Next year will mark the start of BMW Group’s shift in sales strategy. Mini will be the first brand from the conglomerate to sell its cars using what we would describe as a hybrid sales model starting in Italy, Poland, and Sweden on 1 January 2024. What exactly does this new sales model entail, and how does it compare to the existing direct sales model by Tesla? We have the answers.

BMW Group aims to transition to direct sales with retail partners, which should bring standardised nationwide pricing and a more direct customer interface. As the transition progresses, the company will focus on the digitisation of the entire purchase process, allowing customers to seamlessly switch between online and physical purchasing experiences depending on their preferences.

Gallery: 2024 Mini Countryman E (US Spec)

It’s important to note, however, that the BMW Group's agency model doesn't seek to replace the existing retail network but rather to complement it. The company acknowledges the ongoing importance of personal customer contact and the role of retail partners, according to an official press release. These partners will continue to play a key role in the new model, ensuring that customers receive the high-quality consultations and care for which BMW is renowned.

In essence, the new sales model offers a hybrid approach, with both online and physical channels supported by an integrated IT system. This combination is set to provide customers with a more versatile and personalised shopping experience. While digitisation is key, the company also acknowledges that customer preferences vary, and the agency model seeks to accommodate all of them seamlessly. In addition, the new model also grants retailers access to the entire BMW Group vehicle inventory, enabling them to provide a wider array of options to customers.

While Tesla is known for its direct-to-customer sales model, BMW Group's agency model differs significantly. BMW's approach retains and strengthens its existing retail network, which plays a central role in the new sales strategy. In contrast, Tesla primarily sells its vehicles directly to consumers through company-owned showrooms and its website, bypassing traditional dealerships. The BMW Group's hybrid model seemingly integrates the best of both worlds, allowing customers to choose between online and physical experiences while maintaining the critical relationship with retail partners.