to deal with the upper management at Long Beach BMW:
Sales advisors Bishoy and finance manager David were absolutely a charm to work with. They and the younger/newer staff at the dealership are the ONLY reason this establishment is worth visiting. I have no problems with the car either... its another great BMW product.
Its a very different story as far as the upper management is concerned. Here are the issues:
- The finance staff made an error on the contract. They tried to quietly change the terms and pass of a legally binding contract AFTER my signing the document. They struck off the agreed upon 12K mile lease and manually changed it to 10K miles WITHOUT telling me. However, David (the finance manager) was very helpful in resolving this issue.
- This situation inadvertently had me in communication with the management and that is where the trouble started - Mr Marcel Kimura (Sales Manager) and Philip Schultz (General Manager) are amongst the most condescending, arrogant, ignorant, discriminatory individuals I have ever had the misfortune of getting into a business relationship with. And neither of them were apologetic about the contract mishap.
- Mr. Kimura came into our meeting and started passing patronizing and condescending comments regarding my displeasure with the contractual problem.
- Over the two days I was at the dealership, I had the chance to observe Mr. Kimura. He is openly selective about who he wants to approach and be nice to (typically based on their race/appearance). I had seen him only go up to certain individuals (who without fail happened to be all caucasians).
- Then my follow-up phone calls and emails were not returned. Later I managed to get a hold of the general manager, Philip Schultz, and had a long conversation about my experience. It was a futile exercise trying to get him to understand the problems... I felt that he was young, inexperienced and had that same arrogance about him like Mr. Kimura. There seems to be a SYSTEMIC PROBLEM at this dealership... they treat certain customers better than others and will approach to help them (or not) based entirely on their appearance.
- This issue is being escalated all the way to the top of BMW North America leadership. As a 20+ year resident of Long Beach and having done business with lots of other local dealerships, I can assure LB BMW that any racially motivated discrimination is not welcome in our diverse city. No one likes to be treated differently from the next guy.
- Mr. Kimura and Mr. Schultz, neither of whom are Long Beach locals, must understand that if they do not respect and treat people on the basis of equality they have no place in our society here. Their 1960s, immature, high school, mentality of mistreating another fellow human being is both shameful and outdated.
This situation is far from over. But readers should take note of the above as they walk into this dealership.