Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 18

Thread: BMW Husky Sale- Funky Reason??

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Wilmington, NC
    Posts
    2,119

    BMW Husky Sale- Funky Reason??

    BMW stated reason for selling Husky was basically demographics. They claim that "urban mobility and electrics" where they intend to put resources is the wave of the future and how to compete at the high margin end.

    I'd call a lot of that simply wishful thinking.

    A $10K scooter that is more expensive to maintian than a std motorcycle isn't going to be more than a niche item. And I'd bet we're still a full decade or more away from the kind of electric motorcycle or even a hybrid that would attract attention from most riders. Sure, one can always find a few early adopters, eco freaks or whatever to sell to but that's a long way from a viable approach to the mainstream...

    I could easily understand dumping Husky because the dirt bike arena is lower price point, lower margin and would consume resources out of proportion to potential profit but the other reason looks like an invention rather than reality..

    Yet Marc Cook in the latest Motorcyclist notes that current Terra is a whole lot better bike than his much modded Suzuki 650 so apparently the current Huskys are good machines- be intersting to see what the new owner does with the brand and who is selling it eventually. I'll bet there are at least a few annoyed BMW dealers who signed on to the brand only to have BMW abandon it- and are now likely to get more pressure from BMW who want a one brand. one focus shop...

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    South Kentucky
    Posts
    482
    BMW may want a one brand shop but will it happen

    The BMW dealership I'm using in Louisville is primarily a Harley shop. Probably 95% Harley's. But always has a decent inventory of BMW's

    Harley & BMW seem to be a good mix
    Anthony S.
    2012 R1200GS

  3. #3
    BMW Rider
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    750
    Quote Originally Posted by racer7 View Post
    ........................

    A $10K scooter that is more expensive to maintian than a std motorcycle isn't going to be more than a niche item.
    Yea, but don't forget BMW motorcycles are a niche as well. Through the years BMW has released their share of dogs. I don't know what to think of high end scooters. IMO BMW has released enough failures to make me wary. Time will tell if their right. ................

    Quote Originally Posted by racer7 View Post
    I could easily understand dumping Husky because the dirt bike arena is lower price point, lower margin and would consume resources out of proportion to potential profit but the other reason looks like an invention rather than reality..
    Decades ago Husky had a great name within the marketplace. As of this writing it is ultraniche. Who knows if it will gain enough traction to make it in the marketplace. BMW abandoned the line pretty quickly and I wonder if their going to make it up to the early adopters within the dealer network. Husky would require massive effort and massive marketing in order to go anywhere. I'm of the opinion BMW Motorcycles is too small to justify a big marketing effort into a segment of the motorcycle market they really have little experience in despite GS's being used around the world.

  4. #4
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Central PA
    Posts
    1,697
    Quote Originally Posted by billy walker View Post
    Through the years BMW has released their share of dogs. ........................IMO BMW has released enough failures to make me wary.
    Billy,

    What would be your top 5 BMW dogs? I'm curious.

    Jon
    Cave contents: 99 R11RS, 2013 Toyota Tacoma, 03 Simplicity Legacy, 97 Stihl FS75, Dewalt DW625 & DW744

  5. #5
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    4,776
    Quote Originally Posted by sloride View Post
    Harley & BMW seem to be a good mix
    Yuk.

    IMHO the best "mix" is BMW bikes with BMW cars.

    Technically savvy and technically clueless are a mix, no doubt, but where is it this works?
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  6. #6
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    4,776
    Quote Originally Posted by 36654 View Post
    What would be your top 5 BMW dogs? I'm curious.
    I'd start and end with the first-year K100s.

    Nevertheless, most models are better in years subsequent to their first year.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  7. #7
    No longer a member here
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,432
    Consider that - why many here still think the world revolves around the USA - BMW's main motorcycle market is Europe. The demand and market for economic urban transportation is significantly higher there than here. That's why a scooter may not be that much of a niche product. Also, the rate at which motorcycles are serviced by dealers as supposed to their owners is higher there than here. People are used to paying for service cost.

