President of BMW Motorrad: 'There will be nine new models this year'
BMW are setting themselves some ambitious targets. By 2020, the firm want to be selling 200,000 units a year – a substantial increase on the 116,000 machines they currently produce.
“September to September we are up on last year, which we hope will continue or lift with the release of the new Scrambler and G310R in the final three months,” explained Stephan Schaller, President of BMW Motorrad. “The overall motorcycle market is flat, however we hope to lift our numbers compared to last year and show growth.”
So where will this level of continued growth come from?
“You need to launch new models to gain growth, if you stop you will fall back immediately. This year the two scooters were very important for the southern European countries, which carried a lot of our growth. By the end of the year we will have launched nine future models, which will carry on the growth into next year.”
But can this deliver the 80,000 sales increase to meet your targets?
“Four years ago we developed our strategy and looked at new segments and families as well as new countries to grow our volume. Urban is a new segment with its maxi-scooters and we now have the three maxi-scooters, so this will be expanded with lower capacity models.
“The Heritage segment is also very promising with the R nineT and its
family has been extended, and another new model will be shown at the Milan show, making it five members of the family with more to come.
“The G310 is another segment and we have shown one and another is coming as well. The task of the G310 is to attract totally new customers with BMW quality at an affordable price and it will sell well in countries such as Brazil who want 300-400cc bikes and where we have even built a new factory that we opened this month. These elements, in conjunction with new markets such as China, will support our growth.”
Will BMW fully immerse itself in the small-capacity sector?
“It is not a strategy to have lots of volume in the small capacity segment, the task of the G310 is to lower the hurdle for new customers. We want to attract new customers but we will not go to 125cc or lower. The G310 is 100% a BMW that attracts new customers who may step up to our big bikes as our main focus will remain the big bikes above 500cc.”
MCN have uncovered plenty of proof that BMW are looking into carbon fibre frame technology for motorcycles – so is it coming?
“You can always expect from us leading technology, and next year we will show a very nice masterpiece of leading technology in a very top level,” says Schaller.
While hardly the confirmation MCN were looking for with regard to carbon frames – it wasn’t a denial, either.
No MotoGP for BMW
Despite Suzuki, Aprilia and KTM now joining Yamaha, Honda and Ducati in MotoGP, Schaller insists that BMW still have no plans to race at the top level.
“We have no plans to race in
MotoGP,” he says simply. “Our focus is not to serve MotoGP, it is to serve the customers.
“We will always try to build the best superbikes that money can buy, but for a broad range of customers not two or three pilots that run around in circles. I want to support the customers in the wide field who can buy the best performing sportsbikes they read about in MCN. When you are only in MotoGP you don’t sell a single bike more.”