Well, folks, grab your espresso shots and strap on your racing gloves, because BMW is taking us for a joyride. But this time, it's not on the Autobahn—it's through the auto sales industry.
The Bavarian behemoth announced today its grand plan to launch a direct sales model across Europe, starting—of course—with the brand that embodies fun-sized luxury: MINI. And where better to kick things off than in Italy, Poland, and Sweden starting 1 January 2024? Might as well bring the Italian flair, Polish vigor, and Swedish minimalism to the party right from the get-go.
But why the change, you ask? BMW says it's all about giving you, the customer, a seamless transition between online and physical purchases. Imagine: one day, you're sipping your morning latte, browsing the latest MINI models in your PJs, and the next, you're at a dealership, test-driving that dream car. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, BMW promises it's not only possible but also all thanks to a fancy "end-to-end, integrated IT system landscape." And here I was thinking they just made cars.
Pieter Nota, the guy over at BMW with a title longer than most of my grocery lists, chimed in to say that this new sales model is all about upping the customer satisfaction ante. He envisions a world where BMW talks directly to its customers. Picture it: you and BMW, sipping Chardonnay by the fire, talking about torque curves and turbo lag. Romantic, isn't it?
But amidst all this change, there's one thing that remains constant: BMW's unwavering commitment to its retail partners. It's kind of like that old band you loved in college—they might have changed their style, but the core is still the same. The dealerships aren't going anywhere. In fact, they're getting a sweeter deal, with fixed commissions per vehicle sold, whether it's online or in-person. Let's face it, in a world where everything's going digital, it's comforting to know there's still a place for the good ol' handshake deal.
And just when you thought things couldn't get any more exciting, BMW drops another gear: online pre-orders for the all-electric MINI Cooper and the new MINI Countryman are now available in Italy, Poland, and Sweden. So, if you're in any of these countries and have been eyeing that electric MINI, now's your chance.
In conclusion, BMW's playing chess while most of us are still figuring out checkers. And with this latest move, it's clear they're gunning for the king. Whether it's a win for the customer, only time will tell. But one thing's for sure: the auto sales game just got a whole lot more interesting.