  8. #8
    BMW Rider
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    750
    Quote Originally Posted by EMSimon View Post
    Consider that - why many here still think the world revolves around the USA - BMW's main motorcycle market is Europe. The demand and market for economic urban transportation is significantly higher there than here. That's why a scooter may not be that much of a niche product. Also, the rate at which motorcycles are serviced by dealers as supposed to their owners is higher there than here. People are used to paying for service cost.
    I feel very uncomfortable with an OEM using the word "supplied" in a press release. I don't know if they use that word in Germany but it should not be used here. Both BMW and Husky are using the word. Not saying I'm right but I would take the word "supplied" to be the same as "wholesaled". Stuffing the channel makes the numbers look good on the corporate side. Both for units and floor plan charges. 2 birds killed with one stone. Down the road is what makes being a dealer good. The press release is not clear to those of us in the business and are aware of how numbers can be twisted to mean something better than they are.

    I want to see something like "retail sales". That has meaning. Number of units "wholesaled" has meaning. Supplied means nothing specific. The head of BMW does discuss retail sales so the terminology is better. But were those units leftovers at discounted prices for example? Or, current years product. I did not find the Japanese using the word "supplied".

    Due to quarterly goals and/or profits it is not uncommon to find publicly traded companies putting on their best face. It is critical that everyone is on the same page with the terminology in order to have a clear understanding.

    I did not carefully examine everything that was written as I'm really not that concerned. So maybe I've missed a deeper explanation somewhere within that story. No matter. Don't send out press releases using the word "supplied".

  9. #9
    Bluenoser
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Lethbridge Alberta
    Posts
    454
    Quote Originally Posted by sloride View Post
    BMW may want a one brand shop but will it happen

    The BMW dealership I'm using in Louisville is primarily a Harley shop. Probably 95% Harley's. But always has a decent inventory of BMW's

    Harley & BMW seem to be a good mix
    In this day & age just about any of the bike shops that will survive are at least dual brand shops and the HD & BMW brands are actually a good mix as they don't compete against each other, not like some of the other brands.

    Combining a bike & a car dealership is doomed to failure in most cases. In may work in a very large market like New York or LA but there is a different mindset between the bike & car crowd that manufacturers just don't get. In my view you can't force folks and they will go where they get the best service.

    I know in this country Honda has tried the Power House Concept and in most cases it hasn't worked with the cars. Seems to work OK in the smaller markets with the rest of the Honda line, but car people are not bike people.
    1971 R50/5 SWB with R75/6 drivetrain
    2013 DL650

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Wilmington, NC
    Posts
    2,119
    Brand attractiveness certainly doesn't carry over from cars to bikes for at least some of us. I ride three BMW bikes and periodically have to drive SOs 5 series that I despise- good twin turbo six (after fixing a whole mess of injection problems) and handling and pretty much crap everything else...almost $60K for a tiny pig whose B pillars are about 6 inches out of place and make entry not much above an Isetta...butt first...(and I'm only 6 ft and 180 lbs). Basically, it fits little girls - though it has a mess of headroom if you like to wear hats while driving..Then there's its carefully thought out I -drive, a pathetic gps, lousy shifting tranny, etc etc...

  11. #11
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    4,776
    A little look around the BMW CCA Roundel and various car forums will reveal lots of "enthusiasm" for BMW cars. Various forms of racing, etc. It isn't all conservative rich people for sure, and if the dealer markets to the enthusiasts it will do well with motorcyclists, too.

    Lots of folks try to maintain some sort of generic cheapness associating with motorcycles but reality is BMW motorcycles are for the exact same demographic as BMW car enthusiasts for a large part.

    In Albuquerque we suffered for decades with what eventually became the 2nd-longest running BMW motorcycle dealer in the USA--they were awful and couldn't be trusted to successfully change oil.

    Now we have a combined car/bike dealer (in Santa Fe too), and we're ecstatic. I'm about to leave for yet another sponsored ride.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  12. #12
    BMW Rider
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    750
    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    ............

