Friday, February 1


But drops to Number Two!


DESPITE surpassing all its previous sales records in 2012, BMW Motorrad lost its position as Europe’s biggest motorcycle manufacturer to Austrian rival KTM last year.

It was close though.  BMW sold 106,358 units in the 2012 calendar year; KTM sold 107,142 (see separate story) a difference of just 784 units.  One can imagine how that played out in Munich…

Looking at the bigger picture, both manufacturers are swimming strongly against the tide.  Highlighting this is the fact BMW’s 2012 sales are up 3.8 per cent over 2007, which is when the European market peaked at 2.7 million motorcycle sales.  Since then the European bike market has collapsed by more than 50 per cent, with just 1.496 million units sold in 2012, yet BMW has plodded steadily ahead.  It sold 104,286 units globally in 2011 and surpassed that with the 106,358 units sold in 2012, an all-time high.

Just as Harley-Davidson does very well on the home front, BMW has traditionally done very well in its domestic market and that continues to be the case, with 20,516 units delivered in Germany in 2012, or one fifth of all its sales.  The USA ranked number two (12,100 units) and France (10,950 units) was third.  That marks a big change as a year earlier Italy (13,600 units) was number two ahead of the USA.

Just as KTM has done well in India with local assembly, BMW now produces four models in Brazil and achieved sales of 7442 units there, making that the fifth biggest market.

The most successful model was once again the air-cooled R1200 GS (thanks Charlie and Ewan) with 17,249 units sold with the F 800 GS (11,487) and the R 1200 GS Adventure (10,203) were second and third in the pecking order.  When you add in the 7909 units of the touring classic R 1200 RT, the big air-cooled boxers account for more than a third of BMW’s sales. 

Having given the S1000RR Superbike a make-over, BMW may have been disappointed to see its sales slip slightly, from 9044 to 8970 units but against a background of soft sports bike sales, perhaps not.

The six cylinder K 1600s, the GT and GTL, sold a combined total of 10,033 units.

“Never before in the history of BMW Motorrad have we been able to sell as many vehicles”, said Stephan Schaller, President of BMW Motorrad announcing the latest results.

“We have achieved this magnificent retail success in the context of a very difficult motorcycle market, especially in Europe.  I would like to thank all our customers most sincerely for having placed their trust in us.  The new all-time sales high demonstrates that our motorcycles and maxi scooters have been received extremely well.  We are on the right track with our product and sales strategy and we will power ahead at full pace to enable on-going growth. 

“In December we started supplying customers what is currently the most innovative vehicle in the 1000 cc supersports segment: the new HP4.  The three special boxer models '90 years of BMW Motorrad' arrived at dealerships in January.  In February we will start supplying the new mid-range touring bike F 800 GT. 

“March sees the launch of the successor to our best-seller: the all new R 1200 GS, containing our entire experience drawn from over 30 years of GS development.  It offers significantly enhanced performance, a higher level of touring and off-road suitability, more equipment, enhanced safety and comfort and a distinctive, modern GS design.  We are confident that the new version of the world's top-selling travel enduro bike will attract even more customers. 

“We also anticipate powerful growth stimuli from our maxi scooters,” Schaller added.  “Since its launch in the second half of 2012 we have been able to sell almost 5300 vehicles and we now look forward to the first whole sales year. 

“There are lots of new products in store for our customers in 2013 – the year of our 90th anniversary.  Based on our on-going product offensive, we feel confident as we look ahead to the upcoming season.  Our aim is to surpass the 2012 record."