The BMW Group has been working on the agency model for several years and the MINI brand was the first to adopt direct sales on January 1, 2024. Only the branches in Sweden, Poland, and Italy have transitioned to the new sales procedure but more countries are on the way. In the meantime, a spokesperson told German business paper Automobilwoche that the launch has been a success.

As to when the core BMW brand will switch to the agency model, it won’t happen for another couple of years. The same sister publication of Automotive News Europe has learned Germany will be among the first regions where the luxury brand will perform the changeover in January 2026. In the meantime, MINI will implement the agency model in Germany from October 1, 2024, a delay of 10 months compared to the original plan, caused by unexpected IT problems.

If you’re unfamiliar with the agency model, it’s a concept that has been around for a long time. Automakers sell cars directly to customers at fixed prices, meaning there’s no room to haggle. Brick-and-mortar dealers still play a role by having to finalize the transaction from which they’ll receive a commission from the company. The exact amount is unclear, with the BMW Group vaguely saying the sum is going to be “carefully calculated and takes the full range of factors into account.”

There aren’t any restrictions regarding the models that are available through the agency model as the BMW Group intends to include its entire lineup. In the past, some car manufacturers decided to switch to direct sales only for their electric vehicles. It’s not just brand-new vehicles that are part of the new sales process since the plan is to also include used cars up to 18 months old.

The BMW Group won’t implement the agency model all over the world. In fact, direct sales have already been ruled out in the United States in Australia.

Source: Automobilwoche