What's the Problem With BMW's Sales?

I saw this press release yesterday on BMW Group's US sales figures and noticed something conspicuously absent: sales figures for their motorcycles.  They have always listed the sales for the Motorrad division separately but this time have chosen not to break those numbers out.


BMW NA's motorcycle sales have been WAY off this year.  I think Jan and Feb were okay but started to tank in Mar and since then.  I'm not really sure why, either.  Is it a slowing economy affecting a higher priced brand?  Is it the entrance of new competition such as from the Africa Twin?  Is it their failure to cycle the same levels of promotion this year they had last?


I know they have started to invest quite a bit in social media marketing so I'm wondering if that was extra money or a shift in their marketing mix?


I'm not the only one to notice.


This is a serious question and I'm not interested in creating a thread for BMW haters.

Maybe it's the higher prices. And I've heard about a lot of problems with them it seems like. I haven't ridden the new water cooled ones yet. But the old oil cooled ones are great. And the price points for them are way better

I don't recall now what I paid for my '11 GSA but I think it was something like $17,900.  I think they start at something like $22,000 now.

Also bmw had record high sales last year. This year they would be close to the same as years before. So it's really just not a record year. Plus the water cooled excitement is over. The AT is a steal and reportedly better than anything bmw is making for the real guys that want to go off road. The increasingly common pictures of bmw's ripped in half for clutches and blown rear ends could be scaring people away. Or maybe big bikes are just so 2015.

Well they put the clutch up front in the new liquid cooled ones which should help.


I think a record year like last is tough to recycle but they are still way off.


I think the competition of KTM's 1190 and 1290, Ducati's MS1200 Enduro and the record AT sales have to be tough to compete with.

probably a mixture of new model hype last year, stiff competition with new models, economic downturn, and also a trend away from big bikes.  Just like big cars shrank over time, big bikes may be fading into something more moderate in power and weight.


I don't think BMW is doing anything specifically wrong, but they are probably just not adapting fast enough to the fickle pleasure seeking American consumers that latch onto trends like nobody else.

Didn't they have record numbers after they didn't post any last Quarter. Probably not enough space for all the zeros.

BMW Motorcycle sales down in USA

Wednesday, June 01, 2016
Posted by: Wes Fleming


BMW Group reported its May 2016 and year-to-date sales figures for the U.S., and the news is grim for the first five months of the year.

In May 2016, 1,221 BMW motorcycles were sold in the USA, a 40% drop from the 2,034 sold in May 2015.  This bucks trends seen in worldwide sales in March (up 19.6% over March 2015) and April (up 1.4%).

Year-to-date figures are less dire, with 2016's NA YTD numbers (5,641) falling just 17.3% compared to 2015's (6,821).  Again, numbers in the U.S. are moving opposite of worldwide numbers seen through the end of March, indicating that April and May sales hurt BMW's overall numbers in the USA.  Globally, BMW Motorrad was up 2.5% on YTD sales through the end of March 2016 and up 5.5% through the end of April.

Motorcycle sales numbers in the U.S. are moving similarly to other BMW products, including MINIs.

I will say, a buddy of mine and I rented two F800GSs on the 29th for a long day trip and I was pretty impressive with their bikes. Fun to ride, sipped fuel, and felt a lot lighter than the specs would indicate. Not sure there is a BMW in my future, but more likely than before.

I believe there is an overall slowdown in high end discretionary spending in the US. BMW motorcycles definitely fall to that catagory. Maybe the election? Consumer confidence is fical and people hate dealing with the unknown.

I am absolutely not a marketing expert, but I think there are a lot of things to consider.


1-Global economic crysis
2-BMW bikes being expensive as &%$#@! (and I'm no hater, this one is my second bimmer)

3-People looking for cheaper/alternative options. This implies two choices:


3A- new kids on the block (AT, MTS Enduro, etc)

3B- the used market (I haven't bought a BRAND NEW bike since 2008, and since then, I had more than 6)


So yeah, as I said, I'm no expert, and down here in italy BMW is still rocking the charts with a BIG margin, but...yeah, those are my two cents.

Edited by PierreADV

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