Sources reveal BMW Group has pushed back agency sales even further 

  • BMW is said to have delayed agency sales roll out for Mini by a further six months
  • Sources tell Car Dealer that manufacturer has been watching rivals closely
  • Delay means agency sales for German maker won’t start until at least 2025

Time 7:20 am, November 22, 2023

BMW has pushed back plans to implement agency sales in the UK by at least six months as it watches how the transition pans out for rivals.

Car Dealer reported in July that BMW had told dealers agency sales would come in 2026 but that Mini would be first next year.

However, sources have told Car Dealer that the move to agency sales for Mini has now been pushed back by ‘at least’ six months to 2025.

‘Mini had told dealers that agency was coming in on October 1, 2024, but that will now not happen until at least March 2025,’ said a dealer.

Sources told Car Dealer that the reasons mooted internally at BMW was because of the less than smooth transition rivals, including Mercedes, have had with their swap to agency.

Mercedes’ market share has stuttered during 2023 and dealers have privately raised concerns about BMW’s main premium car rival’s success at switching to agency.

Earlier this year, Mercedes boss Gary Savage spoke exclusively to Car Dealer insisting that the switch to haggle free car sales ‘was working’.

However, Mercedes has been aggressively pursuing sales with a series of heavily subsidised new car deals to boost demand. This weekend it will launch a swathe of 0% finance deals on its range for a ‘Cyber Weekend’ sales event.

A spokesperson for BMW did not comment on why there had been a delay at Mini, but told Car Dealer: ‘As planned, the BMW Group will start introducing its new direct sales model with Mini in Italy, Poland and Sweden from January 1, 2024. 

‘The implementation at Mini in other European countries, including the UK and Ireland, will follow in several stages and will be communicated at a later date. 

‘It is our focus to ensure a smooth transition without compromising the quality and stability of our customer experience, we therefore intend to remain flexible as we implement our new direct sales model and our retail partners are fully supportive of this approach.’

BMW is not the first manufacturer to push back its transition to agency sales. 

Car Dealer reported in March that VW Group had blamed ‘internal systems’ as the likely cause for it delaying its rollout of agency sales until at least 2024. It had been initially scheduled to come in this summer. 

Stellantis has said it will move to an agency sales model in 2024, but has also delayed it while Ford is planning a similar move soon

Daksh Gupta, former CEO of Marshall Motor Group, told the Car Dealer Inspiring Leaders podcast that he has been helping Ford with its plans.

Car Dealer’s research into agency sales, published in July, found some 18 car manufacturers have – or soon will be – moving to fixed-price, no-haggle agency sales agreements with their partners.

Mini, Skoda, Smart and Genesis will all swap to so-called ‘agency sales’ within the next six months.

We asked 47 car brands operating in the UK the simple question: When will you move to agency sales? Many found that very hard to answer. Only EIGHT car manufacturers categorically ruled out moving to agency completely.

21 car manufacturers either failed to comment on their plans to move to agency sales or chose not to issue a statement to Car Dealer.

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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