BMW has just had its best ever year. Again. The German company sold more motorcycles and maxi scooters in 2018 than ever before. This is the eighth time in as many years that BMW has made such an announcement, the company going from unprecedented strength to unprecedented strength.
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It’s always interesting to try to reconcile this sort of news with the regular stream of articles claiming the motorcycling industry is doomed. Feel free to discuss. In the meantime, BMW says it sold some 165,566 vehicles in 2018, a 0.9-percent increase over the year before. If things go the company’s way, it will sell even more this year, with a goal of ultimately managing to send some 200,000 units out the door in 2020
“The 2018 sales figure shows that our motorcycle growth strategy is taking effect,” said Dr. Markus Schramm, head of BMW Motorrad. “This success was achieved due to the market launch of six new models as well as the powerful BMW Motorrad product portfolio. And we still have a great deal planned for the coming years. Our ongoing model initiative in the premium segment continues. We will expand our product range with emotional and innovative new products in 2019, too.”
Unsurprisingly, Germany served as BMW’s biggest market, with some 23,824 units being sold in the country. That works out to a little more than 65 bikes a day. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, where the R 1200 GS/GSA is still the overall best-selling motorcycle, BMW was selling 25 bikes a day (9,224 units), yet somehow the dealership in Cardiff still went under. Meanwhile, over in Trumpistan, some 38 motos were going out the door each day (13,842 units).
Speaking of Britain’s favorite bike, BMW sold more than 51,000 of its R 1200 GS/GSA bikes in 2018. This is no surprise to me; on a sunny day in Scotland or Wales you’d be forgiven for thinking that the flagship motorcycle is the only one being sold these days. Whereas six-cylinder beasts like the K 1600 B make up the majority of the BMWs being sold Stateside.
“We will continue to increase our involvement in the US in order to strengthen BMW Motorrad’s position there.” said BMW Motorrad Head of Sales and Marketing Timo Resch: “We will respond to the special market requirements in the USA with a further highly emotional and very authentic BMW Motorrad product.”
Your guess is as good as mine as to what they’re talking about there. Although, there are rumors that BMW would bring into production a platform based on an 1800cc boxer platform. Back in December, BMW revealed a prototype big boxer within a custom bike it had commissioned from Japanese custom gurus Custom Works Zon. It’s an act reminiscent of when Roland Sands built a prototype K 1600 B and has lots of people excited. Certainly I’m all in.
BMW isn’t offering much information about that project, though, simply stating: “Further details about the engine and its possible future use will be communicated at a later point in time.”