In the fast-paced world of automotive innovation, the role of a Managing Director becomes pivotal in shaping a company's success. At the helm of BMW Group Asia stands Lars Nielsen. He has worked with BMW for 15 years and is a seasoned professional with a wealth of industry expertise. His comprehensive understanding of the brand and its ethos has been instrumental in its growth in the region.
Benjamin Barker was welcomed inside the realm of precision motoring and spoke with Lars about his thoughts on precision tailoring.
Michelle Yang, Director of Marketing & Communications from Benjamin Barker had a chat with Lars Nielsen, Managing Director of BMW Group Asia in his office.
How old were you when you first sat in a BMW?
“I must have been six or seven. It was my father’s boss’s car. He had a classic BMW, a 525i, two-litre, in-line six-cylinder engine. Black metallic. Fantastic and really a dream car for me at that point in time.”
Is it also a dream job to be working for BMW today?
“Yes! I am working for BMW by choice.”
Lars with the BMW 430i Convertible M Sport Pro in San Remo Green, dressed in Benjamin Barker Tailor's Hopsack jacket in Oat, Navy Hopsack Trousers, and Off-white Knit Polo.
Which car would you recommend for a road trip?
“My first recommendation is the 3 Series because I have driven it with my family throughout Europe many times and it has an unbeatable sporty feel. If you want a little more luxury, the 5 Series is also a great option. But, if you’re looking for high-end luxury, one of the best cars I have driven over longer distances is the 8 Series. We call this The Gentlemen’s Racer and it’s outstanding!”
The 430i Convertible M Sport Pro's folding roof stows itself in 18 seconds while you’re travelling at speeds of up to 50km/h.
For travelling around Singapore, we took a spin in the stunning BMW 4 Series Convertible in San Remo Green. Lars gave us the experience of the 430i M Sports Pro’s 258 horsepower and 400Nm of torque on the drive to 78 Duxton Road - Benjamin Barker Tailors, where he had a full tailoring experience.
The full tailoring experience awaits Lars as he enters the Benjamin Barker Tailors boutique store.
Lars had an opportunity to browse the artisanal store and found it "very easy to get inspired" before we got into the finer details of tailoring.
Benjamin Barker Tailors offer an endless array of fabric swatches from the likes of Maison Hellard, Drago, Paladino, and many more.
As he browsed through the fabric swatches, Lars was excited about a newly customised suit, as his last tailoring experience was a few years ago. He finally chose a 130s wool fabric in a Windowpane design from Drago, Italy. The Windowpane jacket is a pattern that is very versatile and can work in both formal and casual settings with ease, creating a great staple for any wardrobe.
Lars pictured here in his newly tailored Windowpane suit from Drago.
Three weeks later, standing before a full-length mirror, Lars could already sense the transformation in the Benjamin Barker Tailors Windowpane suit paired with an Egyptian Twill in Perfect Blue Shirt. As the curtains opened, he stood with a welcoming smile, radiating a cool, yet approachable demeanour. “It’s perfect for work and also nice for a more relaxed event,” said Lars.
Lars left the store with a parting gift for us, a million-dollar ride. BMW's largest and most powerful M car ever, the BMW XM, was parked in front of us. The XM exudes extreme presence on the road, much like a well-dressed man in a tailor-made suit. Passers-by turn and gaze, a mixture of wonder and fascination on their faces. As he took us for a spin in the XM, Lars highlighted how the entire experience of precision motoring went hand in hand with precision tailoring.
What is your leadership philosophy?
“One of the things I believe in is that it’s possible to do a lot more than you may first expect. Whether it’s managing upwards, downwards, or working alone in a team, the opportunity to do, explore, and try things out is always a lot more than you think. But that needs to be actively explored and that’s a responsibility that lies within each one of us.”
Presenting Benjamin Barker's Man of Performance - Lars Nielsen.
How does precision motoring go hand in hand with precision tailoring?
“At BMW, the customer has the opportunity and the ability to choose what they want, whether it’s a type of drivetrain or a type of interior. We call this the power of choice. For example, if you want cloth, leather, or a vegan solution for your seats, it’s up to you. We have created the options for every type of customer based on their preferences, and I believe this is the same thing that you guys are doing when it comes to tailoring.”
Lars’ relentless pursuit of excellence and strategic acumen have propelled BMW Group Asia to new heights. His unwavering passion and foresight have not only transformed the brand but have also set the stage for a future where luxury, sustainability, and technological innovation converge seamlessly, earning him the title of Benjamin Barker's Man of Performance.