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The Xingdebao dealership in Beijing is the luxury carmaker's first '5s' outlet built from the ground up to meet a range of sustainability requirements. [Photos provided to China Daily]
Customer experience in a premium car showroom is usually comfortable, luxurious, and now it can be green.
Last week BMW opened its first all-new 5S dealership in China near the East Fifth Ring Road in Beijing, a modern facility with advanced, environmentally friendly building materials and technology that help conserve energy and resources.
It is part of the German carmaker's strategy to implement the principle of sustainability - the S that's been added to traditional concept of 4S outlets - not only in manufacturing and products, but also in its dealer network.
The Beijing Xingdebao dealership is BMW's first in China that meets the carmaker's requirements in sustainability.
It is owned by Singapore's German Automobiles Pte Ltd and designed by the noted architect Sandi Pei.
The building has wind turbines and solar panels to supply some of the energy it needs and a ground source heat pump to modulate indoor temperature.
It has permeable design to save rainwater and most of the water used in car washing can be recycled.
And there are many more finely designed details that incorporates the idea of energy saving.
The dealer declined to disclose cost of the facility, only saying it is about 10 to 20 percent more expensive than building a conventional 4S shop.
Though the cost is higher, the overall energy consumption at Xingdebao is 30 percent less than a common business building, it said.
BMW also had six existing dealerships in China that have made improvements in both facilities and their contributions to local communities to become qualified 5S outlets.
The company said that it will have at least 20 such dealerships in China by the end of this year.
The 5S certificate is valid for two years, with dealerships required to be verified again after the period.
These 5S dealerships will be the main distributors of the carmaker's new-energy vehicles under the sub-brand BMW i in China, the company said.
It plans to start selling the i3 next year at the soonest.
The small, electric, urban vehicle will be available in China following its global launch, the carmaker said.
The automaker now has more than 300 dealerships in China, the biggest network among all premium brands in the country.