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Thread: Robb leaves BMW

  1. #91
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Fly Over Land
    I agree there is a great deal of stress going on at the Mothership; however, I see the clone wars as symptomatic to stress being felt by entire industry. Where are the riders and what will they want are the questions stress motorcycle executives. To remain viable, let alone grow, companies must expand their offerings to try and capture what ever part they may of a aging and declining number of two wheeled buyers. The Kneeslider had a piece, 'Dangerous Thoughts About the Future of Motorcycles' that does a very good job of making the point I would babble on about.

    The head of BMW Motorrad Hendrik von Kuenheim is also the current head of ACEM. This is the European motorcycle manufactures association. He has written extensively in their newsletter about the difficulties the industry faces in keeping motorcycles a viable part of the transportation mix the public chooses.

    With all the choices it is a great time to be a rider and a difficult time to be a manufacturer.
    Pass the mustard and UP THE REVOLUTION!

  2. #92
    In a lot of ways BMW motorcycles is right-sized. A while back I noticed that for every BMW sold, Harley was selling 20. So if BMW captured just one out of 20 of the Harley sales Harley would still have 95% of their sales and BMW sales would double. If BMW captured just one out of 40 of the sales, Harley sales would be at 97.5% and BMW would have a 50% increase in sales.

    BMW manufacturing, distribution, and sales are small for the industry. But profitable. And even over the past two years with economies all over the world in the tank BMW sales increased while larger brands lost sizable portions of their volume.

    I suspect that BMW will continue to do OK - but in so doing they will aggravate some of us. They plan and intend to keep the dealer network in the US at around 150 dealerships. They will be looking at locations only after extensive demographic studies. Which means those of us in far away boondocky kinds of places are not going to have a dealership just around the corner. They will build what they firmly believe they can sell. We won't find warehouses full of 2008 non-sellers at silly low prices. At some dealerships we will wait for a bike. Inventories won't be flush hoping we will wander by.

    They will build and sell more bikes when they believe that is profitable. They will cut inventory and manufacturing (and the associated costs) when they believe that will be more profitable. So far, the strategy seems to be a few more units sold each year. And also so far, they are making the strategy work.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell

  3. #93
    Registered User ANDYVH's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
    Green Bay, WI
    Sounds like typical conservative and calculated German philosophy. Profitable by long term planned goals.

    Harley dealerships can be found EVERYWHERE and nearly ANYWHERE, which is probably a bigger reason for their market domination than the bikes themselves. You can always find a HD outlet close by and easily, sometimes ridicuously close to other dealers, even here in fairly remote Wisconsin. Also, with SO many dealers in close range of each other, the HD owners can always find their "breathern". So again, the clan of HD is almost more than the product of the bikes.

    But conversely, look in any classifieds add section of any newspaper for used motorcycles and its awash in used HDs. We BMW riders tend to hang on to our rides, and actually ride them! Novel thought that.
    Get trained! The best "performance" upgrade you can get is YOU. Visit for training info.

  4. #94
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Eastern KY
    I watch Ebay for parts as a regular and also scan the BMW bikes that come up each day-it runs from teens to ~30 per day & many are relistings by dealers like Max . I don't get the hang on to them thing , as there are scads out there for sale in the various mkt's & many have low miles. I do agree that the classifieds seem to have a HD list everywhere you go but thats much like a chevy list to me as such a common brand is to be expected. The classifieds these days are an afterthought anyway. i used to really "get off" with a trip to a box book store & perusing the big city classifieds for exotics.
    Maybe BMW, as a "toney" brand is selling to the "one per centers" as a somewhat inflation proof strategy & as Paul G. says the sales go up a bit @ a time which is our middle class shrinking? As much as impulse has always seemed to matter in the glitter world, it seems a miracle to me that the stuff sells like it does, what with so few dealer showrooms. Cycle mags seem to "test" most models(that buy ads) and I'm wondering how brand loyalty compares across the bike world landscape? I know from other boards that many own several brands & it's quite common to see people that left BMW to an Asian,Tiger or Ducati ride.
    There's another Americano that designed at BMW-is he still there?

  5. #95
    Registered User mneblett's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
    Fairfax, VA
    Quote Originally Posted by kantuckid View Post
    There's another Americano that designed at BMW-is he still there?
    Chris Bangle -- head of design. Gone for 2-3 years now.
    Mark Neblett
    Fairfax, VA

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