With the financial markets trying to make sense of Brexit, Trump and the rise of China, how are the European motorcycle manufacturers doing? Alan Cathcart investigates...
Now is the time of year when motorcycle manufacturers crunch numbers and claim to be winners or admit to being losers – or something in between. Here’s a roundup of how the major European manufacturers fared in 2017.
BMW: SEVENTH CONSECUTIVE ALLTIME SALES HIGH
BMW Motorrad has reported that its 2017 worldwide deliveries of motorcycles and scooters increased by 13.2% in the 2017 calendar year to 164,153 vehicles (versus 145,032 units in 2016), thanks to strong sales growth in Europe and Asia. With these new record annual sales, BMW Motorrad takes another step towards reaching its stated objective of delivering 200,000 units in the year 2020. Germany is once again the largest single market for BMW motorcycles and scooters, with 26,664 units sold there in 2017, a 7.1% increase over 2016 which allowed it to remain the market share leader in its home country. Indeed, the company’s strongest sales upsurge in 2017 was recorded in Europe as a whole, with record growth which saw around 15% more vehicles delivered there than in 2016. This was driven mainly by France (16,607 units, up 24.3%), followed by Italy (14,430 units/17.3%), Spain (11,193 units/17.6%) and the British
Isles (9550 units/8.7%).
For the first time in BMW Motorrad’s history, more than 50,000 units of the two R1200GS and GS Adventure dual-purpose models alone were sold in 2017, as sales of all of the traditionally strong-selling flat-twin boxer models increased significantly overall. Thanks to the three new R nineT models, the Pure, Racer and Urban G/S variants, sales in the boxer segment rose by 9.6% in 2017, to a total of 86,090 motorcycles. The BMW S Series sportbike models saw 21,752 examples sold worldwide, while BMW’s new sub-500cc capacity segment made a strong debut, with 11,595 units of the G310R and G310GS models – which are built in India by BMW’s partner TVS and introduced in 2017 – already delivered to customers by the end of the year, with demand strong in Europe,
South America and Asia.
Sales of the German manufacturer’s six-cylinder models also developed positively, with the K1600 Bagger aimed at the US market selling well in its debut year. Timo Resch, BMW Motorrad head of sales and marketing, stated: “With 6719 units sold and a 50% increase in sales, our six-cylinder models are among the big winners of 2017.”
KTM: SALES UP 17%, WITH A RECORD 238,334 UNITS SOLD
Austria’s KTM Industries AG remained Europe’s No. 1 in terms of overall units sold in 2017, which saw the company achieve a seventh consecutive year of record sales, with an all-time high in revenues and profit.
In its figures for the 2017 financial year, KTM’s yearly revenues over 2016 were up
14% at €1.533 billion, with
EBIT (operating earnings before interest and taxes, but after depreciation) 8% higher at €132.5 million in the last 12 months, against €122.3 million in 2016. The preliminary net profit before taxes increased to €117.0 million, against €108.9 million the previous year.
The company says it sold 238,334 KTM and Husqvarna motorcycles in its 2017 business year, to “further strengthen our number one position as the biggest motorcycle producer in Europe”. Unit sales increased by over 17% compared to the previous year, driven by increased demand not only for its core Austrianmade products, but also the smaller capacity models built in India by its business partner and 48% investor Bajaj Auto.
According to sales data from Indian industry watchdog
SIAM, some 35,000 KTM motorcycles were sold there in 2017 alone, in addition to CKD kits being exported for assembly in other countries from Brazil to Malaysia.
Thanks to this ongoing growth, KTM recruited 818 additional employees in 2017 (652 of them in Austria), taking its overall directly employed workforce to 5887 people worldwide, including 4568 in Austria. The company says that for the 2018 business year KTM Industries Group expects
New mid-weight adventure bikes are expected to be a big hit for BMW.