In the planning stages since 2020, the BMW Group’s direct sales model will come into effect on January 1, 2024. At first, the agency model will start with the MINI brand in Italy, Poland, and Sweden. The other European markets will follow as part of a gradual rollout that will focus on completely new and nearly new cars from the Oxford brand. From 2026, the BMW brand will also adopt direct sales.
The agency model implies fixed prices, with no room to haggle. For the sake of transparency, the BMW Group will implement standard nationwide pricing for identical vehicles. The automotive conglomerate says it’s going to digitalize the whole shopping experience and create a more direct connection with the customers. Interestingly, buyers will have the option of “online and physical purchase experiences – and switching seamlessly between the two.”
By now you’re probably wondering whether dealers will play any role in the agency model. Yes, they will. The BMW Group is not cutting out the middleman as they’ll earn a fixed commission for each car sold. BMW mentions the amount will be “carefully calculated and takes the full range of factors into account.” We’re being told that retailers were “actively involved” in finalizing the direct sales program, which is technically already in place in those three countries where you can preorder the new electric Cooper and Countryman.
It should be mentioned the BMW Group will not adopt the agency model in the United States. In addition, direct sales have also been ruled out in Australia. The automaker’s sales and marketing boss Pieter Nota has already revealed the program won’t be extended to car parts or any other items that have to do with aftersales. In the countries where direct sales are planned, these will cover the entire lineup, not just electric vehicles as is the case at some rival brands.
However, it’s only a matter of time before MINI’s whole portfolio will be electric since the British brand has already announced plans to go EV-only by 2030, much like Rolls-Royce. In the case of BMW, the internal combustion engine won’t be retired anytime soon.
Source: BMW Group