BMW Coronavirus Financial Relief and New Car Incentives

Rebecca A. Lindland | April 7, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting everyone with its potentially devastating impact on public health and the global economy. Despite substantial energies devoted to minimizing the spread of the coronavirus, it continues to unsettle every household and every industry.

BMW Coronavirus Financial Relief and New Car Incentives

BMW is working to balance the needs of its owners, dealers, and employees on a global basis by implementing ownership programs and new car incentives on a local basis. “The top priority for us during this global crisis is the health and well-being of our customers, dealers, and employees,” said Bernhard Kuhnt, president and CEO, BMW of North America, in a statement.

Acutely aware of the unexpected burdens many of its current and potential customers might be experiencing, BMW is assisting owners and shoppers alike by assessing individual financial needs and offering payment deferment plans to encourage buyers. Here are some details about what BMW is doing to manage this crisis.

BMW Customer Relief Programs - Find the best deals!

BMW is among a long list of manufacturers offering coronavirus car payment plans and programs.

Customers who financed or leased a car using BMW Financial Services may be eligible for a modified payment plan, depending on their individual circumstances. They can direct questions about their account and payment options by contacting BMW Financial Services by phone (1-800-578-5000) or email. Or, BMW owners can sign into their online account for 24/7 chat support. Those preferring an analog solution can write to BMW Financial Services ATTN Customer Correspondence at P.O. Box 3608 Dublin, OH 43016-0306.

BMW canceled experiential marketing programs originally planned for March and April in Ohio and Washington, D.C. An ad campaign for the new 8 Series, slated for early April, is also on hold, as are all promotions. This marketing freeze comes at a particularly difficult time as the company was rolling out a new logo for digital communications, the first redesign of the fabled blue-and-white roundel in twenty years.

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BMW New Car Incentives - Find the best deals!

To entice potential customers, BMW is offering a 90-day first payment deferral program for new or certified pre-owned vehicles purchased between March 1 and June 30, 2020 and financed through BMW Financial Services. This offer is only for eligible buyers and does not apply to leases. Also, it is not available in every state.

Along with the 90-day deferred payment plan, the company is offering a variety of lease and finance incentives on a wide range of products for new and prospective owners. None are specific to the COVID-19 pandemic, and many offers expire April 30.

If you’re in the market for a BMW, it’s well worth checking with your local dealership for further info and available inventory.

BMW North America Factory Closures - Find the best deals!

In an effort to “flatten the curve” of COVID-19, many states and municipalities are under a stay-at-home decree. BMW estimates up to 70% of its U.S. dealers are closed for sales transactions, but most are still open for service if local regulations permit such operations.

On March 25, BMW North America announced it was closing its Spartanburg, South Carolina assembly plant from April 3 through April 19. The closure was originally planned for two weeks due to supply-chain shortages, and it’s since been extended to April 30.

The factory produces the X3, X4, X5, X6 and X7 models, and exports them to markets all around the planet. The plant is the U.S.’s biggest automobile exporter by value and BMW’s largest factory in the world with production capacity of 450,000 units and approximately 11,000 employees.

BMW Economic Outlook & Sales Forecast - Find the best deals!

BMW reported first-quarter sales of just under 60,000 units, a 15.3% decline in year-over-year sales negatively impacted by coronavirus-related restrictions on BMW showrooms. BMW has not released any specific guidance for the remainder of the year.

On a broader basis, the U.S. auto industry was off to a raring start in the first two months of the year. March came in like a lion but went out like a lamb with the COVID-19 pandemic in full effect. Before the virus, J.D.Power's 2020 new car sales forecast was 16.9 million. Now, with indefinite stay-at-home orders and other containment measures extending through April and beyond, the forecast picture is further complicated.

Plant closures across the world, consumer uncertainty over the coronavirus itself, and ongoing legal restrictions on business activities all form a challenging trifecta for a weakened economy and sales forecast. As of this writing, the new forecast ranges from 12.1 to 14.8 million units, according to J.D. Power.

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