2006 was a year of superlatives for BMW Motorrad
On December 15th, an annual production of 100,000 motorcycles was achieved at the Berlin plant for the first time ever, and in sales too the magic figure of 100,000 units was exceeded for the first time. Exactly 100,064 BMW motorcycles were sold worldwide – the highest number ever supplied by the company to customers in a single year. As compared to the previous year (97,474 units) this means a sales increase of 2.7 per cent. And the company can boast yet another proud statistic for 2006: in December the number of all BMW motorcycles produced since 1923 reached the two million mark. By the end of the year a total of 2,061,977 motorcycles had been produced, 1,616,016 having come off the production lines of the motorcycle plant in Berlin-Spandau since 1969.
In keeping with the company’s roots, the 100,000th motorcycle was a flat twin “Boxer”, an unfaired R 1200 R in Nocturnal Black non-metallic fitted with Integral ABS.
Hermann Bohrer, head of production of the Berlin plant since September, was very pleased: “100,000 is great symbol for the work done here in the plant in recent years. This kind of thing can only be achieved with a strong, well-motivated workforce. Six new models have been a big challenge to the plant. I would like to thank all colleagues: it was their efforts that made this great success possible.”
The foundation for increased production was laid by investments made in past years. Some 117 million euros was spent on developing motorcycle production in the Berlin plant between 2001 and 2003. Today it is regarded as one of the most state-of-the-art motorcycle plants in the world.
Sales results mainly achieved in Western Europe
The markets in Western Europe accounted for the lion’s share of the impressive sales results. In Germany, a total of 23,617 units had been supplied as of December, making BMW Motorrad the market leader in its home territory. Advance sales due to the imminent VAT increase resulted in a surge in sales towards the end of the year. For Rodger Bothmann, head of motorcycle sales in Germany, 2006 was an unusual year: “We presented five new models at INTERMOT and gave the market important impulses with the new single-cylinder models of the G 650 cross series, the K 1200 R Sport and the HP2 Megamoto. We will continue the success of this product offensive in 2007.”
The second strongest market for the company was Italy with 13,651 units, followed by the USA (12,825 units) and Spain (10,002 units).
The R 1200 GS – along with its sibling model Adventure - achieved phenomenal sales success with 31,138 units. Not only is it the market leader by a long way among the large-volume enduro motorcycles, it is probably one of the best-selling motorcycle model worldwide in the category over 500 CC. Ranking in second place in terms of popularity of BMW motorcycles is the travel touring bike R1200 RT with 13,384 units. The single-cylinder model F 650 GS and the model variation Dakar was sold 12,511 times.
The largest manufacturer of large-volume motorcycles in Europe in one decade
Within a decade BMW Motorrad has become the biggest and most successful manufacturer of large-volume motorcycles in Europe. But for Dr. Herbert Diess, the managing director of BMW Motorrad, volume increase is not the ultimate objective: “Our company strategy is long-term and oriented towards the permanent profitability of all products, it is not simply geared towards volume. Rankings in registration statistics are not the main focus of our interest. We invest carefully in innovations and technologies for new models, consolidating and extending our segments and market positions. This secures a strong position within the market for ourselves and our dealers.”
The record figures of the year 2006 mark the latest high point in an impressive success story for BMW motorcycles which started back in 1993 with the 4-valve flat twin generation and the revitalisation of the single-cylinder segment in 1994. Since then sales have been virtually tripled (from 35.219 units in 1993 to 100,064 units in 2006).
New company orientation and model offensive since 2004
The continuous extension of the model program and from 2004 the new edition of the 4-valve flat twin “Boxer” – completely redesigned - much lighter, more powerful and more agile than the predecessor generation, are further pillars of success. Today it encompasses eight different models, of which the sportiest – the R 1200 S – has an output of 90 kW (122 bhp).
With the 4-cylinder motorcycles of the K series, also completely redesigned, BMW Motorrad extended its range towards the high-performance motorcycle from 2004 onwards, too. This was followed by a strategic reorientation of the entire model range with significantly increased dynamic performance and sporty flair.
2006 saw a further milestone: entry into the hotly competed medium category segment with the two new models F 800 ST and F 800 S. The state-of-the-art parallel twin, unique in its design, now forms the basis for an additional model series – the fourth – which is to be extended in the years to come. The product spectrum is rounded off at the lower end of the scale with the single-cylinder models G 650Xchallenge, Xcountry and Xmoto, which were presented to the general public at the end of 2006.
Virtually the entire model program has been completely renewed over the last two years with 17 new motorcycles having been launched since 2004. The current vehicle range is divided into four core segments: Sports, Touring, Urban and Enduro. There are a total of 20 different models – from the 650 cc hard enduro to the 4-cylinder high-performance sports machine with 1200 cc and 122 kW (167 bhp). It is the biggest, most diverse and most fascinating model program of all times. Dynamic performance and power have become the new trademarks of BMW motorcycles, combined with traditional values such as ecological compatibility, safety and reliability.