2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 05:39
BMW Motorrad celebrated the world premiere of the Bagger 1600 B on Monday in Los Angeles. With this and its Heritaet models, the Munich-based company wants to double its market share in the USA before 2020. By then, 200,000 units are to be sold worldwide.
By Frank Mertens
The clock rate at BMW Motorrad is high. Just the Munich have the new G 310 R presented at the first test drives at the Intermot in Cologne in the previous week, among others, the R NINET Pure and R NINET Racer, now the world premiere of excavator K followed on Monday, 1600 B.
It is the Model with which BMW Motorrad, together with its Heritage machines, wants to continue its growth path in the USA and thus also worldwide. BMW Motorrad's market share in the USA is currently four percent, and it is expected to double by 2020. "I assume that this can even be the case a little earlier," said motorcycle boss Stephan Schaller on Monday at the presentation of the new machine in Los Angeles.
Germany is still the largest market for the Munich-based motorcycle division with 25,000 units per year, but within the next three years this should become the USA. Around 15,000 units are currently sold here annually. Looking ahead, BMW Motorrad plans to sell 200,000 units worldwide by 2020. After three quarters, BMW Motorrad has delivered over 116,000 this year - three percent more than in the same period last year. Good conditions for the sixth record year in a row.
The excavator is based on the 1600 GT
The new excavator, whose technical basis is based on the 1600 GT, is a machine that invites you to travel on Route 66, as Schaller said. The silhouette of the new one is teardrop-shaped, the highest point of the machine is the front window with a sloping line to the rear. There are two low side cases with integrated rear lights. This makes for a very wide back. You have to like something like that.
But the appearance of the excavators follows the logic of the American market, as chief designer Edgar Heinrich said. The excavator stands for hours of cruising on the endless US highways. The new machine is the epitome of "American Touring", it is said full-bodied. Anyway. In the USA, this machine with its 160 hp six-cylinder and a weight of 336 kilograms will reach customers. And in other countries too? "We don't develop models for just one market. Accordingly, it is also a machine for Europe, but also for China," said Schaller. In China in particular, BMW is currently experiencing enormous demand.
But what about urban mobility at BMW Motorrad? Here you have your scooter models and above all the C-Evolution. The range of the 15,000 euro electric scooter has just been increased to 160 kilometers, stressed Schaller. But what's next? This Tuesday, the Vision Next 100 will be presented by BMW Motorrad in Los Angeles. After its visionary vehicles from BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce, the company is now completing its outlook on the mobility of the future with its two-wheeler brand.
Networked into the future
It is clear that this will also be networked for two-wheelers, as BMW board member Peter Schwarzenbauer said. Since the scooter already has a blind spot warning system, there will also be an emergency call assistant - the so-called eCall - on the motorcycles in the coming year.
And that what is being tested in the automotive sector in car-2-car communication and car-2-x communication is of course also an issue for motorcycles. "Two or three years after these technologies are available in cars, they will also be available in motorcycles," announced Schwarzenbauer. The board of directors said that it was more difficult to implement with motorcycles than with cars. He mentioned the import of information for the driver as an example. "How does the driver get the information? On a screen in the cockpit or is it displayed on the helmet visor?" These are questions that still need to be clarified. But they are working on that as well as on motorcycle mobility services.
So sharing models are analogous to rent-a-bike? This won't happen in the short term. "The topic only becomes interesting when the user no longer needs a helmet," said Schwarzenbauer. Today, however, helmets are still compulsory for motorcycles in Germany. New concepts of two-wheel mobility are required for which a helmet is not required There was already a motorcycle with the BMW C1, but it was discontinued due to failure and the C1 was simply ahead of its time.
Entry into less than 500 ccm
But what speaks against a new edition of the C1 as an electric version, like a C1 Evolution? Schwarzenbauer smiles. "We are working on a lot of concepts." For motorcycle boss Schaller, a C1 Evolution is "imaginable in maybe five to ten years". Such a model would certainly be interesting, but other things have priority, he said. The fact that a C1 Evolution does not enjoy a higher value may also be due to the fact that the sales figures of this model are manageable. They move around 1000 units. So it is just as long a road to sustainable mobility for motorcycles as it is for automobiles.
Incidentally, the current sales figures for the motorcycle division show that the goal of 200,000 motorcycles and scooters by 2020 is an ambitious one. After 137,000 units in the previous year with a sales increase of ten percent, the pace of growth has slowed this year. After nine months, 116,044 units were delivered worldwide. That is an increase of three percent compared to the same period last year. It will be the sixth record year in a row, but the market is not growing as fast as in previous years. That is why BMW is entering the market under 500 cc with the G 310 R - and opening up new target groups and markets.
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