• Aug 1st 2012 at 7:30PM
  • 23
BMW hopes to bring down the price of their upcoming "i" brand plug-in vehicles by selling them online. This is the German automaker's first attempt at selling cars over the internet and if it runs smoothly, you can bet we'll be seeing more online sales from BMW and competitors alike. Internet car sales could be significantly cheaper to execute than those carried out by brick and mortar dealerships, passing along an estimated 5 to 7 percent savings to the consumer, according to a Detroit News source. In a world where consumers are still get used to the idea of a car that you can plug into the wall, this could be a great way for BMW to test the waters.

Would you buy a car online?
Yes 394 (42.0%)
No 258 (27.5%)
Maybe, I need more information 285 (30.4%)

So two questions remain, how will buyers conduct test drives and who will service the cars? While select high volume dealers will still carry the i3 and i8 vehicles, we wonder if test drives could also be done during events in large cities (similar to marketing and awareness efforts we've seen from EV carmaker Tesla Motors). Also, current BMW dealers would still be the best option for servicing, but might the smaller local dealers be upset they can't have a piece of the sale?

We'll have to wait and see.

Update via Autoblog: Here in the U.S., it is highly unlikely that such a model will be implemented. Both Ford and General Motors explored creating direct, online sales channels in the U.S. a decade ago, but those experiments went nowhere, due to state franchise laws and universal opposition to the idea among dealers.

[Source: Detroit News]

TRANSLOGIC 82: 2011 LA Auto Show, German EVs

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      Predatory to retailers, sort of a nasty way to "save" customers a few percent of retail price, which dealers will cut anyway. Shame of BMW
      • 3 Years Ago
      I want an i8 to go right next to my old BMW 850i. Then, I'd like to round it all out by finding a good condition Z8 as well.
      Who Me
      • 3 Years Ago
      Robot62 If BMW@ said you could have the car free if you typed in caps you bet your dumb ass you would type in caps so please STFU and keep with the subject matter
      Bill Gault
      • 3 Years Ago
      As the I8 is due out in 2014 that is about the time I will be looking to trade off my 2005 645ci.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I like the idea. I have actually put off buying a car because of the" hassle of the purchase". I think BMW or others chould set up service centers. The test drive drive is the other issue, unless you test drive at delivery sight. I can't afford a BMW, but would like to see Honda and Toyota get into a deal like that.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I want one.. I'll trade my Saleen in for that car..Niceeeeeeeeeee
      • 3 Years Ago
      This One is SICK! And for this One, I prefer to buy it from my nearest free standing dealership and get excited with my client representative, BMW! This is a shame on you!
      • 3 Years Ago
        • 3 Years Ago
        Quit shouting! Turn off the caps! Are you really that ignorant?
          • 3 Years Ago
          OH, I want to respond to this, in an entirely different way, Aw why not. I hate it when someone deviates from the discussion to tell someone to turn their caps off...I can only guess, who came up with this ridiculous rooted in folklore rule, that seems to bring out the LANGUAGE POLICE!! Or TYPING version of Emily Post. Did it make you feel better to take the time to reply and say that. I hope so, because that proves to me, that I am secure enough with my mental state that I do not need the attention, that was just brought to some capitol letters...Geezzeee!!!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wait a minute,,,,I'm not giving up my Saleen for a bmw,, electric cars ??? Not yet, thenk you very much.. I'll keep my muscle car..Lol..
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'll give you $7995 for one. That's about what they are worth I reckon? I'd use it to run errands around town, grocery shopping, bank, post office, doctor and dentist, and going to church.
      Practical Nomad
      • 3 Years Ago
      Doesn't do much good to build them if people can't afford them?
      • 3 Years Ago
      When it needs service, just ship it off to Germany. You didn't need the dealer to buy it, don't bother them when it breaks. Cool?
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