After achieving an all-time sales high in the fourth quarter of 2020, the BMW Group is optimistic about the current year. "We are optimistic about 2021 and look forward to resuming our profitable growth, thanks to strong demand for our fresh product line-up," said Pieter Nota, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Customer, Brands, Sales. "We want to increase sales of our electrified vehicles by more than half in 2021. This underlines the importance of electromobility as a major growth driver for our company," Nota continued.
The company also aims to double sales of fully-electric vehicles this year. The introduction of the fully-electric MINI and BMW iX3 last year will be followed in 2021 by the start of production for the fully-electric BMW iX in Dingolfing and the BMW i4 in Munich.
The BMW Group has now increased the number of electrified vehicles (fully-electric and plug-in hybrid) in its line-up to 13 models, available in 74 markets around the globe. The BMW Group plans to virtually double the number of electrified vehicles it offers to 25 models by 2023: More than half of these will be fully electric. For further information see the IDTechEx report on Electric Vehicles: Land, Sea and Air 2021-2041.
The BMW Group forged ahead with digitalisation of its sales and marketing last year, partly in response to the coronavirus pandemic and customers' desire for the sales process to be as contact-free as possible: Sales representatives in more than 60 markets are now able to advise customers and sell vehicles from any location. They can configure vehicles together with the customer using a shared screen, for instance, or give them a virtual tour of the cars they have in stock.
The second step was for the company to take the sales process for retail partners largely online via its high-traffic websites in key markets. This will be rolled out in other markets in 2021.
As part of its new sales strategy, the BMW Group, with its retail partners, is planning to give customers the option of buying their individually configured custom vehicle entirely online in the future and having it delivered to their front door - creating an entire online customer journey that is completely seamless: from configuration to ordering and through the use phase. This will allow customers to experience BMW Group products and services customised for them in the best possible way.
Electric vehicle owners can also configure products and services from BMW Charging and MINI Charging individually to create a charging solution tailored to their needs - for charging at home or on the go.
The BMW Group also wants to significantly expand the range of vehicle functions available as digital aftersales upgrades. This will make it easier for customers to equip their vehicle with options that meet their wishes and individual mobility needs. Customers will also be able to activate additional features, such as driver assistance systems, selected light and sound packages, or even suspension set-up. These features are also offered for a limited time - benefiting customers who lease or rent their vehicle and only drive it for a certain period.
The personal BMW ID (identification number) customers use to access the entire BMW Group digital ecosystem, as well as the new My BMW and MINI apps, serve as an interface for individualised customer dialogue and already enable many new features - from using a smartphone as the car key to integration of Amazon Alexa.
To step up its e-mobility ramp-up, the company has already trained more than 2,000 staff at its German retail outlets in the safe use of high-voltage systems through special vocational training and further education programmes.
The company will continue to expand its product offering: for example, through remote diagnostics. If the vehicle indicates an error message in the vehicle display, the customer will be able to call their BMW partner directly from the vehicle. If the customer agrees, vehicle data is then transmitted over-the-air and the service employee can perform remote diagnostics. If the car needs to be brought into the workshop, a service appointment can easily be arranged at a convenient time.
The BMW Group's belief that there can be "no premium without sustainability" also applies to sales and marketing. The company already helps customers make appropriate, sustainable decisions about products and drive trains today. This contributes to the strong sales of electrified vehicles, which resulted in the BMW Group being able to overfulfill the EU's CO2 targets in 2020. The BMW Group is also training employees and retail partners to become ambassadors for its sustainability ambitions. In addition, the sales organisation is promoting topics such as recycling and use of secondary material.
Source and top image: BMW Group