The Car Hunter


Like Indiana Jones, Chris Janssen has been tracking down rare automotive jewels that are just waiting to be discovered.

It’s an M Thing

Chris began car hunting in earnest when requests for M sports cars began pouring in.

“Because we were getting so many requests for these cars, our management team met,” he recalls, “and we decided that we should help our customers by locating the exact vehicle of their dreams.

“It’s a big market,” Janssen observes. “The main demographic is 25- to 45-year-olds who have money to spend and they want these cars.”

The thrill of the hunt may be a hobby or even an obsession for some, but for Janssen it’s his job—and his calling.

“I get requests for cars ranging from Isettas to M6s,” he says. “The requests come in from everywhere. I just got one from Canada, and I have another car being shipped to Michigan later this week.

“Mostly, I’m asked to hunt for BMWs,” he says, “but I’ll bring in some odd-ball cars and off-brands, like a unique Corvette.”

Most of Chris’ customers find him online, but he’ll only purchase a car after he’s personally inspected it.

“I don’t buy cars online,” he says. “I go to auction, mainly in Manheim, Pennsylvania, but I have free reign to go anywhere.

“I’ve been doing this for a long time so I know exactly what I’m doing,” he says. “Before I buy anything I go and physically touch the car.”

And if the deal doesn’t work out, Chris has the solution.

“If it ends up that the customer doesn’t want that particular car, if I can use it, I’ll buy it.”

To date, the most valuable car Chris tracked down was a Z-8, valued at about $200,000.

CPO is A-1

Janssen also oversees Competition’s Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) vehicle department, one of the hottest segments in the automobile business right now.

Competition’s CPO program is second-to-none and offers extensive warranty coverage. Before a car is released for sale it must undergo a meticulous inspection process, and Competition BMW’s standards are considered to be the best in the business.

The CPO program’s popularity stems from its warranty, which extends the original factory coverage and then adds on another two years or up to 100,000 miles. The extended coverage kicks in when the original four-year/50,000-mile new BMW warranty expires.

The Certified Pre-Owned BMW cannot have more than 65,000 miles (most have much lower mileage) and they need to pass a 90-point examination conducted by certified technicians who inspect the vehicle for wear, safety and performance.

“If something isn’t right, it’s fixed,” Chris says. “If it can’t be fixed, the car is rejected. When CPO cars are accepted into my department, they are in almost perfect, like-new condition.”

That says a lot about the synergy between Competition BMW’s CPO and service team, who maintain the cars that will eventually be added to the certified pre-owned inventory.

“We want people to consider Competition BMW for all their new and pre-owned automobile needs so we will find the exact car they want,” Chris insists. “It might be on Long Island or California, and if it’s for sale, we’ll find it. That’s how committed we are to building relationships with our customers.”


About Author

Competition BMW of Smithtown

Checkmate Magazine appeals to the competitive side of the BMW driver who views life as a journey, not a destination. Someone who defines success not by winning or losing, but by how one responds to both. Checkmate is the first of its kind, a publication written exclusively for consumers by an automotive dealership.

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