When BMW canceled the Convertible 6 Series Coupe and Gran Coupe, and then sold a single car, in every configuration, but with more luxury at a higher price point, the writing should be on the wall. But dealers are still tired of the fact that the current BMW 8 Series does not sell so hot.
While Series 8 was never officially a direct successor to Series 6, Series 6 was killed to avoid too much internal competition for what the company hoped would be a new flagship in Series 8. The idea was to sell one. More luxury cars, more expensive and hopefully make more money.
But according to some dealers who speak to Automotive News, the 8 Series is not such an important moment-by-moment model:
At the beginning of March, there were more than 2,000 Series 8 vehicles sitting in, or on their way to, U.S. dealer lots, according to automotive news business inventory data. Of those, more than 700 were “Priority 5” – a classification of car dealerships they are trying to download to other dealers.
“It is very worrying and alarming that on a halo – a new vehicle – about one-third of the inventory of land available in Priority 5,” said another dealer who asked not to be identified. “Basically, the traders say, ‘I don’t want this, I can’t sell it, somebody will take it from me.’ “
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The problem with a car so expensive sitting on the side so much is a matter of diminishing returns for the dealer. Not only is it theoretically more difficult to move a car that costs so much, since the pool of potential customers who can afford it will be smaller, but it will also cost the dealer money to maintain the car.
Again, from Auto News:
The 8 Series has the highest daily demand of any BMW model, according to dealers.
“It’s the best car no one knows about,” said one US dealer who asked not to be identified.
BMW has refused to discuss dealer claims and does not provide information on product marketing costs or inventory.
But traders aren’t too careful about putting on that big dollar inventory. The self-adhesive sticker in 2020 models earns $ 155,000. Interest expense on each Series 8 is $ 400 to $ 500 a month, another dealer said.
“It’s a heavy metal that nobody wants to carry,” he said.
Another problem here, Auto News points out, is that the 8 Series is available in up to 15 different configurations, which leads negotiators to order more of the model to offer different configurations to potential customers. Less configurations potentially mean less inventory. This is more of a problem with the businessman’s inventory model, though, and not exactly just BMW who wants to offer a lot of options.
Some analysts think that the next issue lies in marketing and advertising, and competition from the new three-row X7 crossover that BMW was obviously more interested in pushing customers to:
The 8 Series launched at about the same time as the X7 crossover, a “monumentally important” vehicle for BMW, said Ed Kim, an analyst with AutoPacific.
With limited marketing budgets, builders typically direct their advertising power toward high-demand cruisers.
“The X7 is an incremental product in the BMW lineup that competes in a highly contested field,” said Kim. “The time that the 8 Series, as a coupe, has a short life span inherently short.”
Since its rebirth in 2018, the 8 Series has moved just 4,410 wins last year. That is not a strong first year, and would indicate that there is not too much interest in the flagship – a problem that marketing could solve. Especially in a time of relatively strong economy, at least until recently.
When the second-generation 6 Series debuted in 2004, it sold more than 8,000 four-year-old cars in one, and then sold more than 8,000 four-year-old cars at one time from 2012 to 2015 on the return of an updated third-generation model. .
Maybe the move from “Fancier Series 5” to “S-Class Competitor” is not the right one. And facing an economic and endless disaster in the face of a global virus pandemic, it is impossible to think that the 8 Series will have a strong 2020.
Maybe BMW will have to save that big marketing boost until people can leave their homes again.