Times are tough all around—or are they? BMW’s Motorrad division had their best year ever last year, with year-over-year gains in every month of 2011 compared to 2010. The German company’s sales strategy has apparently begun to pay off, as sales this were even better than 2007—the last year of abundance before the current economic slowdown began.
More interesting is where the growth has been. BMW has doubled its share of the worldwide larger-than-500cc market. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Germany itself, where BMW went from 1.7% of the total 500cc+ market share to nearly 25% in just a single year. To put it in a different perspective, nearly one out of every four large-engine bikes sold last year in Germany was a BMW.
Nor was Germany the only place where large bikes were more more likely to be a BMW. Italy, France and even Brazil posted year-over-year market share gains for the large-engine niche. Although gains in the U.S. were less marked, the surprising revelation there was that the leading sales getter was not the flagship R1200GS, but rather the S1000RR. Surprising because this class has traditionally been a strong suit for the Big Japanese 4: Kawasaki, Honda, Suzuki, and Yamaha.
Can the Germans go the distance? It remains to be seen. But with the new BMW 1250GS ready to be launched, BMW is in an enviable market position.