With the launch of BMW's next-generation i-models, the German car manufacturer is also looking for new ways to sell its lineup of green machines. Tim Abbott, BMW's UK Managing Director, has expressed an interest in more flexible test drive times, a mobile sales force for the i-models, and turning to the Internet for online sales.
Abbott spoke about how test drives could become more flexible, with catering to customers at odd hours of the day and taking the vehicle to them for a test drive. But more importantly is BMW's hope to turn online for future car sales for the BMW brand. "That could even stretch to selling cars online, with the back up of our existing dealers of course. eBay manages it, so why can't manufacturers sell cars online too?" Abbott said.
Lastly, BMW is also looking into changing the usual three-year buying cycle around, possibly offering customers the ability to swap out their electric vehicles for a more flexible sedan (5-Series for example) when the customer wants to take a long trip. Essentially a system of car swapping could be possible with just a 12-hour notice.
Will BMW successfully spearhead the change of convention dealerships and having to deal with a physical salesperson to purchase a car? We sure hope so, everything else can be bought online these days.
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