B.I. Collection was founded by the renowned Swiss entrepreneur Beat Imwinkelried as a “concept store” for high-end and limited-edition collector cars. Please tell us more about your vision and what separates you from other dealerships? Your company motto is “structured unreasonable” – what does that mean?
This motto refers to the concept of collections. Collections often develop unconsciously, out of passion and without explicit intentions. This organic development has its charm. Isn't it wonderful that not everything in life has to adhere to rational structures? The larger a collection becomes, the stronger the urge to introduce logic and structure. The accumulation of cars then turns into a meticulously organized collection. Our goal is to help our clients embrace this "structured unreasonableness”.
Which car brands do you represent? And what kind of cars can one expect to find in your showroom?
In Niederwil St. Gallen you won’t necessarily find specific brands, but cars which we consider exclusive and collectible. However, we are an Authorized Aston Martin Service partner and a representative of Zagato and of De Tomaso.
B.I. Collection not only represents some of the biggest luxury car manufacturers, but also small niche, connoisseur brands like De Tomaso, Manifattura Automobili Torino and Zagato. What do these boutique brands offer that the major manufacturers can’t?
They offer an exquisite selection of rare cars produced in limited quantities. Moreover, they grant clients the opportunity to design and create their own custom vehicles, often referred to as "one-off" cars. The clientele is made up of true enthusiasts.
Is it true that you sold three of the five Zagato Mostro Barchettas ever built?
Usually, we are very discrete about such numbers. Let’s say that I do not disagree with your statement.
You offer Aston Martin’s remarkable (and breathtakingly expensive) continuation cars. What makes these modern classics so appealing for you and your clients?
These continuation cars provide a chance to own a historic model in brand-new condition, developed and manufactured by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM).
Which new sportscars have impressed you most in the last five years? And which will become future classics?
Answering this question is both complicated and very subjective. However, I would like to highlight models such as the Ferrari Daytona SP3, the Bugatti Chiron, the Aston Martin Valkyrie and the De Tomaso P72.
Among the cars offered for sale through Classic Driver, there’s the rarer-than-rare Ferrari 599 Nibbio Zagato. Can you tell us a bit more about this unusual car?
Dubbed the 599 GTZ Nibbio, customers could opt for either coupe or spyder coachwork on their Zagato-bodied Ferraris. It’s striking design harmoniously combines a rounded, sculpted front with a sharp, angular rear – a tail distinct from the 575 GTZ, yet unmistakably Zagato.
If you visit B.I. Collection online or in one of the showrooms, the experience feels more like a luxury boutique or a design showroom than a car dealership. Are the boundaries between the worlds of cars, design, luxury lifestyle and art about to cease?
At our Niederwil location, we deliberately transcend the conventions of a typical car dealership. We want to create a world in which luxury, design, art and automobiles merge seamlessly in a playful way. What we present in our magazine ‘THE COLLECTIVE’ is meant to be lived in this three-dimensional space.
We know you are bound to discretion, but can you let us know a bit more about your clients? Who is your archetypal client?
In essence, we serve three customer segments: Lifestyle customers, Aficionados, and Collectors. Each of these segments harbours distinct needs. For our collector clientele, we function almost as a family office for their automobiles.
You not only offer cars for sale, you also consult your clients in questions of collection building and strategy. How does that work?
Elaborating on this would require an extensive response. However, indeed, we offer guidance in establishing, consolidating, and managing collections, including legacy considerations.
B.I. Collection also offers a high-end storage facility in St. Gallen. Which services does it provide?
Certainly, to begin with, we offer conventional storage services. Furthermore, our oxygen reduced storage facility enables us to offer attractively priced insurance packages for cars valued at over 1 million euros. Lastly, comprehensive technical support is an integral part of our offerings.
Are there new trends in the collector car world that you currently see? What’s the future of the classic car?
According to some experts, the classic car market may be struggling with an oversupply. Older collectors, especially from the baby boomer generation, are divesting entire collections as they age. Whether the new generation of younger collectors shares the same enthusiasm for similar classics or prefers more modern vehicles from the 1990s and 2000s remains uncertain. Solving this problem may require additional consultation. Simply auctioning classic cars may be easy, but for certain segments it may not bring the desired returns.