The coronavirus epidemic has created the perfect storm in the automotive industry after the microchip shortage. Some automakers have performed better than others during these challenging times, and the BMW Group has excelled in the luxury segment. 2021 was an all-time record year for the German aggregate, but 2022 started slowly as demand for the original brand declined by 7.3% in the first quarter.
However, in spite of all the adversity it was not all bad, the US branch increased its delivery by 3.2% compared to the January-March 2021 interval. How was it all possible? Vendors are praising BMW for giving them the cars they need. According to Mark Smith, president of San Antonio-based Principal Auto, the carmaker is “doing a great job of getting cars to us by any means possible.”
Smith manages two stores and notes that BMW has a clear approach to dealing with supply disruptions. How? By having a “we don’t let it whip us” attitude. David Sloane, chairman of the BMW National Dealers Forum, echoed those sentiments. He said the endless communication between the dealer and the factory “made the difference.”
What is communication?
Sloane explains that BMW management has done a great job of keeping in touch with dealers about near-term production plans. Vehicles are also informed about their inventory level before they reach the dealer.
“Having information lets our customers know exactly when a car is coming and sells in the pipeline with confidence. If we don’t know enough about which products are coming and when they are coming, it is very difficult for us to sell those cars first. ”
In the first quarter of 2022, BMW USA delivered 73,714 vehicles, beating Lexus (64,365), Mercedes-Benz (62,251), and Audi (35,505). If you consider Tesla a luxury brand, Elon Musk’s company ranks number one with 110,000 deliveries. However, this is not an exact number because it represents an estimate made by it Automotive News.
The microchip deficit is not likely to go away any time soon. In fact, BMW CEO Oliver Gypsy told the New Zeitgeist Zeitung newspaper that the lack of semiconductors would drag on by the end of 2023.
Source: Automotive News (subscription required)