BMW has launched an internet shop on eBay UK which is selling parts and accessories direct to consumers for the first time. The German carmaker hopes it can accelerate sales.
Previously, BMW owners wanting to purchase genuine parts, such as brake discs and car care products, had to place orders through a dealership, but now they can buy them at BMW Direct on the popular auction website.
While BMW is the first carmaker to open a store on eBay UK, more than 100 high-street retailers use the site as an additional sales channel.
Carl Sanderson, general manager of aftersales development at BMW, said: "We recognise there are customers who wish to buy BMW products but do not necessarily want to travel to a BMW dealer to make a purchase."
All items sold through BMW Direct are offered with free postage and packaging and are covered by a two-year BMW warranty, he added.
Angus McCarey, the UK retail director at eBay, said: "There are more than 600,000 searches for BMW every month on eBay and BMW will now be able to access this existing, yet untapped customer base, while increasing its reach to the millions of other consumers who buy and sell on the site."
Motor parts and accessories is one of the most popular eBay categories among its 96 million users worldwide. The eBay UK website has more than 30 million live listings, with fixed-price goods accounting for 60 per cent of items sold globally. Its US parent company posted global revenues up 16 per cent to $2.5bn (£1.5bn) for the three months to the end of March.
BMW Group – which comprises the BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce brands – sold 1.46 million cars and more than 110,000 motorcycles worldwide last year. It made a pre-tax profit of €4.8bn (£4.2bn) on revenues of €60.5bn.