BMW Rides Into New Year With Record Motorcycle Sales

As with many matters at hand, how well 2016 went comes down to perspective and the motorcycle industry is no different. If you’re BMW Motorrad, it was an incredible year.

For the sixth year in a row, BMW Motorrad sales beat its previous annual sales with 2016 seeing a 5.9 percent improvement over the previous year. The news comes against a mixed backdrop for the motorcycle industry, at one end Triumph reported similar success and on the other Polaris rode its Victory brand off into the sunset.

BMW Motorrad however are definitely happy with their current road trip. As of December 2016, a total of 145,032 vehicles were supplied to customers, compared to 136,963 units in the previous year.

“2016 was once again a highly successful year for BMW Motorrad,” Stephan Schaller, President BMW Motorrad. “Over the last six years, BMW Motorrad has increased its deliveries to customers by around 50%. We are well on the way to achieving our planned sales target of 200,000 vehicles in 2020.”

The most marked growth in sales in 2016 was seen in all European markets. There was an increase in deliveries to customers in France, up 6.4%, Italy with a 10.3 % increase, Spain up 19.4 % and the UK selling 7.1 % more motorcycles.

Looking down the road, the Chinese market in particular is continuing to show considerable growth potential for BMW Motorrad with a dynamic increase in sales. As compared to the equivalent period of the previous year, deliveries increased by 52.7 % to 4,580 units. Sales in Thailand (1,819 units / +42.1 %) and Japan (+ 6.7 %) were also well above the previous year.

Germany continues to be the biggest single market for BMW Motorrad and it appears there’s room for growth. With 24,894 units sold, BMW Motorrad achieved growth of 4.5% and led the market as a whole. BMW Motorrad is also ahead of the field in the relevant BMW segment over 500 cc capacity in Spain, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Russia and South Africa. In the USA, BMW Motorrad achieved its second best sales result to date with 13,730 units.

Just some of models found in R nineT Line-up

What are they buying?

The top-selling BMW Motorrad series is traditionally the R series. Equipped with the hallmark BMW boxer engines, the share of sales achieved by these motorcycles in 2016 was 77,787 units or 53.6 %. At the model level, the two travel enduro bikes R 1200 GS and GS Adventure led the BMW top-seller ranking. In a significantly tougher competitive environment, 12.1 % more large enduro models were sold than in the previous year (R 1200 GS: 25,336 units / + 7.0 % and R 1200 GS Adventure: 21,391 units / + 18.8 %). The touring classic R 1200 RT followed with 9,648 units (-11.9 %) in third position.

The sporty BMW S models, the supersports bike S 1000 RR, the power roadster S 1000 R and the adventure bike S 1000 XR, have developed into an additional pillar of strength within the BMW motorcycle range. A total of 23,686 S models were supplied worldwide. The share of these models in the total sales volume was 16.3 %. Although its supersports motorcycle S 1000 RR sales were down slightly, - 5.8 %, its brother, the adventure bike S 1000 XR sold more units that the year prior with both models currently fourth and fifth in the BMW Motorrad ranking.

The German motorcycle manufacturer has no intention of slowing down.

“We intend to remain the benchmark in the segment of premium motorcycles,” Schaller explains. “To this end we will continue to consistently pursue our model offensive in the BMW Motorrad segments of 310 to 1600 cubic centimeters capacity. For the 2017 season we will be offering our customers 14 new or revised models.”

The new G 310 GS is due to be launched in the second half of the year, and like the G 310 R does in the segment of BMW roadsters, the second model of the BMW G series transfers the hallmark features of the GS family into the new BMW segment below 500 cubic centimeters.

In the ‘Heritage’ world of experience customers will have a choice of five different models in 2017. The R nineT derivatives ‘Pure’, ‘Racer’ and ‘Urban G/S’ extend a range that will also include the R nineT Scrambler and the freshly revised lead model R nineT. While each of the five models has its own distinct and classic form, they all share the unique air-cooled boxer engine. Whether featuring specific improvements or radical revisions, there are new products to be found in all series, such as the new R 1200 GS, the new S 1000 R and the new K 1600 GT and GTL.

Your eyes are not deceiving you, that is a BMW Bagger!

A surprise to many was BMW’s bagger. The new K 1600 B is targeted specifically to the US market and extends the luxury segment with the in-line 6-cylinder engine to include a highly emotional and exclusive motorcycle.

It’s a bold move and one which shows the company’s intentions for the North American market. BMW Motorrad want to see it performing at the same rate as its other worldwide markets.

“In the years to come, the USA will be the second most important market for BMW Motorrad after Germany,” Stephan Schaller notes. “In the next few years we aim to tangibly increase our market share in the USA. In fact we’re already laying the foundation for long-term growth by introducing new products tailored specifically to market needs such as the new bagger and the classic R nineT family in the “Heritage” segment, and we're also extending our sales and distribution structure, too.”

As part of the planned expansion, BMW Motorrad is enlarging its worldwide dealer network. Especially on the American continent and in Asia in particular there are plans to expand to a total of 1,500 sites. Just as well, BMW Motorrad doesn’t intend to downshift on this success.

“With our exceptional model offensive we have laid the cornerstone for a successful motorcycle season in 2017,” Stephan Schaller, General Director of BMW Motorrad says. ”We feel very confident moving ahead into the New Year and we expect to see ongoing sustainable and profitable growth. These forecasts of course assume a stable economic environment.”

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