BMW Group Belux donates 23 cars for technical education
The car world is on a tipping point with the energy transition and the autonomous car appearing in the (far?) future. But the technicians who are supposed to work on this new technology are also challenged. BMW Group Belux lends a hand by donating 23 BMW and Mini cars to technical schools.
“Car technology is changing at warp pace. Only think about the electrification and the ever-growing impact of electronics,” says BMW Group Belux CEO Eddy Haesendonck. “Young people must have the opportunity to encounter all these novel techniques already during their studies. As a car manufacturer, and surely as a market leader, we have to play a leading role in giving these schools firm support.”
For a long time already, BMW Group Belux is collaborating with 300 schools all over the Belgian territory. This ranges from normal technical schools to bachelor’s education and even to research labs at universities.
This year, 23 cars will be distributed over the same number of schools. Apart from the cars, BMW Group Belux also provides the training, technical info, access to diagnostics, and the support of the local dealerships.
The 23 cars are different and adapted to the needs and expectations of the schools. It goes from a Mini to a BMW, from a Cooper S to an M4. Electrification is, of course, one of the hot topics these days.
23 cars (worth €1 million in total) is a record number. It’s illustrating how long BMW is already investing in this and how important the importer is considering apprenticeships (dual learning).
Training is key
The training center at the HQ site in Bornem has recently been upgraded with a €450 000 investment. Recently, BMW Group also opened a second training center in Leuze (Wallonia), representing a €1 million investment.
The school holiday periods are traditionally the peak periods for the training centers of BMW Brussels. Since the opening of the first one in Bornem in 2013, some 180 students and teachers are present every year for this ‘Summer School’.
During school periods, additional day training is foreseen. Some 100 student-technicians have also found their way to the Belgian BMW/Mini dealer network through this collaboration with schools.
As an importer, BMW Group Belux is conscious that also the distribution network for its cars is under constant pressure to change and adapt. Sales processes are changing, and online sales are growing; customers are becoming more aware of their possibilities for mobility without necessarily owning a car.
On the other hand, cars still have to be maintained, and there is a permanent shortage of skilled technicians for the workshops. Distributors concerned about the future have to react to this. That’s what the BMW/Mini importer is trying to do.