Originally Posted by rdwalker
If I may vent, there were and are several issues at work.
One is that BMW does not sell that many bikes after all. I do not have the exact numbers handy - I did post some statistics in a similar thread a few months back - but, as I recall, the average dealership sells only a few bikes a week and that does not begin to pay their bills.
The other wound was self-inflicted, in my view: Mothership's insistence on having a single-brand shop. Many of the smaller places that survived on selling and servicing a mix of exotic bikes, like a nearby favorite of mine that dealt with BMW, Triumph, Aprilia, etc., could not support themselves only on BMW diet or only on the other ones and collapsed.
I am sure that, in your travels, you also often hear about recommended repair shops that are "former BMW dealers".
Some other places, like the dealer in Harrisburg, PA, that I visited a few years ago, had an "alternate reality" solution: a glass partition divided the showroom into BMW and non-BMW section. I do not know if that appeased the bosses.
As a consumer, I do not think that I was served well by the single-brand concept. It resulted in a sparse dealer network - to the point that NYC / metro NJ, home to some 10 million people, had just one or two dealerships remaining.
Contrast this with Japanese manufacturers, for example. I see Honda dealerships seemingly everywhere; I know of at least three within 40-minute radius.
It seems that BMW has seen the light and is returning its attention to rebuilding the dealer network - apparently discarding the single-brand policy. I think it is good for the riding community, hopefully resulting in more sales - good for the company.
End of vent. Returning to regular programing.
Have to say I agree with you on all you say.
The only thing is all three of the BMW shops Velocity, Hermy, and Trans Am are all multi dealers. Honda, Kawasaki, Triumph/BMW. Have been for a lot of years. I guess "Grand Fathered" in, or sell enough to meet quota?
Not sure how all that works but yes Velocity has a divided show room, and Trans Am is a walk down ramp, and Hermy is a just open. It would seem ridicules to me for BMW to argue with multi dealers in these times.
I don't think the HD dealers liked forking over the money for the buildings they must build to have the honor of selling HD.
We are but a very tiny drop in the bucket of BMW sales. However with the bikes they are producing now, and a new LT looming, I would think they want all the dealers they can get. And that is a good thing for all of us.
I think BMW is getting a lot of attention for these new bikes and revamping and updating of models it has done lately.
This economy is a rough one but if you can attract dealers, release new bikes that people want and are willing to buy, that to me is a good sign.