Every new or redesigned BMW rolled out in the United States will now be available with all-wheel drive, Damon Shelly, chairman of BMW's national dealer council told Automotive News. BMW made the promise to its dealers in the US following a fiasco with the introduction of the redesigned 3-series sedan in the US last year.
Although the 3-series went on sale in February 2012, it was not until late August that US dealers received all-wheel drive, according to Shelly. BMW of North America executives admitted that the fiasco heavily affected its 2012 sales, since almost half of all 3-series sedans sold in the US have awd. Shelly said that the awd fiasco "created a lot of pressure," to boost sales in the fourth quarter of 2012, Shelly said, adding that it was the main reason why BMW piled on incentives, especially in December.
Shelly remarked that BMW invested a lot to make sure that 2012 was successful. He remarked that BMW’s 14-percent increase in US sales at 281,460 vehicles boosted dealer profitability in 2012. Dealers are also anxious over the new dealership facility standards, which may be implemented this year. Shelly said that the facility standards are still being developed, adding that details are scarce.
He described the new dealership facility standards as the “future retail initiative," which is about multiple things and preparing the dealers for the expansion of the BMW product line-up. Shelly assured that BMW would not implement major brick-and-mortar changes, but will call for more technology to better display and sell vehicles. According to Shelly, the changes will include the use of overhead screens, iPads and other tablets.