BMW Motorcycles Developing a Strategy for Distribution Channel Management

Topics: BMW, BMW Motorrad, History of BMW motorcycles Pages: 9 (2820 words) Published: October 20, 2007
BMW Motorcycles is a division within the BMW Group. As such their mission is tied to that of the parent company. On the BMW Group website it is noted as follows:"Identifying potential and encouraging growth. Knowing what we represent. Recognizing where our strengths lie and making the best use of every opportunity. Following a clear strategy. Goals we have attained are in essence the point of departure for new challenges.

This is the philosophy that inspires every individual at the BMW Group. It influences the company's structure and it plays a vital role in the decision-making process. Our corporate ethos finds its expression in the uncompromising pursuit of the superlative. The result? Outstanding brands with an unmistakable profile. Automobiles and motorcycles which fascinate people all over the world and which win legions of new admirers every day. And a degree of success which sees the BMW Group go from strength to strength.

With the three brands, BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, the BMW Group has its sights set firmly on the premium sector of the international automobile market. To achieve its aims, the company knows how to deploy its strengths with an efficiency that is unmatched in the automotive industry. From research and development to sales and marketing, BMW Group is committed to the very highest in quality for all its products and services. The company's phenomenal success is proof of this strategy's correctness."BMW Motorcycles provides a robust product line following three general categories: Touring, Sport, and Enduro. Touring bikes are built for the long haul, with rider comfort as the premium. These are the motorcycles you would take on a cross country trip. Sport bikes satisfy the "need for speed" and styling trends for the younger crowd. Enduro bikes are for the adventurer is us all; these bikes are built for on or off road travel.

BMW Motorcycles' main competition comes from Japanese motorcycle companies. Most American motorcycle companies produce cruiser style bikes; BMW offers little choice in this style of motorcycle. However, each of the main Japanese manufacturers (Suzuki, Yamaha, Honda, and Kawasaki) offers motorcycles that are very similar in style and performance. Although BMW has historically had its own niche in the market, that of the older male, it has recently branched off into more dedicated off-road and super-sport bikes. These are categories that have been historically dominated by the Japanese manufacturers.

Throughout the years, BMW motorcycles have been renowned for their durability and engineering. BMW has always been on the forefront of motorcycle engineering. BMW was the first motorcycle manufacturer to offer ABS on a motorcycle. They have also revolutionized motorcycle suspensions with their Telelever anti-dive suspension and Paralever single-arm suspension. Although BMWs are more costly, that price is offset by the life cycle of the motorcycle.

Until recent years there hasn't been much of a rivalry between the Japanese manufacturers and BMW Motorcycles. BMW had its small place in the market and was not a threat to the Japanese firms. BMW Motorcycles were not known to be stylish or fast, the two categories that attract the majority of motorcycle buyers. BMW attracted more mature owners who were impressed by the machine's reliability and durability, and who had more money to spend on a new bike. The lack of power was partly due to BMW self-imposed limitations on horsepower in motorcycles. However, these limitations were lifted in the late 1990s, and BMW began to produce super-sport bikes that rivaled the Japanese bikes, and even surpassed the Japanese competitor's performance. Up to this point, young males were rarely interested in purchasing BMWs. They cost twice as much as the closet Japanese bikes, they were slower, and they were less attractive. In essence they were the Volvo of the motorcycle world. However, like Volvo, once BMW redesigned their product...

References: . BMW Group.
http://www.bmwgroup.com2. BMW Group Mission. Web Bike World. Hoffman, Nicole P. An Examination of the " Sustainable Competitive Advantage" Concept: Past, Present, and FutureAcademy of Marketing Science Review [Online] 20005.BMW Berlin Manufacturing Plant Motorcycles:1.BMW Motorcycles. Motorcycles. Motorcycles. http://www.kawasaki.com4.Yamaha Motorcycles. http://www.yamaha-motor.com5.Honda Motorcycles.
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