The R75-million investment in BMW’s first green dealership – Club Motors Fountains, in Pretoria – should yield a competitive advantage on a cost basis within five years, says dealership sales manager Alwyn du Toit.
The environmental-friendly complex, housing 85 people, will be able to realise a 30% saving in electricity, 35% to 50% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, a 35% to 50% cut in water use, and a saving between 50% and 90% on waste costs.
“This Barloworld franchise will have a payback period of between three-and-a-half to five years,” says Du Toit.
“Without the energy saving measures the cost of building the dealership would have been around half,” he adds.
Green features at the dealership include carpets made from recycled plastic, sensors and timers to switch lights and the air conditioning system on and off, rainwater harvesting and the increased use of natural light to negate the need for lights in some areas.
The 180 000 l rainwater tank, nine times bigger than a standard swimming pool, is situated under the car wash bay, where around 60 vehicles a day are washed using this water. The sanitation system also makes use of this water system.
Solar water geysers have been installed, with the electric fencing around the dealership also running off solar power.
“This is how we want all our dealerships to be built in the future,” says BMW South Africa group communications and public affairs GM Guy Kilfoil. “We have a plan to renovate two to three dealers to this level this year.”