BMW reports motorcycle markets remain weak

International motorcycle markets remain weak. The negative trend on international motorcycle markets continued throughout the third quarter 2009. As a consequence, the 500 cc plus motorcycles segment relevant for the BMW Group contracted sharply (by 31.5 %) during the period from January to September 2009.

Motorcycle sales were down in all European markets, resulting in an overall drop of 21.9 % for the nine-month period. While markets in France (- 10.0 %) and the United Kingdom (- 8.9 %) experienced a relatively moderate decline, the decreases registered in Germany (- 15.5 %), Italy (- 22.5 %) and Spain (- 58.3 %) were substantial.

Motorcycle sales in the USA were down by 43.0 % for the nine-month period. In Japan, the market for 500 cc plus motorcycles contracted by 15.2 %.

BMW Q3 Motorcycle Sales Down

The BMW Group sold 22,741 motorcycles worldwide during the third quarter 2009, down 8.4 % on the previous year. The sales volume for the nine-month period fell by 13.7 %
to 69,715 units.

In total, 48,969 BMW motorcycles were sold in Europe during the period from January to September 2009, a decrease of 17.4 %. Although sales volume reductions were recorded in a number of European countries, the BMW Group was able to gain market share as the contraction of the market as a whole was even greater.

The nine-month sales figure for Germany was 11,613 units, down by 20.8 % on the previous year. Similarly, last year’s nine month sales performance was not matched either in Spain (4,874 units / – 35.8 %) or in France (5,511 units / – 18.6 %).

In contrast, the BMW Group sold 5,026 units in the United Kingdom, 6.9 % more than in the corresponding nine-month period last year. Despite the dramatic contraction of the US market by almost one half, a total of 7,556 BMW motorcycles were handed over to customers during the nine-month period under report (- 10.5 %).

In a contrasting trend, the sales volume figure of 1,645 motorcycles achieved in Canada
corresponded to an increase of 13.4 %, even though the overall market suffered a similar sharp drop. With 2,082 units sold, the decrease in the nine-month sales volume in Japan was a moderate 4.4 %.

Motorcycle Production Adjusted to Demand

As a reaction to declining sales volumes in the wake of the economic situation, motorcycle production volumes at the Berlin plant were reduced selectively, both in the third quarter and over the nine-month period.

The BMW Group manufactured 15,646 BMW motorcycles during the period from July to September 2009, 32.8 % fewer than in the third quarter 2008. A total of 65,909 motorcycles came off the production lines during the first nine months of the year, a
reduction of 21.4 %.

Revenues and Earnings for BMW Motorcycles Decrease

The lower sales volume performance is also reflected in the revenues and earnings of the Motorcycles segment. Third-quarter revenues of € 239 million were 11.8 %
down on the previous year.

Revenues for the nine-month period amounted to € 865 million (- 14.2 %). Third-quarter
EBIT increased by 40.0 % to a loss of € 3 million while third-quarter loss before tax was at € 5 million (+ 28.6 %). The nine-month EBIT came in at euro 51 million (- 41.4 %) and the profit before tax at € 45 million (- 43.8 %).

BMW Motorcycle Segment Workforce Below 2008 Levels

The BMW Group employed a workforce of 2,897 people in the motorcycles segment on September 30, 2009 which is 4.1 % fewer than one year earlier.