BMW plans to revolutionize the way cars are sold

Interesting | November 25th, 2011 by 17
BMW i3 Concept und i8 Concept 031 750x500

With the launch of the new i sub-brand, BMW plans to revolutionize the process of selling car. According to Tim Abbott, BMW UK Managing Director, …

With the launch of the new i sub-brand, BMW plans to revolutionize the process of selling car. According to Tim Abbott, BMW UK Managing Director, the company aims to move away from the traditional way of selling cars.

‘I don’t think the car industry has changed very much at all in the last 30 years,’ he told Car Dealer. Abbot t also adds that ‘electric vehicles give us an opportunity to look at the way we sell cars and do it completely differently.’

The first i model will be launched in 2013 under the i3 badge, followed a year later by the i8 performance hybrid.

BMW i3 Concept und i8 Concept 031 655x454

Abbott also hints are some changes in the way test drives are performed and the flexibility that should come with this.  ‘Well, I think we need to fit around what the customer wants more, not what we think they want,’ explained Abbott. ‘So if the customer wants to test drive their car at 8pm on a Friday evening we need to facilitate that and take the car to them.”

BMW intends to build a mobile sales force for the i sub-brand, as well as becoming more involved on the internet.  Future online car sales for BMW? Abbott certainly hopes so.

‘I can see us having a mobile sales force for the i brand. We’d utilise the internet more too. That could even stretch to selling cars online, with the back up of our existing dealers of course. eBay manages it, so why can’t manufacturers sell cars online too?’

Furthermore, BMW believes that the usual three year buying cycle might change with the introduction of electric cars. The UK boss revealed his team is working on a similar concept to Peugeot’s Mu scheme which will allow customers to chop and change their cars to suit their needs whenever they want.

‘There’s certainly scope for a similar scheme,’ he said. ‘Allowing customers to use an electric car during the week to get to work and, say, a diesel 5 Series at the weekend to get away to the country would be popular.

‘I can see a concept where people pay a monthly subscription which covers road tax and insurance on all the models. They could then use an electric bike, one of our new scooters, a motorbike, an electric car or a normal car. It’s a concept we are looking at for the UK.

‘If you order with Next before 9pm you can have your products the next day. There’s no reason why you couldn’t order a car swap and have it on your drive the next morning. We just need to work out how that would work and if it would suit customers. I think the future is going to be more about mobility than outright purchase.’

Is this the future for BMW? And more importantly, will traditional dealerships embrace the “new world” of buying and selling things?

[Source: CarDealer ]


17 responses to “BMW plans to revolutionize the way cars are sold”

  1. LaMa says:

    Finally. I have been saying that the stealer way is outdated.  Sell cars online w/o paying a trip to the dumb stealers.  I used to buy cars online just to avoid a trip to any of the stealerships.  I can’t stand the salesmans and their dumb tricks, the usual going back and forth cat-mouse game.

    Leave that to Chevy and Ford

    • Jounwut says:

      First of all this kind of buying isn’t good for customers because you will pay MSRP for every car sold. In addition if you did the same thing by calling a dealer and paying MSRP I’m sure they would love to deliver it to you.

      • Anonymous says:

        I would gladly pay a rationalized, uniform MSRP that eliminates the inherent unfairness of the current system, where a minority of car buyers with superior negotiating skills and “inside connections” get better deals than others. And obviously I’m not alone in that desire, seeing as how BMW is willing to dip their toe in the water here.

        I sincerely doubt this will happen though. Remember the kerfuffle several years back when Porsche tried to cut out the robber baron car dealers from the equation? I do, and I’ll be willing to bet that BMW will run into the same resistance from their dealer network.

  2. Xcoreflyup says:

    a big gamble, but no history will be make without a try. i like it. 

  3. Aguaha says:

    I remember when AutoNation introduced a similar concept way back when Mike Jackson took over after leaving MBNA….they retreated after about a year or so and declared the concept a failure since the market was not ready for it…..may work now for a limited few.

  4. Manny Antunes says:

    Mark this comment for future reference: This will NEVER take hold in the US.

  5. Humfs says:

    Well thing do change, hell, hands up who had a massive record collection!

  6. Manchester Man says:

    In other words BMW are hungryyyyy to make serious money :)

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