Senior BMW UK sources have indicated to our partners Auto Retail Network the company is going down the agency route for their franchised retailers. Our contacts gave no timeframe, but it would follow a successful agency trial in South Africa – led by former BMW UK boss Tim Abbott.

“You’ve got to be absolutely clear with the retailers about what you are trying to achieve and how it’s going to work,” he told Auto Retail Bulletin in October 2021. “They trusted me. I was an ex-retailer myself and I said, ‘guys, this is going to work’.”

Some BMW Group UK employees are already using ‘Future Retail UK’ job titles.

Last month, Auto Retail Agenda reported on the BMW Retail Next concept, which involves more premium showrooms featuring fewer cars. It is “in the development stage for the UK market,” we were told. “We will consult with our retail partners in the coming months and establish a rollout timeframe with them.”