BMW of North America will implement a new distribution system for its 5-series sedan, resulting in a pool of cars in three locations nationwide. The plan calls for stocking the cars at three central locations. If 10 cars are allocated for a dealer, some of the vehicles will be stored at one of the company’s three processing facilities instead of the dealer’s show room.
The advantages are “lower floorplan, better grosses and higher throughput and customer orientation," Peter Miles, senior vice president of operations said. The processing facilities are located on both the west and east coasts and in the south, Miles said without detailing the exact locations of the storage sites. BMW did not provide details on what percentage of the store allocations would be held in the pools.
"The basic principle is to make more of the inventory that exists available to sell and to reduce the dealers' floorplan cost," said Miles, according to Autonews. The company conducted a six-month pilot test of the system in 2011 with participation of five dealers in the San Diego region for the outgoing 3-series sedan. In the experiment, around 30% dealerships' 3-series allocation was stored at the central location. BMW says it does not have data on how much was saved on inventory in the dry-run.
Success of the tests prompted BMW to implement it on the national level in the second half of 2012, Miles said, adding that dealers could save tens of millions of dollars nationally. He added that the new system will cut the company’s variable expenses. Details of the new distribution system will be disclosed at BMW's dealer meeting in San Diego in February.
That the new BMW 3-Series Sedan brings with it a new stance is highlighted by the fact that while the upright kidney grille has been slanted a bit forward, it has been interpreted in a thick and wide manner. Meanwhile the athletic look is mainly due to the silhouette’s wedge shape plus the tracks being broader with the front track wider by 37 mm and the rear one having an additional 47 mm. By focusing on the width, it allows the front end with its multi-faceted surfaces to have a sportier look compared to previous versions. One thing customers are likely to notice is that instead of a central air intake, the new 3-Series now utilizes two larger intakes.
By being placed below the headlights and positioned on the front end’s outer edges, it gives the model’s already sporty style that added depth. On both sides of the main ducts, small vertical intakes have been placed to give it that Air Curtain. This technology helps improve how the air flows on the front wheels thereby improving aerodynamic efficiency and with it lower fuel consumption when driving at higher speeds.
Should the customer decide to fit in xenon headlights, offered as an option, these will be presented as twin headlights that have corona rings. On top of these are LED accent lights and by being placed to look like eyebrows, they bring added intensity to the already well-known focused look of the brand. Compared to previous versions, the headlights have been extended all the way to the kidney grille’s frame.
The result is that the grille and headlights merge and by forming into one unit, highlight even further the broad-set stance. It comes as no surprise that in relation to the compact sports sedan segment, the BMW 3-Series Sedan has been the pioneer. Since then, it has become the symbol of the brand’s capability as well as the dynamics and visual appeal.
This latest offering from BMW is the sixth generation of the 3-Series Sedan and by making full use of elegant and dynamic lines, the emphasis is on this mid-sized vehicle’s sporting quality. Even if the new 3-Series Sedan reveals larger dimensions compared to the previous version, it remains to have the right amount of elegance and sportiness. In addition, the new version has similarities with the previous generation in that the dynamic proportions are due to the combination of the long wheels, sweeping bonnet, short overhang in the front, and how the greenhouse has been set-back.