2010 EICMA: BMW Motorrad Director Speech

BMW Motorcycle News

Following is a speech of Hendrik von Kuenheim, General Director BMW Motorrad, at the opening day of EICMA 2010 in Milan.

Dear motorcycle friends,

A very warm welcome also from my side to BMW Motorrad and Husqvarna Motorcycles at the EICMA.

We can look back at a very exciting motorcycle season 2010.

Together with our customers and friends, we celebrated 30 years of GS, 10 years of BMW Motorrad Days, the first pole position and podium placements in the Superbike World Championship, a confident title win in the Superstock World Championship by Ayrton Badovini of Team BMW Motorcycle Italy, the title win in the Enduro World Championship Class 1 by Antoine Meo of our Husqvarna Factory Team and lots of other international and national motorsports successes in both on-road and off-road sport.

What is more, teams from 10 nations will be starting this month in South Africa and will be competing in the international "BMW Motorcycle GS Trophy".

This tough event, similar to a rally, will be a major challenge for both riders and motorcycles and, for us, it will be the final highlight of the 30-year celebrations for BMW’s most successful motorcycle.

And after the INTERMOT in Cologne, the EICMA here in Milan is a further highlight in this season which has been a very successful one for us. We enjoy coming here again each year to present new motorcycles.

In a time in which the motorcycle market worldwide is greatly in decline we continue to expand. BMW Motorrad and Husqvarna Motorcycles are investing above average in new products and the future.

And so we are in the fortunate situation that we do not have to focus with our premieres on only one of the two large motorcycle trade fairs of the year.

Just a few weeks after the world premiere of BMW’s first six-cylinder motorcycles, we are able to present to you, once again, some new BMWs and Husqvarnas.

Of course, our luxury and innovative six-cylinder touring bikes are the focus of our trade-fair presentation here as well. The K 1600 GT and the K 1600 GTL are symbols for the start of another model offensive for BMW Motorrad.

This year the market has well rewarded us for our offensive product strategy:

As of September, BMW Motorrad sales have exceeded those of 2009 by 17 %. To date we have delivered over 81,500 motorcycles to our customers worldwide. This means almost 12,000 units more than last year.

Never before have we sold more motorcycles in a September than in September 2010.

And initial projections for October indicate another clear growth as compared to October 2009.

BMW Motorrad is able to clearly expand its market share in a very difficult market environment:

For example, our market share in Italy increased from 13, 8% in 2009 to 18.2 % to 2010. This means that, currently, every one in five new motorcycles over 500 cc sold in Italy is a BMW. Our market share was 8.2 % 10 years ago – really a striking trend!

And Italy’s top-selling motorcycle over 500 cc is the BMW GS.

Our market shares are 20 % or more in Germany, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands as well. South Africa leads the way. BMW Motorrad currently has an almost 40 % share of the market there.

This market performance shows that success can be achieved even in difficult times if you act proactively and if you continually invest in your products and your future.

Ladies and Gentlemen, so that is why we are able to present to you today besides the two six-cylinder touring bikes no less than four new BMWs and three new Husqvarnas.

The new entry-level model from BMW Motorrad is the G 650 GS. We have revised the small GS radically for the large-displacement single-cylinder market – a market that is still rather important. In a new, attractive enduro design, the G 650 GS continues the success story of BMW’s single-cylinder bikes.

This evergreen of BMW’s range offers not only a powerful, economical engine but also extensive optional extras. For instance, in comparison with its direct competition, it is the only bike available with ABS.

With BMW’s typical standard of safety, versatility and comfort, this motorcycle allows a broad range of uses from everyday riding through to long distance bike travelling at a very attractive price-performance ratio.

Ladies and Gentlemen, at the EICMA it has almost become a matter of course that we present something new in relation to the BMW Boxer engine. The DOHC Boxer engine which we first presented here in 2009 is now also available on the new R 1200 R.

Even before this, the R 1200 R was considered to be one of the best all-round bikes on the market. For instance, it won the tough, international "Alpenmasters" comparison test twice. With its new engine and some other modifications it has now added to its repertoire even better dynamics, ridability and emotionalit.

In conjunction with the technical modifications we have updated the design and greatly boosted the quality rating of the Boxer roadster.

Moreover, since the market for naked bikes has shifted increasingly towards two sub-segments in recent years, we are now, for the first time, offering two different roadster variants.

The puristic color and equipment concept of the basic version of the R 1200 R specifically meets customer wishes for an ultra-modern and sporty-dynamic naked bike.

By contrast, the R 1200 R Classic with its exclusive features and the traditional color concept in black and white is targeted fully at fans of up-market classic roadsters.

These new Boxer models, the single-cylinder GS and the K 1600 six-cylinder touring bikes are to be launched on the market in spring 2011.

Earlier than this, we will fulfill the wishes of many GS customers for a virtually entirely black R 1200 GS. The world’s top-selling motorcycle can be ordered as "Triple Black" special model already now and is to be delivered as of January.

Apart from the standard spoked wheels, the "Triple Black" technically corresponds to the R 1200 GS. Its exclusive color scheme serves to emphasise the masculine touch of this large touring enduro.

So much for the new BMW production models in brief.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

in 2008 and 2009, BMW Motorrad presented a big surprise at the EICMA. That will be the case this year as well. But before I reveal more about this to you, I’d first like to call upon Klaus Allisat to speak.

Since September this year, Klaus Allisat has headed Husqvarna Motorcycles. He will now present the new products from our small but topnotch motorcycle brand from Northern Italy.

Mr. Allisat, you didn’t have far to come here today from Lake Varese. It’s not very difficult to see that the cover here conceals a surprise. What have you brought with you for our guests?

Thank you very much Mr. Allisat!

Ladies and Gentlemen, this highly emotional study from Husqvarna is still a vision, but it shows that Husqvarna can do far more than develop excellent off-road motorcycles.

In the years to come, we want to substantially boost sales of BMW Motorrad and Husqvarna Motorcycles. In this, our aim is not growth at any price but profitable, sustained growth.

With this in mind, we are considering what other business segments could be suitable over and above the existing product portfolio of both brands.

We shall be positioning ourselves on a broader basis and will be entering market segments in which BMW Motorrad or Husqvarna were not active to date. In this way, we will be appealing to customers who have not considered our brands beforehand.

The best example of this is our S 1000 RR – the shooting star of this season. With the Double R, BMW Motorrad has managed at first go to conquer second place in the segment of super sports bikes. And it is well on the way to becoming the world’s top-selling super sports bike worldwide.

But today – Ladies and Gentlemen – is the day on which we announce the entry into a completely different market.

Individual mobility has changed greatly in recent years, specifically in congested urban areas. Available road space has not been able to keep pace with the risen passenger-car traffic during this process.

This trend is continuing and is creating new opportunities for powered two wheelers. Against this backdrop, we intend to expand our range of products again:

BMW Motorrad enters the Big Scooter market!

At first, we shall offer two innovative premium scooters with internal-combustion engine. With regard to their individual concept they will differ from each other so greatly that we will be able to appeal to a broad group of customers.

Moreover, we have in mind a particularly low-emission drive system with electric motor for the future.

The BMW Scooters will unite the excellent riding characteristics of the motorcycle and the special agility and conceptual comfort of the scooter – Big Scooters "Made by BMW Motorrad".

With the "BMW Motorrad Concept C" we are giving you today a first concrete outlook on this new, outstanding generation of Big Scooters. The "C" stands for "Commuter" and indicates the primary field of use in urban areas.

Hendrik von Kuenheim