In the 1980's, BMW's motorcycle division was losing money on every reasonably-priced, low-tech motorcycle it sold. But every yuppie in the northeast (and elsewhere, I suppose) just had to have one of their high-performance, overpriced cars. Rather than drop it's unprofitable division (like GM did with Oldsmobile and Chrysler did with Plymouth) BMW never lost sight of its "roots" and used the car revenues to finance the development of the R259 "oilhead" engine and a line of more modern (albeit still quirky) motorcycles.
Now they're selling high-performance, overpriced motorcycles fast as they can stamp them out. God bless 'em for saving a very important part of our collective motorcycling heritage.
We are truly living in a boom time for the motorcycle industry! A news post here on MO not long ago talked about Ducati profits as being good. To me that is an indicator that the MC industry is doing great as a whole. If my memory is working correctly, Duc has never been a profitable endeavor? Also, for many years BMW didn't fair much better.
Heck, if you recall, even HD was suffering tremendously not that many years ago.
As for BMW. Over the next few years it's going to be interesting to watch what the new HP line up will do for sales. It would be nice if prices came down a little, but I'm not holding my breath waiting for that to happen.
Beyond price, what we riders really need are more BMW dealers! Currently, I must travel 80 miles to find a dealer.
In my own office complex 10 years ago there were exactly 2 of us who rode to work regularly. Now the same two ride in all weather, but on sunny days there are bikes everywhere. Mostly HD's. All except two or three are cruisers.
Sadly, some of these folks have no business on a bike of the size they are riding. But that doesn't stop them.
Not ***** on someones parade but "The adverse external factors - unfavourable exchange rates, high raw material prices and intense competition - which we reported from the very beginning of the year have been largely offset by increased sales volume and internal efficiency improvement measures. For the financial year 2005, we will therefore achieve approximately the previous year's high earnings level." from the report The exchange rate, with Ws irresponsible fiscal policy, will only hurt BMW sales in the U.S. in the future. Dollar is going to fall more and more. Oil will become more expensive... so just replace 2005 in the quote with 2006. We Americans are living off the Uncle Sam Credit Card. Our children will be paying the minimum payment on the card to the Saudis, Chinese, Canadians for years....
I have to agree with you.As one who reads the world news ,not just the local,I have to say you are right.Except don,t forget our progeny will have to learn mandarin chinese/hindu,and maybe have to have a separate passport to get back into the country with Dubai nowtaking over our ports.I was being tongue in cheek,but today I feel impending doom!
"...our progeny will have to learn mandarin chinese/hindu,and maybe have to have a separate passport to get back into the country with Dubai nowtaking over our ports"
It ain't gonna happen. Don't get yerself all worked up. Remember we used to think we would lose our entire automotive industry to Japan in the '80s. That didn't happen either.
What we do best is invent, develop and market new technology. We have been and always will be the leaders. Even if India and China invent something new, their infrastructure and legal system aren't developed enough to bring products to market.
They also will have a problem with income disparity. You can't allow one segment of the population to enrichen themselves at the expense of the majority and still play in the world market. Won't happen.
What we can worry about is if our children are educated enough to handle the new jobs or will we be forever dependent on foreign brain power as we have been for the past century?
Here is what will be new for motorcyclists by the middle of this century. Electric motorcycles. The only way out of a looming energy crises is nuclear power. That means electricity and that means we need small efficient high-powered batteries. Well? Get to work!!
Restoring the tax rates we had under the first George Bush will solve all those problems you mentioned. He built the surplus that Clinton enjoyed, which is why Clinton lowered Capital Gains. Unfortunatley, W was drunk when his daddy paid his Yale tuition so we're heading towards a fiscal mess. But tax rates like the GOP used to have will come back. In the meantime please Bennie don't take away the punch bowl!!
" ain't gonna happen. Don't get yerself all worked up. Remember we used to think we would lose our entire automotive industry to Japan in the '80s. That didn't happen either"
Care to look at GM and Fords Income Statements and Balance Sheets and market share lately. Yes the appreciation of the Yen helped the U.S. Auto industry die a slower death along with cheap oil prices fueling the SUV fad. However, Chrysler was bought by Daimler-Benz so I have an issue with what you are saying.
"What we do best is invent, develop and market new technology. We have been and always will be the leaders."
Really, so we are just inately superior. Alot of the innovation etc. was fueled by government basic research etc. which W. has cut.. grants to universities for research W. has cut. In fact corporate spending on R&D during the W years has declined. Ws large deficits are already leading to higher interest rates paid by the U.S. government which crowds out borrowing by private industry which leads to less venture capital, basic research spending etc.