When you start counting who is not at a show that used to be packed with new motorcycles and media people, you know the industry is going through a real tough moment.
INTERMOT—the international motorcycle, scooter and bicycle fair held in Cologne, Germany, every two years—has challenged Milan’s EICMA in attendance and new-model unveilings since the dawn of motorcycling. The 2012 edition of this important show clearly suffered from the economic crisis that has hit the German motorcycle market; only BMW, Harley-Davidson and KTM have shown positive sales numbers.
This reverberated in the general atmosphere of the show and media attendance. Limited manufacturer budgets greatly impacted the number of media people who were hosted at the event. Also, motorcycles no longer make the news, so daily papers don’t spend money to send correspondents to events. Even in Germany, papers do not get involved with bikes unless they wear the white-and-blue crest of a whirling propeller on the gas tank.
This year, that attitude was largely justified because BMW polarized the attention of the two-wheel world by leaking news about a radical evolution of its legendary boxer-Twin. This further contributed to making Cologne even more BMW’s show.