    Now we have a combined car/bike dealer (in Santa Fe too), and we're ecstatic. I'm about to leave for yet another sponsored ride.
    BMW motorcycles are essentially a niche product. A "real" (whatever that supposed to mean) business person in all likelihood would not be interested in operating a motorcycle dealership if the only brand carried was BMW. Despite what many think you don't end up making any "real" money to speak of given the level of investment and the level of risk. Overhead is simply so large especially when you take real estate costs into consideration along with the never ending technology costs of running the business, floorplan interest and insurance costs. And, oh yeah, you're trying to sell enough BMW motorcycles within a seasonal business, manned largely by enthusiasts, and hope to have enough left over to stay in business.

    The end result is you end up with a motorcycle enthusiast who has financial backing, good credit and is able to put together a large 6 to 7-figure floor plan. Sometimes you even end up with folks who never ever worked in a dealership. To be an enthusiast is great however you need business skills in order to stay in business. You need both marketing and dealership skills to stay around for awhile.

    I have substantial knowledge of car dealers who have owned motorcycle dealerships. Although you will find a few that make a go of it they typically perform poorly. The car business and the bike business may be almost identical but it is the differences between the two that seem to doom the motorcycle stores owned by car guys. Car folks rarely have in-depth accessory knowledge because they usually don't have any kind of substantial aftermarket accessory business in a car dealership. The 2nd item of importance is the enthusiast factor. Most car stores don't have it and most motorcycle stores do. The key is you need a combination of enthusiast/business person in order to get all cylinders running in a bike store in order to really turn it into something substantial. Many if not most motorcycle dealerships have problems putting those 2 skill sets together.

  13. #13
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Fly Over Land
    Posts
    10,539
    All very interesting. My take on the sale of Husqvarna has to do with two major things.

    First BMW has not been successful at all selling Huskies. The overhead of running a two brand strategy combined with dismal sales doomed the project. Selling it allows them to recoup some of the costs. Stephan Pierer of KTM will do something with the brand but the main reason for purchase is the production capacity, particularly engine that the Husqvarna plant represents. Pierer and KTM can use production capacity in Europe for proposed expansions of their off road line and their planed expansion of their sport bike line.

    BMW no doubt saw value in the production capacity; however it is on the wrong continent, i.e. it is not in India. What ever the niche BMW is in the business of selling motorcycles. India represents a major untapped market they have no real presence in. My guess is they like H-D, at a high level analysis, planned on shipping kit bikes to be assembled in India and avoid the massive import tariff then as they started to do the hard work of implementing and change their mind and decided to actually build in India. H-D is building its own plant while BMW is partnering with existing TVS.

    All the talk of new models, scooters, electrics and a product line under 500cc is aimed at India.
    Pass the mustard and UP THE REVOLUTION!

    St. Paul Pioneer Press , Minneapolis Star Tribune

  14. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Nibley, UT USA
    Posts
    109
    I think Mika is on the right track, I'd only add that there was a fair degree of dealer dissatisfaction with the Husky line due to parts availability problems. I had personnel at two different BMW/Husky shops indicate they were not pursuing sales on the Husky lineup because they could not get reliable and timely access to parts and materials needed to properly service the machines once they were sold. Too bad, as Husky makes a great machine and would have kept BMW active in the serious dirt riding/dual-purpose market.

    Best,

    GTRider
    DGerber
    1983 R80ST -- 1988 K100RS (r.i.p.) -- 1995 R1100RSL (gone, never forgotten) -- 2004 K1200GT w/Hannigan S/C -- 2010 K1300GT

  15. #15
    No longer a member here
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,432
    Quote Originally Posted by billy walker View Post
    I feel very uncomfortable with an OEM using the word "supplied" in a press release. I don't know if they use that word in Germany but it should not be used here. ".
    This is very common here, in the U.S. All car manufacturers do that. They consider a car "sold" when it is shipped to their customer - the dealer. It has been "supplied". Why should BMW change their numbers if everybody else does it?
    In Germany, the number reported and the common yardstick for OEM's market share is "new vehicle registrations". A number supplied by the equivalent of the BMV. That is actually vehicles (or motorcycles) sold to users.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •