According to Bloomberg, BMW will sell its upcoming i3 and i8 electric vehicles, via Internet. German automaker will sell cars over the Web for the first time as the world’s largest maker of luxury vehicles, all aimed to find an inexpensive way to reach more buyers. From the standpoint of consumers, some will say it’s good way to save the money, while other won’t buy a pig in a poke.
“There is considerable risk in BMW’s approach of promoting the I brand so prominently,” said Stefan Bratzel, director of the Center of Automotive Management at the University of Applied Science in Bergisch Gladbach, Germany. “There is the image risk, if they don’t succeed as quickly as expected, and then there’s the main risk of costs, which can only be countered with high deliveries.”
The BMW i3 and i8 electric and hybrid cars that will launch in 2013, respectively 2014, won’t be exclusively sold online. BMW will select a certain number of dealers to become authorized agents in each country where the cars will be sold, of course with appropriate showroom and personnel to display cars and tecnology that comes with them.
BMW opened its first “i” showroom in London, part of its Olympic sponsorship, although only prototype cars and informational materials will be displayed at first because the vehicles themselves won’t go on sale before next year. The rumors say, the i3 electric car will cost around €40,000 ($48,500). The high-end hybrid sportscar i8 (and the star of Mission Impossible 4) will sell for more than €100,000 ($122,500).
If this venture proves successful, BMW might involve cars from its regular lineup into online sale, but for that there’s still time. Linda Croissant, a spokesperson for BMW in Munich, said that the online sales are “still in the planning process,” and that the sales will be focused on large urban cities.