UPDATE2: The story's been updated to include a response from a BMW's Germany headquarters.
We love the "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought" section for this one. Sleeping bags, cotton T-Shirts and a BMW i3 plug-in vehicle. That's your average Amazon shopping cart, right? It could be in Japan, where the plug-in car is being sold to potential customers online. The online retailer, long the largest in the US, is posting listings of the i3 on its Japanese site, notes Yahoo News, and both the standard electric i3 and the one with the gas-powered range extender are available.
There are almost 50 dealers in Japan that can sell the i3, the German automaker's first production plug-in vehicle, but BMW appears to be trying to extend its distribution reach a little further. Of course, it's not a simple point-and-click situation, as prospective customers who order the vehicle online will apparently get a follow-up phone call from a BMW representative asking for proof of both access to a charging station as well as a parking spot.
"It's become a tradition that the BMW Group breaks new ground with BMW i and that also goes for the way the vehicles are sold, with several different sales channels being tested and used," a representative with BMW's Germany headquarters wrote in an e-mail sent to AutoblogGreen. "In Japan, a one-off test project, designed only for that market – has seen BMW i3 models offered via Amazon. The delivery and customer service of these vehicles is, of course, handled by authorized BMW i dealers in Japan."
BMW started selling the i3 in the US last year, moving about 6,100 units in 2014 and almost 2,700 through the first quarter of this year.