For some of BMW's U.S. dealers, the brand's luxurious 8 Series coupe has turned from halo sports car to financial headache.
Retailers complain the car has received inadequate marketing support, while an abundance of configurations have left some dealership lots with unsold inventory of the high-value model, putting pressure on floorplan expenses.
The 8 Series has the highest day supply of any BMW model, dealers report.
"It is the best car that no one knows about," said one U.S. retailer, who asked not to be identified.
BMW declined to discuss the dealer complaints and doesn't provide information about product marketing costs or inventories.
But dealers aren't too keen on sitting on that high-dollar inventory. The sticker on 2020 models tops $155,000. The interest expense on each 8 Series is $400 to $500 a month, another dealer said.
"It's heavy metal that nobody wants to carry," he said.
As of early March, there were more than 2,000 8 Series vehicles sitting on, or on their way to, U.S. dealership lots, according to dealer inventory data shared with Automotive News. Of those, more than 700 were "Priority 5" — a classification of vehicles dealers are looking to offload to other retailers.
"It's very concerning and alarming that on a halo — brand-new vehicle — roughly a third of the total available on-ground inventory is being put in a Priority 5 status," said another dealer who asked not to be identified. "Basically, dealers are saying, 'I don't want this, I can't sell it, somebody please take it from me.' "