7. European Manufacturers Make Gains

Judging by their 2011 quarterly financial reports, it appears the European motorcycle manufacturers have been able to weather the storm of the rough economy and show substantial growth. BMW, Ducati, KTM, Piaggio and Triumph all reported increased sales this year.

BMW reported record motorcycle sales in the first and second quarters of 2011 while impressing with new products such as the K1600GT and K1600GTL, our picks for 2011 Motorcycle of the Year. Ducati reported a 63% year-on-year increase in U.S. sales over the first half of 2011 with its outside-the-box Diavel joining the Multistrada 1200 as some of Ducati’s strong sellers.

KTM is also having a banner year, surpassing its entire 2010 net profit in just the first three quarters of 2011, thanks in large part to its new entry-level Duke line (speaking of which, don’t forget to read our review of the Duke 200).

Piaggio reported a slight dip in profit but net sales are up with the final quarter still to be counted up. A new factory in Vietnam is paying off for Piaggio as sales continue to rise in Asia. Piaggio is continuing to advance its cause, introducing a new engine for Moto Guzzi’s V7 line and working on new fuel-efficient engines and hybrid powertrains.

Triumph reported increased sales and profit this year while introducing several key models including the recently-unveiled Tiger Explorer joining the Tiger 800 and 800XC in its adventure-touring lineup.

The European OEMs continue to stay on the gas while the Japanese draw back. The big question is the Euros can maintain their momentum in 2012 with Europe going through another financial crisis.

Related Reading
BMW Reports Q3 2011 Results
Ducati North America Reports Q2 2011 Results
Piaggio Reports Q3 2011 Results
Piaggio Announces 2011-2014 Business Plan – More Hybrids and Electric Models In the Pipeline
Triumph Reports 2011 Financial results