What it really means is the mediagenic prophets of doom have managed to so scare people that even if their retirement/homes/jobs are safe they are too terrified to buy something as nonessential to their continued existence on earth as a motorcycle. So, gentle readers, that giant sucking sound you heard was the manufacturers' third quarter and year-to-date earnings.
As would be expected when facing less demand for product, motorcycle production at the plant in Berlin has been reduced selectively by about 22%. BMW's woes are not their burden alone, they are industry-wide.
In Japan, damage wreaked by a Godzilla-type movie monster might be preferred to skittish buyers. (At least monster damage might be covered by insurance.) Since January of 2009, Japanese manufacturers have produced 67.2% fewer over 250cc bikes for markets worldwide. U.S. sales of the over-250cc Japanese bikes are off by 79.8%. Yes, you read that correctly, down nearly 80%.
The pain is deep and universal. The following is the manufacturer, the units produced so far this year and the percentage of the previous year. In other words, Honda's 10,364 bikes manufactured in 2009 is only 48% of what they produced last year.
Meanwhile, Harley Davidson reports a Q3 loss of about 22%, which was about 8% BETTER than its Q2 numbers. Harley-Davidson Financial Services took a HUGE hit, which helped send net income tumbling by 84% in the third quarter.
Polaris says Victory cycles are off by 56% in Q3 and 53% year-to-date. Indian Motorcycles, which post sales figures to an Etch-A-Sketch, are offering to pay your first SIX payments if you will just take one of their motobeasts off the dealer floor.
With dismal sales and dealers dying to make deals, now is the time to buy, buy, buy.