BMW Raises Prices, But Not On You

January 20, 2015

BMW is raising prices on its entire lineup of 2015 vehicles--but according to CarsDirect, it won't be affecting car shoppers, at least for the moment.

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The German automaker is coming off a great December and a record-setting 2014 sales year. It kept the luxury-car sales title away from rival Mercedes-Benz, and last month, its sales rose 11.1 percent--which may have been fueled by juicy holiday-season rebates on even its newest models.

With those rebates expired, BMW is counting on level prices to keep showroom traffic strong. It's raised its wholesale prices on all its cars and crossover SUVs--but it's hoping that dealers will resist the urge to pass the hikes on entirely to new-car shoppers.

The new prices took effect on January 1, and the increases can total as much as 1.5 percent of wholesale price, depending on the vehicle. CarsDirect cites the BMW 328, which gets a price boost of $500, to $35,000 wholesale--while it's lost a $1000 incentive for retail buyers.

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Sales drag

The car-shopping site suggests many dealers will adjust prices somewhat, though the advertised prices should remain the same. Dealers can always price vehicles as they see fit, while toeing the MSRP line.

For the automaker and dealers, it's the best time possible to make the change. Inventories are low now that December's deals have cleared out 2014 models from lots. Also, BMW is said to be planning new advertising--including a pitch for its extended-range i3 electric car during this year's Super Bowl XLIX.

It's possible the price increase could cut into BMW's strong sales, CarsDirect suggests--but that's unlikely, we think, as interest rates continue to drag along at near-historic lows.

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