BMW store enlists wrap artists

M Performance parts sales increased 121 percent during November and December, when the M2 was displayed. Photo credit: Mags McKay photos/KING Communications

Patrick Womack, the general manager of a BMW dealership in suburban Chicago, has long been a fan of the BMW Art Cars painted by celebrated artists such as Andy Warhol. So when a dealer friend approached him about entering a BMW aftersales contest, he decided to get creative.

Laurel BMW of Westmont’s M2 Art Wrap design competition was born. The dealership, which has built a reputation as a motorsports-themed store, launched the contest last fall. By November, the winning artist’s design had been wrapped on an M2 customized with M Performance parts and racing accessories. Laurel BMW’s accessory sales have soared since, and BMW displayed the car on its stand at this month’s Chicago Auto Show.

Womack, a racer himself, wanted the resulting car to be sporty — a street-legal race car that a customer could drive to work then take to a track on the weekend.

“It makes us different, and it shows what you can really do with a BMW — what they’re really meant for, in my opinion,” Womack said. “I’m proud of it. It really brought my team at the store together.”

Artist Brad Forsythe of Hawaii won the contest with a star-laden, red-white-and-blue wrap design. More than 25 designs were entered.

Judges included Womack, legendary racer Bobby Rahal, Turner Motorsport founder Will Turner and BMW of North America marketing chief Trudy Hardy. Forsythe was awarded a two-day M Performance driving experience and a trip to Chicago to attend the car’s unveiling.

Womack: Brought team together Photo credit: Mags McKay photos/KING Communications

Laurel BMW started to promote the contest in October, documenting the accessory installation on the M2 on the dealership’s social media channels. That created buzz, and visitors to the dealership started asking about the project. The car was on display at the store in November and December, and the dealership’s sales of M Performance parts increased 121 percent during the last two months of the year. The store’s BMW Lifestyle accessory sales doubled for the same period.


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