Christopher Serju, Gleaner Writer
"A group of individuals who own BMW vehicles but also, as the name suggests, our cars are not normal. We have done a little bit of improvements, modifications to make them a little bit more hype or unique."
This statement from vice-president Sowande McKenzie was in response to Automotives' question about the BMW Innovation Club. So it is more than a matter of trading in one's present automobile for a 'Bimmer', if the prized German make is not already in hand.
McKenzie went on to explain that after filling out the required form, an applicant is checked out by a committee, as only ownership of a BMW is not enough to allow membership. There is still some way to go before getting the nod, as vice-president McKenzie explained.
"We interview you and look at the car, its condition, to determine if you are a proud owner so to speak, to see how you have treated it. And then we seek to determine if you have the drive and will to help others, in terms of community involvement and if so, then we have no qualms in making you a member," he said.
McKenzie was speaking with Automotives as club members made preparations for the second staging of Rev It Up, a fund-raising party in Portmore, St Catherine, on Saturday, October 1. Proceeds were earmarked for the Mahima Fund for the fight against cancer.
When they are not involved in community-related events, members of the BMW Innovation Club are very much involved in getting their bling on. So it was no surprise that in addition to a number of BMW vehicles at the party venue, party music was provided by Electro-Mar, a modified Toyota Regius van with motorised pop-up speakers coming through the roof at the touch of a button. With two laptops at his disposal and nary a vinyl or compact disc in sight, the selector had the place jumping with his thumping, and if one could not see the vehicle, it would be easy to believe some good old-time sound boxes were in the house.
The club is fairly young, with only 26 members. Although based in Portmore, the club has extended membership to Bimmer owners in Kingston and St Andrew. It will be embarking on a drive to raise public awareness about its aims and objectives, with a branding campaign in the works to distinguish members from other BMW owners