BMW Group says it will start to transition to a direct-sales model in Europe with its MINI brand next year.
The agency arrangement will debut on New Year’s Day with MINI sales in Italy, Poland and Sweden. It said in a press release that it will then gradually switch to direct sales in other European countries and that it plans to add BMW sales to the new model in 2026.
BMW Group didn’t address its U.S. sales model, but earlier news reports indicated it wouldn’t make that change here.
The company says the switch in Europe will “benefit customers, retail partners” and itself with standard nationwide prices ensuring transparency to customers.
Along with the change, it said it will “[digitalize] the entire purchase process, giving customers a choice between online and physical purchase experiences – and switching seamlessly between the two” via an end-to-end, integrated IT system.
The company said it chose the agency approach to improve the customer purchase experience.
“The new sales model will enable us to communicate directly with our customers and give the BMW Group a direct customer interface,” said Pieter Nota, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG and responsible for customer, brand and sales. “The aim of our new sales model is very clearly to increase customer satisfaction and offer the best premium customer experience in the industry.”
But it said it will still rely on its retail network, which it said it directly included in plans for the switch. It said all stores signed its MINI agency contracts.
“The BMW Group expects demand for personal customer contact to continue in the future, with retail partners playing a key role,” Nota said.
BMW retailers will earn fixed commissions for each vehicle sold, including online sales.
Originally posted on Auto Dealer Today