German auto-maker BMW has decided not to create an internet-based consumer sales channel, instead opting to launch a business-to-business (b2b) web service, writes the UK's Daily Telegraph (20/11/00). According to the newspaper, this web service trial - to be tested in the UK next year - will see BMW's British staff alongside corporate customers buy their company cars on the new web site, expected to go by the name of BMWdirect.com.

These orders will then be transferred automatically to the German car manufacturers' dealership network, with BMW hoping that the website will cut costs and provide a better service, says the article.

BMW Great Britain hopes to invest £3 million initially in the internet project per year, rising to £6 million by 2004 if successful. Within four years, the company hopes that up to a fifth of total British sales will take place through the b2b site.