WHEN IT COMES TO PERFORMANCE, IT’S ALL ABOUT EXPERIENCE
It’s a feeling like no other. Something of a metamorphosis where you become part of the machine and it becomes part of you. Imagine Heaven with bucket seats, roaring yet smooth power at the tap of a pedal and the feeling of being engulfed by exquisite décor. It’s about the journey and not the destination when it comes to moving about. In fact, it’s all about the ride!
There’s going somewhere and there’s going somewhere in style. A car will get you to town, but a BMW will get you there in a style that is unprecedented in the auto industry. Fortunately, for those who pump gas with class, there is a place in Tulsa to find such elegance in their mode of transportation. BMW of Tulsa is and has been the area’s leader in luxury cars and top of the line service.
As any car owner knows, there is much more than just buying a car. Once the papers have been signed and the keys have been handed over, there is the start of a relationship. However, unlike most relationships where there is give and take, BMW of Tulsa is one where the dealership is the only one who gives…and they wouldn’t have it any other way.
BMW of Tulsa believes that selling a car is only the beginning, a marriage of sorts where the honeymoon starts with I do and continues throughout the union between them and the owner. This is called Service. According to General Manager Jay Moore, there is one man at BMW who embodies all of the characteristics of excellence that make its service department stand out above the rest. His name is Mike Whitney.
Whitney, originally from Stillwater, began his interest at a young age working in a salvage yard and then a gas station while in high school. Following graduation, he trained with a vocational school before attending OSU. While a student there, he worked for the school’s motor pool. Then he set off to a technical institute for specialized training from where he graduated in 1990. Something interesting about Whitney is that he initially wanted to become a mechanical engineer, but the deeper he delved into that desire, the more boring it became for him. In other words, his true passion was the wrench and the reality of solving problems with his hands and his mind. Does Henry Ford come to mind?
Seeing opportunity in Tulsa at that time, he sought out employment with Fred Jones Lincoln Mercury as a technician, a position which he held for a number of years. During his time there his people skills coupled with his knowledge and master Ford technician status, caused management to begin taking notice of his abilities.
In 2004 after a successful career with Ford, another opportunity arose at Crown Auto where there were multiple franchises of different automobiles makers. Whitney, looking to advance in his experience, headed up the service department there until 2007 when the franchises split. At this point, Whitney moved over to the luxury side of the auto industry taking his same position at the new BMW location at 9702 S Memorial Drive. Under his direction, BMW service department has thrived with new ideas and innovations that bring them a step ahead of the rest.
“We have a fleet of loaner vehicles by appointment. In addition, we offer a valet service where we will go pick up cars for our customers. We also have a dedicated team of master technicians who diagnose the more complex issues, which is a pretty unique service that we offer. But I should mention too that all of our technicians are BMW certified, meaning that they have all had specialized training from BMW and a multi-electronic point inspection process that we use,” Whitney said about the services BMW offers.
“I think because I have been a technician and I am naturally a technical person that I have a unique ability to mentor and train technicians so that they are really good at what they do,” Whitney said. General Manager Jay Moore also added to the unique abilities his service director possesses.
“It’s a rare find that a master technician makes it all the way to a service director position. What Mike is trying to tell you in a humble manner is that he worked very hard to learn the technical side of the business, but because he is a good enough person and a leader he has been able to work his way up to where now he runs the whole thing.”
Moore went on to explain that BMW from sales to service is a luxury product that is available to all classes of people and we want them to know we are here.
“BMW has a broad range of cars available in a broad price range. BMW is not just for people who make $250k per year. We have entry level cars and a certified pre-own business as well. We are the BMW store in town. Sure you can buy a BMW anywhere, but if you want it certified and to have the expertise of master technicians and the type of dedication to good service that Mike provides, then we actually are the only store in town,” Moore said.