The car buying experience has changed, especially since the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the switch to online shopping. BMW knows that and is trying to help dealers learn how to lure in more buyers in the digital realm. During the National Automobile Dealers Association, BMW North America CEO Sebastian Mackensen told dealership representatives what needs to be done.

BMW won’t follow Tesla with its online-only shopping experience anytime soon, but tweaks to the digital component are in order. “We have to make sure if you want to purchase a BMW, you get a seamless experience from … the manufacturer website to a car dealer website to your final purchase.”

The company’s executive VP of operations Shaun Bugbee made an interesting disclosure during the NADA meeting in Las Vegas. BMW explains the online car shopping experience is “drivetrain-agnostic,” meaning it’s not focused on the type of propulsion. “We are building a process that is customer-driven … and it doesn’t matter if it’s an M-car or full-electric.”

BMW And Its Dealers Are Experiencing Low Inventories Due To Global Supply Chain Shortages

As far as the never-ending supply shortages, Mackensen applauded dealers in the US for their flexibility during these volatile times. The production bottlenecks are further impacted by the war in Ukraine, forcing BMW to adjust car output at its European factories. In addition, Magna Steyr is halting production of the Z4 and 5 Series in Graz, Austria for two weeks.

BMW of North America CEO went on to say both the company and dealers need to continuously adapt to changes. Mackensen admitted the hurdles with acquiring the necessary components are not entirely manageable: “Some of it you can influence, others you can’t.”

These issues couldn’t come at a worse time since BMW is about to debut the next 7 Series. The German luxury brand will also launch an EV version with the i7 this year to rival the Mercedes EQS. Towards the end of 2022, the production-ready XM will hit the assembly line at the Spartanburg factory. Over in Europe, the M3 Touring will enter production as the first of its kind.

Source: Automotive News