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BMW Launches Big Marketing Push for X3 Build-to-Order Scheme

BMW X3 | October 22nd, 2010 by 9
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At the recent BMW X3 launch in Spartanburg, BMW announced a $5 million allowance for its marketing budget for the new X3 to encourage customers …

At the recent BMW X3 launch in Spartanburg, BMW announced a $5 million allowance for its marketing budget for the new X3 to encourage customers to order the exact vehicle they want instead of buying an already-built model from a dealer’s lot.

The marketing effort will include TV commercials, print ads and an increased presence on the Internet. To make the process even more fun for its customers, BMW installed cameras along the production lines and the owners can watch their cars being built via the internet.

Custom orders are quite popular in Europe where about half of all BMWs are spec’d up before being delivered to the buyer. Some of these deliveries take place at the local dealership or for an extra-fee for European customers, at the BMW Welt in Munich.

BMW Launches Big Marketing Push for X3 Build to Order Scheme

BMW wants its U.S. dealers on board to help promote options on built-to-order models. Built-to-order vehicles, which can help manufacturers keep inventories lower and aren’t discounted as much, are rare in the United States.

BMW North America Inc. CEO Jim O’Donnell told AutoObserver in an interview in Spartanburg that the X3 build-to-order plan is very much an experiment, one that BMW said earlier this year it was anxious to begin. He admits that that even some of his German counterparts at BMW doubt build to order will work – Americans won’t wait for a car to be built, they insist.

“I have no idea how successful build to order is going to be for the X3,” he admitted. “But I’m optimistic.”

O’Donnell’s target sales are 70 percent of all X3 sales to be build-to-order sales.

The X5 recent sales showed 85 percent of the popular SAV were being pre-ordered by customers, up from 20 percent in 2009.

O’Donnell says customers who order their vehicles tend to load them up with equipment, which pushes up transaction prices – and thus profit margins – on the sale. In addition, a vehicle doesn’t sit on a dealer’s lot where it has to weather the elements, be maintained and upon which a dealer has to pay financing interest. That’s data BMW will use to convince possibly reluctant dealers to shift their behavior.

To alienate some of the concerns, BMW also mentioned that customers can change their orders up to six days before the vehicle enters production.

To build an even stronger case for build-to-order schema, BMW is also offering exclusive options, three colors and two leather choices.

BMW Performance Center will continue to play an important role in the delivery of cars. Customer can still opt to pick up their car in Spartanburg, receive a one hotel night paid by BMW and enjoying a full day on a race track and off-road course at the Performance Center facility. More on this in our upcoming article taking delivery of a BMW 128i Convertible.

[Source: AutoObserver ]

  • Wooo hoo.

    Ref:” BMW is also offering exclusive options”

    ‘BMW Individual’ has been around for some time…. I suppose this is a good Idea, but I wouldn’t offer this for the entry 1/X1, they are cookie cutter entry level compacts. that really should just be sold with common packages. The buyers of these won’t care as long as the badge is clearly visible.

  • Dutch

    @ Wooo Hoo

    You think? I work at a BMW dealership in Holland and even the MINI’s and BMW 1-serie’s are build to order. And if I can speak for myself I also like to choose my car (options) and not take a car that’s on the lot. But maybe it wouldn’t work outside Europe but here it’s very popular. It will be more “your car” in my opinion.

  • Gig

    Here in Europe it is not common, it’s a rule….
    Most people buy his own BMW by choosing each option even the colors of the interior cabin, of the seats etc.

    Then you wait more or less 1-2 months and you will get your car….

  • paul

    they should have used those 5 million to fix that huge panel gap on the engine cover, imporve the quality of the plastics inside, specially the interior chrome packet – looks like it was glued to the wood trim – i know i saw it in Paris last weekend – and replace the electric steering for a proper hidraulic

  • http://bikes.indiandrives.com/ Used Bikes

    X3 is the truly amazing car launched by BMW company. This car will definitely help to increasing sale market company. BMW is the best automotive deal in the world automotive market who deals luxurious, comfort line and SUV’s.

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  • Anonymous

    I purchased an E90 335i and an E92 335is and both were built to order. I wouldn’t buy a BMW in any other way. And Mr. O’Donnell is correct, I loaded them up with every option available. The only hard/fun part was waiting/tracking the car as it made it way to my dealer in the USA.

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