BMW plans to generate online sales for its new “i” sub-brand, which includes the i3 electric compact and the i8 plug-in hybrid sports car.
While unconventional, BMW is hoping that Internet sales of the i3 and i8 will supplement dealership sales by reducing costs. Internet sales require less than half the costs of traditional sales through the showroom, according to data from the Center for Automotive Research the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany. Consumers may see markdowns of 5 to 7 percent for these cars sold online.
BMW is hoping to target a generation of young buyers who frequently purchase items over the Internet. Consumers will have access to an extensive car configurator showing options, styles, and colors. However, the major downside is that consumers won’t be able to go on test-drives, which are critical considering the new powertrain technology used on the BMW i3 and i8.
Along with online sales, the cars will be sold in a limited number of dealerships. In Germany, 45 of its 200 dealerships will sell the i3 and i8 models. According to estimates from IHS Global Insight, these two cars are expected to be among BMW’s lowest-selling models through 2024.
Nevertheless, the i3 and i8 cars were a huge hit when they debuted at auto shows around the world starting last year. The cars made their first appearance in Frankfurt, Germany before hitting North America at the Los Angeles and Detroit auto shows. The sporty i8, capable of almost 400 horsepower, made its on-screen debut in the movie Mission: Impossible 4. (Find more information on the BMW i8 and i3.)
The i3, which is due out in late 2013 for Europe, will sell for 40,000 euros ($48,500). The BMW i8 is set to arrive in 2014 for about 100,000 euros ($123,221).
More>>> Auto News
Copyright © 2010-2012 zAutos All Rights Reserved. Car Research starts here!