Costco selling BMWs?

Interesting | December 1st, 2008 by 8
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Update: In a conversation with Jim from Costco Auto, I learned that Costco has had the Auto Program for twenty years now and they work …

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Update: In a conversation with Jim from Costco Auto, I learned that Costco has had the Auto Program for twenty years now and they work with privately owned BMW dealerships. Costco does NOT sell BMWs and all the transactions are done through one of their partner dealerships. They represent the customer and can help them save money on their cars, including CPO BMWs. I just wanted to clear the possible confusion that Costco sells BMWs directly. I was also informed that Costco’s customers have a high average income compared to other similar stores.

You better believe it. While I haven’t seen any BMWs at the local Costco stores in Illinois, the guys at Autospies spotted a few bimmers right outside a San Diego Costco. Many of us associate the name Costco with price discounts and of course, the BMW brand name stands for expensive, luxury, high-end cars, so along with the fellows at Autospies, we cannot wonder if this is the right image that BMW would want to project.

Is this the right partnership for BMW? I have to admit, I was a little bit shocked by the ad placed on a 2009 BMW 335i, which advertises a discount of $2,775 for Costco members. After some more digging, I found out that many local dealerships have agreements with the Costco chain, this includes Audi, Lexus and Volvo. The Costco Auto Program has been proven to be very successful for the Sweedish manufacturer and offered great value on Volvo’s C70 hardtop convertible and popular S80 sedan.

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Now, playing the devil’s advocate here, I have to say that in these tough times, whichever company thinks outside the box and find innovative ways to sell their products, will have higher chances at succeeding and make it through the depression.

But in the same time, I have a question for you: Does it hurt the BMW brand name and its luxury status?

[poll id=”30″] [Source: Autospies ]

8 responses to “Costco selling BMWs?”

  1. jon sibal says:

    I own a fairly modified E36 so we got another car (VW) as our daily through the Costco program. All we had to do was show our Costco card to the dealership and after verification, we got the discount. At the time, only select VW dealerships were qualified, and were specific to certain models only. It all worked out and got a great deal. So in short, you are still buying the car from the dealer not from Costco.

  2. Tom says:

    Costco has always been an upstanding company; very fair to both customers and employees. While I don’t have any personal experience with Costco’s auto sales program, I have heard that prices tend to be reasonable (not always the lowest) and the program saves the customer from much of the hassle/haggle of dealing with car salesmen (oops, I mean client advisers) directly. I might be concerned if BMW started a partnership with Walmart, but I have no problems seeing this loose partnership between Costco and BMW dealership network.

  3. Lee says:

    I don’t see it being a huge negative for their brand image. I think poorly-maintained used BMWs being sold on little mom-and-pop used car lots across the country do more to ruin BMW’s image than anything Costco could ever do.

  4. Gragop says:

    Geez,glad I have a Costco card now for more than just cheap pop tarts and oatmeal in bulk.

  5. Tim says:

    This is old news. I’m from the Bay Area and I saw an e90 parked outside my local Costco (along with an Acura TSX) months and months ago. Costco has partnerships with many auto manufacturers, including higher-end ones like the aforementioned Acura and Audi. It’s not surprising that they would offer discounts on BMW’s, especially since BMW has been targeting higher and higher volume sales for quite a few years now.

  6. mlg2ca says:

    My cousin bought an A6 through Costco a while ago. You still get to buy the vehicle through the local dealership, but the price is pre-negotiated through Costco so no hagling. What you see is what you pay.
    Great way to buy a car if you ask me !

  7. Adam says:

    Costco has a clientele with a higher than average income, certainly higher than those who shop at Sam’s Club. Costco shoppers are usually good at finding deals, and learning what they should be paying for a given product- giving them the opportunity to buy their BMW at a discount can only be beneficial for both BMW and Costco itself.

    BMW would get a sale, and potentially another one in the future if the customer liked the car. Costco would also get a sale, but they’d give off the idea that their membership fee was worth paying to get that discount on the car (no question it is)… this would keep the customer coming back to shop there.

  8. Marty says:

    I’ve bought all four of my cars through the Costco Auto Program, and saved thousands!! This is the easiet way to purchase a vehicle; they save you money, time, and it’s stress free. Here’s what I know…you can walk in any dealership you want and haggle for 3 or 4 hours on a purchase and still not get what a Costco member gets by showing their card. Yes there are dealers out their that have aggressive pricing (better than Costco) but the ONLY reason they price better is because they can’t join the program (already has a dealer) and they want to move inventory that’s been sitting on their lot for months. After all my research I found out that Costco has had the number one program for the last 6 years, according to JD Power. That says it all to me.

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