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BMW Dealers Rejecting Brand’s Flagship

BMW dealers don’t want any of the brand’s flagship cars on their lots. In an unbelievable set of circumstances, dealers are rejecting the brand’s 8 Series sedans, coupes, and convertibles. The cars remain on dealers’ lots for too long adding a huge expense for each month they hang around. Dealers complain that BMW has not invested in marketing support and builds too many configurations. Many dealers are reporting that the interest expense for each 8 Series remaining as unsold inventory is around $500 a month.

“It is the best BMW that no one knows about.”

According to Automotive News dealers say the 8 Series has the highest day supply of any BMW. The sticker price for most 8 Series cars is around $150,000. An anonymous dealer told Automotive News, “It’s heavy metal that nobody wants to carry.” Another says, “It is the best car that no one knows about.”

Last year BMW sold about $4,400 of the 8 Series in its many forms last year in the US. Since it was launched around the same time as BMW’s X7 crossover the bulk of marketing efforts went toward it. That left the 8 Series without much hype at a time when it needs a lift and is fresh. With so many SUVs BMW needed a large marketing budget to help get its message heard in a crowd. 

BMW planned on launching a national marketing campaign before the coronavirus crisis

BMW intended on satisfying dealers’ complaints by launching a national multimedia marketing campaign next month for the 8 Series. Now it has been postponed because of the coronavirus. Some 6 Series customers have received letters or emails promoting the 8 Series. “They’re not going to buy this car,” says one dealer. 

BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe
BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe | BMW

The 8-Series coupe debuted in 2018 with the convertible and Gran Coupe sedan added to the line last year. Because it comes in 15 configurations some dealers have over-ordered. “If there are 10 customers and you’re offering them 15 choices there’s going to be a lot of cars sitting around,” an anonymous dealer said. “But if there are 10 customers and you offer them two choices you’re going to sell every one and make some money.”

These are cars BMW dealers don’t want

At the beginning of this month dealer inventory data shows that there are more than 2,000 8 Series cars either at dealers or on the way to them. A third of them are classified as “Priority 5.” That means they are vehicles dealers don’t want and are looking to sell to other retailers.

“It’s very concerning and alarming that on a halo; a brand-new vehicle, roughly a third of the total available on-ground inventory is being put on a Priority 5 status,” says another dealer. “Basically, dealers are saying, ‘I don’t want this, I can’t sell it, somebody please take it from me.”

This is more proof consumers want SUVs not cars

BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe
BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe | BMW

BMW says the 8 Series is included in consumer driving events like the Ultimate Driving Experience and M Track Days. But this is yet, another indication that consumer preference is moving away from cars toward SUVs and trucks. Meant to compete with Mercedes’ S-Class vehicles, it’s worth noting that it is having a tougher time selling them as well. 

One thing for sure is that the coronavirus crisis will only make things worse as 8 Series continue to pile up.