Buying a brand new BMW online in Singapore?

The BMW 1 Series in Singapore was launched together with Lazada, an e-commerce platform provider. Photo: © TANG Portfolio/TimeWerke.

Buying brand new watches online from authorised dealers is nothing new these days, especially from established Singapore-based retailers such as Cortina Watch (via cortinawatch.online) and Sincere Fine Watches (at sincerewatch.com).

The watches offered online range from a few hundred Singapore dollars right up to SGD136,000 for a Laurent Ferrier wristwatch listed on sincerewatch.com.

Making online purchases of BMW accessories and parts isn’t new either. What about buying a new BMW car online from an authorised automotive dealer based in Singapore for use on the island city’s roads?

Bear in mind that cars in Singapore are generally costlier than those in other countries because of additional expenses such as the Certificate of Entitlements (COE) and Additional Registration Fees (ARF), on top of road taxes, Goods and Services Taxes (GST), customs duties and registration fees, among other things.

Buying a brand new car online from an authorised automotive dealer in Singapore is now a reality. Well, sort of.

On Monday, 9 September 2019 at 8.00 am Singapore time, the new 1 Series, also known as The 1, will also be offered online on e-commerce platform Lazada (on the BMW LazMall store at www.lazada.sg/shop/bmw) thanks to its exclusive partnership with BMW Asia and Performance Motors Limited. Performance Motors Limited (PML) which is part of the Sime Darby Group, is the authorised BMW dealer in Singapore. The BMW 1 Series was in late August 2019 launched in Singapore together with Lazada.

In actual fact, interested parties can only book the BMW through Lazada and that forms part of the purchase process. After placing a SGD500 booking fee, the customer will have to visit the PML showroom at 303 Alexandra Road to view the car and finalise the purchase.

As an incentive for early birds, the first 11 customers who book their BMW 118i M Sport cars on the BMW LazMall store will get to enjoy a special interest rate of 1.18%. The subsequent online booking fee for others will be lower at SGD118 but prevailing interest rates will apply.

This BMW Asia-PML-Lazada partnership is what is claimed as the first-of-its-kind and BMW is the first automotive brand to be listed on LazMall in Singapore.


Source: TimeWerke Videos on YouTube.

Why has BMW Asia and Performance Motors Limited embarked on this online strategy together with Lazada for its 1 Series?

“For the first time in Singapore, we are embarking on a co-operation with Lazada to launch The 1. There are three reasons for this collaboration. Firstly, this is a piloting project together with PML to get a better understanding of our customer habits and the touch points in their journey. We also wish to bring the BMW brand to the homes of customers in comfort and convenience. Thirdly, we want to create brand awareness via the BMW LazMall to secure the desire of customers and direct them to the PML dealership in Singapore.

“This is a good way to attract young customers. The dealer plays an essential role in the entire customer journey. We aim to offer a seamless purchase experience for our customers and our team at PML is happy to welcome each and every interested party,” says Christopher Wehner, managing director, BMW Group Asia.

BMW Group Asia Managing Director Christopher Werner explains the partnership with Performance Motors Limited and Lazada. Photo: © Portfolio/TimeWerke.

“Lazada’s mission and vision is to accelerate the progress in Southeast Asia through technology and commerce. This is a very unique partnership. It is the first partnership where an automotive brand is partnering with an e-commerce platform brand to launch and showcase a product – the BMW 1 Series.

“This will help accelerate the progress in Southeast Asia,” says James Chang, chief executive officer, Lazada Singapore.

Lazada Singapore Chief Executive Officer James Chang. Photo: © TANG Portfolio/TimeWerke.

Understandably, this initiative is part of Lazada’s efforts to serve 300 million shoppers in the region by 2030. With more than 1,500 international and Singapore brands offered online on its LazMall, Lazada stakes its claim as being the largest Southeast Asian virtual mall for shopper across the region.

Founded in 2012, Lazada has been actively developing its markets in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Lazada is a part of the Alibaba Group following its purchase of a controlling stake in 2016.

Moritz Grossmann Tefnut 1001 Nights

Moritz Grossmann Tefnut 1001 Nights. Launched in 2019, the decorative sub-dial at 3 o’clock is made of mother-of-pearl plates and applied by hand. It depicts sand dunes and a moon shining above it. Michael Koh of Caratell was behind this elaborate design. The rose gold and white gold versions with alligator straps are retailed at EUR35,400. Photo: Moritz Grossmann.

