The BMW Group will overhaul how it interacts with new customers by beginning to implement direct sales in Europe from 2024 with MINI. It’ll be gradually rolled out across the Old Continent, with Germany to lead the way in the first half of the year. Come 2026, the core BMW brand will also adopt what is known in the automotive industry as the agency model.
Such a strategy has already been ruled out in the United States, and this week, BMW Australia told Drive.com.au it’s not coming Down Under either: “There are no current plans to change our existing sales model.” The local magazine points out Jeep Australia has taken a similar decision whereas the regional divisions of Mercedes and Honda are embracing the agency model.
A direct sale consequently means fixed prices within all regions of a country, so there will be no room left to haggle. Dealers will still be involved in the process by having the responsibility to finalize the deal for which they’ll receive a fixed commission from BMW. The agency model will impact the entire lineup, without a separation between conventionally powered models and EVs like other brands have been doing.
BMW’s sales and marketing boss Pieter Nota told Automotive News Europe the agency model is not a cost-cutting program but rather a method to “improve the customer experience and the brand experience.” Of course, the German luxury marque is expecting to benefit from “new efficiencies” once direct sales will be rolled out across Europe.
Traditional showrooms are not going anywhere as BMW believes they still play an important role. To that effect, a showroom overhaul with a new retail corporate identity is planned in many parts of the world. Even though more and more people prefer to buy cars online, brick-and-mortar stores remain relevant in the digital age.