BMW Retail Sales Up in 2008

Despite a weakened motorcycle market, BMW Motorrad USA reported today that its dealers retailed 0.6 percent more bikes in 2008 than they did in 2007. Noting that customers registered 11,839 new BMWs during the year, the company credits popular new models and readily available credit through its finance arm.

BMW claims it had strong sales during each of the last six months of the year, and says that both retail and wholesale sales during October broke records. “Our sustained success during these very difficult economic times speaks volumes about the strength of our brand, our new model initiatives and the quality of our dealers,” said Pieter de Waal, VP of BMW Motorrad USA.

Consumer interest in several new adventure/sport-oriented models — the upgraded BMW R 1200 GS and GS Adventure and the all-new BMW F 650 GS and F 800 GS enduro motorcycles; the G 450 X sport enduro; and the HP2 Sport — reportedly drove sales.

“The popularity of these new models demonstrates that more motorcyclists are embracing an adventure-sport lifestyle and seeking a modern combination of on- and off-road capabilities to explore roads less traveled,” de Waal said. “We have just the right motorcycles for these riders. We also have a great partner in BMW Financial Services, which has allowed us to continue to finance consumers’ motorcycle purchases during these difficult financial times.”

This year, BMW will introduce several new models to the U.S. market: the 2009 BMW K 1300 S (BMW’s most powerful street-legal bike), the 2009 K 1300 GT, and BMW’s 2009 World Superbike contender, the S 1000 RR.

Worldwide, BMW Motorrad almost broke even with its record sales of the previous year. The company says it delivered 101,685 motorcycles to customers, a drop of only 0.8 percent.

In Husqvarna’s first year with the BMW Group, it reportedly delivered 13,511 motorcycles to customers worldwide, a 31 percent increase over the previous year.