Ducati & BMW: Sales Up Globally, But Decline In The US…

Published January 17, 2017

We already know that 2016 was a sensational year for Triumph, but who else scored big wins in the sales department? Well, we’ve got some interesting figures from Ducati and BMW to take a look at, because it seems that those two European giants did remarkably well. Having said that though, their gains were big on a global scale…For the US market though? Not so good. None of the big manufacturers performed remarkably well in the US in 2016, and sales are still low when compared with the days before the recession. For now, we’ve only got Ducati and BMW Motorrad’s statistics to look at, but as soon as we learn the details from the rest, we’ll do a big comparison article. Until then…let’s begin with Ducati.

Ducati’s sales figures showed that the firm sold 55,451 motorcycles in 2016, which is up 1.2% from 2015’s 54,809 units sold. Incredibly, that was Ducati’s best ever year. This will be the seventh year in a row that Ducati has achieved positive growth. That’s no mean considering that the USA is its biggest market, and overall Ducati sales in the US fell by 9%. In 2015, Ducati sold 9674 units in the US, and only 8787 in 2016. Quite an astounding loss, when you look at it.

Ducati’s CEO Claudio Domenicali was pretty positive with everything though: “Ending the year of our 90th anniversary with yet another record is a source of immense pride and satisfaction. 2016 was the seventh consecutive growth year for Ducati, clearly confirming the soundness of the Bologna-based group’s strategy and skills.”

Despite the losses in the US, Ducati managed to perform very well abroad. The sales increase in Spain and Germany were fairly impressive, with a 38% increase in Spain and up 8% in Germany. Italy now sits in second place behind the USA as Ducati’s strongest market, too.

The models that accounted for Ducati’s sales increase include the Multistrada, probably because it’s aesthetic is a lot less of an opinion divider these days; the Hypermotard 939, which enjoyed an increase in sales of 15%; and the XDiavel, which equated to around 10% of Ducati’s overall sales for 2016. The Scrambler platform, however, suffered a small slide in sales. Bu on the whole, Ducati had a pretty good year.

BMW Motorrad had an even better year. Unlike Ducati’s small growth of 1.2%, BMW enjoyed a much nicer sounding 5.9% gain over their sales figures from 2015. For six years in a row BMW have posted positive growth, but like Ducati, sales performance in the USA was pretty dismal. Globally, BMW sold 145,032 units in 2016…

The vast majority of BMW’s growth came from Europe, with a 6.4% rise in France, 7.1% in the UK, 10.3% in Italy, and an impressive 19.4% rise in Spain. On home turf, BMW’s German market enjoyed a nice 4.5% rise. Sales in Asia also rose dramatically, and BMW Motorrad were able to sell a rather unprecedented 4580 bikes in China alone.

The USA was the biggest flop. Sales dropped by an ugly 16% stateside. But let’s not dwell on the negative. What BMW bikes were the best sellers?

Unsurprisingly, BMW’s R-series ruled the roost, particulary the R1200GS, and the series accounted for 53.6% of units sold. The S-series also sold well, and the S1000RR and S1000XR became BMW’s fourth and fifth bestselling machines. Despite the apparent success, the flagship S1000RR sales fell by 5.8%, and the S1000R fell by 10%. The S1000XR held the series together by showing a massive 74.6% increase, which can be attributed to it being a new model, but in general, it does seem like the interest in the BMW sportsbike is waning. That’s what the figures say, but I don’t think it’s true. It’s probably an economical factor that hurt sales, rather than a lack of interest.

BMW aren’t being put off by the poor performance in the US, as they’re currently planning on expanding even further into the American market by establishing new dealerships in the near future.

In conclusion? Well, we’re seeing poor sales performance in the USA, but globally our favorite brands are still doing alright…so there’s no need to panic just yet. And if there ever comes a time to panic, the solution is simple: go out and buy a new motorcycle. That’ll be a tragic day, won’t it?


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Joe Appleton
About Joe Appleton

I’ve done a bit of work here and there in the industry – I’ve even ridden a few bikes for actual money but what it comes down to is this: I ride bikes, build bikes and occasionally crash ‘em too. I like what I like but that certainly doesn’t make my opinion any more valid than yours…

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