Scheherazade would have fallen in love with the Tefnut 1001 Nights. This is Moritz Grossmann’s introduction to their Tefnut 1001 Nights ladies watch.

Who is Scheherazade? Well, Scheherazade or Shahrazād is a character in “Alf layla wa-layla” which is the Romanised form of ألف ليلة و ليلة‎ in Arabic and it refers to the “One Thousand and One Nights”, better known in the Western world as the “Arabian Nights”. It is a collection of folk tales from the Middle East and its origins has an interesting link to time, or more specifically, how to prolong one’s life, so to speak.

The Arabian Nights includes well-known tales such as “Aladdin”, “Ali Baba” and “Sinbad the Sailor”. However, these particular stories (Aladdin, Ali Baba and Sinbad the Sailor) from what we understand, were not in the original Arabic versions of the “One Thousand and One Nights”.

Frenchman Antoine Galland, the first European who translated the “One Thousand and One Nights” that he named “Les mille et une nuits”, and other European translators had these stories included.

[Editor’s note: Interestingly, Aladdin the musical actually ends its run today, 1 September 2019 at the Sands Theatre in Marina Bay Sands Singapore. This musical started its play on 21 July 2019. Among the songs performed were A Whole New Word, Friend Like Me, A Million Miles Away while not forgetting Arabian Nights.]

In all versions of the One Thousand and One Nights, the frame narrative is that of the fictional king, Shahryār and his wife, Shahrazād. Shahrazād was the daughter of the king’s vizier (advisor).

Shahryār was actually a “serial wife killer”. After discovering his first wife’s infidelity, he had her killed. Thereafter, each time the king remarried, he had his newly-wed wife executed on the very next day of their marriage.

Shahrazād actually offered herself as a bride to Shahryār. On their wedding night, she tells the king a story but does not conclude it. Curious to know the ending, King Shahryār has her execution for the next day postponed. On the second night, Shahrazād ends her story and begins another. Once again, she does not conclude it, thereby causing the curious Shahryār postpone her early demise yet again.

This ingenius strategy is continually used by Shahrazād for one thousand and one nights to extend her life. This explains the clever use of this frame narrative and the title for this collection of Middle Eastern folk tales. As to the fate of Shahrazād after almost three years (1,001 nights is around two years and nine months), she was eventually pardoned by the king.

For us, the Moritz Grossmann Tefnut 1001 Nights is therefore an interesting ladies watch with an elaborate Arabian night setting using finely-cut mother-of-pearl plates to depict the moon and sand dunes.

Moritz Grossmann Tefnut 1001 Nights. Inspired by the popular collection od Middle Eastern folktales. The rose gold and white gold versions with the Milanaise strap are retailed at EUR47,500.  Photo: Moritz Grossmann.

Offered in either white gold or rose gold, this ladies watch with only two lugs is complemented with 62 white brilliant-cut diamonds on the dial, 60 white brilliant-cut diamonds on the case and a Milanaise strap. The Tefnut 1001 Nights is powered by a Manufacture Calibre 102.0 manual-winding movement.

The autonomous running life of the Tefnut 1001 Nights when fully wound is 48 hours. To extend the life of this manual-winding movement, no stories need to be told, simply wind the mainspring via the crown at 9 o’clock.

However, one factual story needs to be told: the Moritz Grossmann Tefnut 1001 Nights has a link to Singapore. The decorative Arabian night scene is actually designed by Michael Koh, founder of Caratell. This is his second design for this German watch brand; the first was the Moritz Grossmann Tefnut Sleeping Beauty that was launched in 2017.

“The special design brings two worlds together: Asia through the design of Michael and Germany and Europe with Moritz Grossmann,” says Christine Hutter, CEO of Moritz Grossmann.

Yes, Scheherazade (Shahrazād) would have loved the Tefnut 1001 Nights and the link between a German watch brand and a Singaporean designer would definitely make for yet another interesting story to be told another day. Wouldn’t you agree?

Caratell, which celebrated the 15th anniversary (2004 to 2019) of its founding in 2019, also retails Moritz Grossmann timepieces in their new premises located at 20 Handy Road in Singapore.