BMW ditches bike shows

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UPDATED: 1st February 2021 

The decision to cancel big international motorcycle shows like Intermot and EICMA in 2020 might have far-reaching effects on their future as BMW has announced that it’s no longer going to commit to such events.

After the coronavirus pandemic inevitably led to the decision to put massive public events like the two main international motorcycle shows on hold for a year, bike firms have been rapidly discovering the benefits of setting their own schedule rather than being forced into launching new ranges to coincide with show dates. Internet-based unveilings have given companies like BMW the chance to spread their launches out, ensuring they don’t clash with those from other firms and making certain that there aren’t months-long delays between a new model’s official first appearance and its arrival in dealers.

BMW said in a press release today: “New live and digital formats will increasingly take the place of traditional trade fair appearances at BMW Motorrad in the future. In particular, this means that the traditional commitments at the two leading motorshows EICMA in Milan and Intermot in Cologne, which were previously organised centrally by BMW Motorrad, will no longer apply.”

It goes on to explain: “By using our own trade fair-independent live and digital formats we cannot only time world premieres and product launches more flexibly, but it also enables more intensive interaction with all target groups as well as an increased information reach.”

The head of BMW Motorrad, Dr Markus Schramm, said: “Our strategic communication realignment in which we make use of increased live and digital formats will enable us to inspire even more people worldwide for BMW Motorrad products and offers in the future and to approach them in an optimally targeted manner.”

The firm says it will still be displaying its bikes at smaller, regional shows in future.

With a major player like BMW deciding to stay away from events like Intermot and EICMA in future, there’s a strong chance that other companies that have also enjoyed the chance to set their own launch schedules in 2020-21 will follow suit.

UPDATE

Since publishing this story a representative of the UK arm of BMW Motorrad got in touch to reiterate the company's commitment to UK shows. The spokesman said, “BMW Motorrad UK remains committed to live motorcycle events such as Motorcycle Live and the London Motorcycle Show. These interactive motorcycle shows provide an opportunity to speak with valued customers, present our brand experience and share our range of exciting new models, accessories, and experiences with the riding community.”

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