BMW is taking a step back from the traditional motorcycle show circuit, in favour of new forms of motorcycle releases.

For years, manufacturers have mostly stuck to the motorcycle show circuit for new model releases. EICMA, running in Italy, was the biggest of all, with multiple Euro and Japanese manufacturers unveiling new machines in the days before and during that show. Intermot was a close second; running every two years, the European OEMs used the show to introduce its new bikes to the public. The Tokyo show was third-biggest, with the Japanese manufacturers usually introducing new bikes or technology at that event.

But, it increasingly seems that model is no more. Of course, the coronavirus pandemic is to blame. COVID-19 meant the traditional show circuit had to shut down this past fall (no EICMA, Intermot, Tokyo shows; even IMS, MMIC and other regional shows cancelled). So, the OEMs put out their message via social media, online video releases and other Internet channels.

It seems to be working out quite nicely for them, as BMW Motorrad just issued a press release saying “New live and digital formats will increasingly take the place of traditional trade fair appearances at BMW Motorrad in the future … 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.” That doesn’t exactly rule out BMW’s participation on the show circuit, but it does indicate it’s not as crucial to BMW’s plans.

The press release goes on to say “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.” In other words, instead of making their schedule conform to the show circuit, the new online launches are run on BMW’s schedule. This makes things easier for the developers and marketeers, and also means much less money spent on the international shows.

However, there’s no substitute for an in-person look at a bike, so BMW does end the release by saying it still plans to participate in regional shows and other “new formats.”

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