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post #1 of 6 Old Oct 12th, 2006, 8:56 am Thread Starter
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Interesting BMW History Snippet

http://www.associatedcontent.com/art...xcellence.html


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post #2 of 6 Old Oct 12th, 2006, 9:35 am
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Did you say "SNIPPET"??? Now there's a word I haven't heard in a while... reminds me of things my granny used to say, you know, like, "my stars", etc. Very cute, Jeff!
Great article, btw. 50% of beemers are still on the road??? That's pretty amazing. I once heard that 70% of Harleys were still on the road, mostly because they didn't make it all the way home.

Thanks for the post, enjoy CA!

Dean and Deb
Golden, CO


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post #3 of 6 Old Oct 12th, 2006, 9:48 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eljeffe
From what I've read (no, contrary to what my son sez, I'm *not* old enough to have witnessed it! ), in the years following 1918, BMW was happy to build anything it could secure a paying contract for -- including bicycles, kitchen utensils, and a lot of motorcycle engines delivered to scores of other makers for installation in their bikes.

Thus, the 1923 boxer wasn't the result of a sudden inspiration "let's build motorcycles!", it was a natural evolution; once BMW had enough money to build something on their own, they did (some argue over whether Max Fritz even wanted to design a motorcycle engine, but that's another debate). What the motorcycle cognoscenti often fail to mention is that the motorcycles at the time were considered a means to an end -- they financed management's real objective -- building cars (something at which they failed miserably for several years, until the arrival of the tiny "Dixie" model). The situation wasn't much different after WWII; the bikes again allowed the company to keep going while the car business was rebuilt.

The bottom line today is that cars again "carry" the company, with the motorcycles continuing to be, IMO, more of an interesting adjunct business. Unlike HD, whose entire business in bikes and accessoies, or Honda, with a large motorcycle division serving a huge demand in motorcycle/motorscooter-centric markets (e.g., Asia), it appears there is little BMW Board Room interest in investing the kind of *serious* money required to become more than a niche player. Can't say I blame them; it's probably the best use of their money -- but unlike the impression left by their marketing copy, this is not a "motorcycle-focused" company.

Ok, pot properly stirred -- next comment??

Mark Neblett
Fairfax, VA
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post #4 of 6 Old Oct 12th, 2006, 11:28 am
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Mark,

Being a certified Six Sigma Black Belt, I'd say your post was based on factual data and thus, I can find nothing to disagree with!

I will say that during my time spent in Belgium (>60% from 2002-2006), if you encounter a motorcycle on the equivalent of a US freeway, 90% of the time it is a BMW. Many small towns have a BMW dealership and a very loyal following. Quite different then the US.

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post #5 of 6 Old Oct 12th, 2006, 11:54 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWphreak
I will say that during my time spent in Belgium (>60% from 2002-2006), if you encounter a motorcycle on the equivalent of a US freeway, 90% of the time it is a BMW. Many small towns have a BMW dealership and a very loyal following. Quite different then the US.
Quite! Of course, Yurup doesn't have to absorb 330,000+ Harleys every year, so I guess it's easier to have a significant market share over there!

Seriously, ther's no question BMW has (relatively) big numbers in the EC; IIRC, they are the No. 1 brand in Germany (at least the large bikes). But it's still a drop in the bucket compared to the cars. Wish it were otherwise!

Mark Neblett
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post #6 of 6 Old Oct 12th, 2006, 2:30 pm
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Originally Posted by mneblett
Quite! Of course, Yurup doesn't have to absorb 330,000+ Harleys every year, so I guess it's easier to have a significant market share over there!
Ever read Sonny Barger's book? He lamented the fact that the Hell's Angel's didn't pick BMW. Wonder what the makeup of moto riding would be if they had?



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