Why do the Italian bike makers have such a problem being stable/profitable? Is it poor management? Are their markets to small?
Some of these groups make some very nice looking bikes. Do they need a bike that is more affordable to appeal to a larger market? And if that is the case, than why does BMW survive? Or is Beemer's bike segment loosing money also and they survive off of the car market.
Is it really that tuff to be profitable manufacturing bikes?
MV had great race heritage. Too bad the "new" owners will probably drive it into the ground. Truth be told, Cagiva should be sold to Piaggio and Husky should be sold off to CCM. If that happened then MV could be sold to someone that cares, like Hyosung. Yeah, like the Koreans need an exclusive Italian marquee... But it's better than letting the MV name flounder in obsurity. I hope that MV pulls out of the funk, but holding on to Cagiva and Husky will not help the new owners. Husky has trophies for miles. Someone with race lineage should buy the brand and keep it going as a first class MX/enduro company that it has become.
It is that tough to be a profitable motorcycle manufacturer. You need someone with a sharp pencil, an eye on the bottom line, and the ability to realistically appraise what your brand name is worth in the real world. Triumph and Ducati are successful because they have these traits. BMW also knows how to run a business and continues to produce relevant bikes for the real world. In recent years, they have survived off the welfare checks from the car division, but that has changed. Their recent turn around was a result of their finally putting some spice into their enginering and adding models that will compete in real world terms, not just because they are BMWs.
Generally the Italians have trouble because they are poor managers. The MV Agusta range of bikes is excellent, but has anyone asked who will buy them? Cagiva makes some fine machines, but they can't really compete with Ducati, probably because when Cagiva owned Ducati, it was a money losing venture. Cagiva apparently has a poor management team, whereas the crowd at Ducati, headed by Federico Minoli, knows how to run a business, as well as how to build motorcycles. (I'm not saying Ducati is perfect, but anyone considering the purchase of a sport tourer really needs to go test ride an ST3, it kicks ass, and isn't even that expensive.)
No need, the word is out. All, that's right, ALL of Husky's 4 stroke bikes are street legal in all 50 states and they are bringing back the 610 Dual Sport. Pricing is quite competitive. Very interesting lineup.