Delivery times of the motorcycle manufacturers

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Delivery times of the motorcycle manufacturers
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Delivery times of the motorcycle manufacturers

Delivery times of the motorcycle manufacturers
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The more popular new machines are when they are launched, the longer buyers have to wait for them. But the individual manufacturers deal with this very differently, as a positive and a negative example show. What can the customer do if the bike of their choice just doesn’t come?

Michael Schumann


Elvira Idt is used to a lot just because of her job and is not so easily disturbed. The Buell driver is a cop. In August 2013, the Hessin enthusiastically received the purchase contract for a KTM dealer KTM 1290 Super Duke R signed – “blind”, because at that time there were not even official photos of your dream machine.

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The first driving report about the “Beast”, as the PR strategists at KTM had called the terrifying, 172 hp power twin, published in MOTORRAD in October 2013, increased the anticipation of the future Super Duke rider enormously. What Elvira Idt experienced afterwards, however, shook her view of the world: “I have absolutely no other advice, my nerves are on edge,” she wrote to MOTORRAD almost a year later, in July 2014: “Nobody can tell me whether my ‘Beast’, which I ordered a long time ago, was built, or whether I can expect anything at all this year.

Miserable waiting

Like the Buell rider from Hesse, many other motorcyclists fared too: At the start of the season in April, readers had already expressed their anger in emails to the editorial team, but also KTM fans in the relevant forums on the Internet, about the fact that the dealers always gave them have not yet been able to name a delivery date. “We are simply sold out”, quoted MOTORRAD on April 25th, KTM spokesman Thomas Kuttruf. At the same time, speculation on the Internet shot up what might have caused the delayed delivery of the new machines: KTM had “unofficial rim problems,” it said. There would be tons of brand new Super Dukes without wheels on the dump somewhere.

In the absence of any information to the contrary, Elvira Idt believed that too. When she still had no delivery date in prospect in June 2014, on June 16, 2014 she emailed the German KTM importer in Ursensollen (MOTORRAD had the mail traffic) to ask whether she would “still be in this millennium I can count on the delivery of my ordered motorcycle ”. The next day, the officer received the information from a “customer service team” from Ursensollen in Bavaria, who was not identified by name, that she should be patient a little longer.

Delivery times of the motorcycle manufacturers


In the middle of last year Elvira Idt ordered the KTM 1290 Super Duke.

Ordered the new machine in the middle of last year, but this summer still didn’t get one – “if I hadn’t kept my old Buell XB12, my planned summer vacation would have been dead by then,” she later described to MOTORRAD. Elvira Idt is by no means alone in the fate of unexpectedly being the victim of unspeakably long delivery times. Several other new buyers reported similar experiences to MOTORRAD. Often, but not only, with KTM.

What finally broke the barrel for the policewoman from Hesse was the excuse of the German KTM customer service team for the miserable waiting below in the response mail: “We can and may on the order of sales and allocation to end customers by the dealer do not exert any influence. ”In other words: The dealer is to blame, as he may have already sold your motorcycle to another customer. And: “We ask you again to get in touch with the responsible KTM dealer who, if you have concluded a valid sales contract with them, is your contractual partner.”

“We only heard: unfortunately sold out”

MOTORRAD wanted to know what the dealer had to say about it and got on the phone. Only against the assurance of absolute anonymity (“I have already seen that a colleague’s dealership contract was withdrawn from one day to the next due to his criticism of the manufacturer”) was someone (someone other than Elvira Idt’s dealer) willing to talk. Let’s call him Hans Huber for the sake of simplicity. “I’ve gone through ups and downs with KTM, but I have never experienced a disaster like the KTM 1290 Super Duke. In September 2013, KTM asked the dealers how many we wanted. So in Austria they knew what was going on. The first Super Dukes also came in March – and then nothing more came. And no information either. We only heard: unfortunately sold out. What do I tell my customers now?

That I myself have no idea how long it will take and also no idea why that is? Nobody believes me! This spring alone, I had six canceled sales contracts from annoyed and frustrated customers. I can’t blame people for it. They are standing there and want to go on their long-planned vacation with the new machine. Then the box just won’t come. ”Dealer Huber sees himself as a buffer stop and between all fronts. And he massively criticizes KTM’s non-existent information policy: “If I want to know something from the manufacturer or importer, then I have to look at the social networks. Even as a dealer, you don’t get to know anything officially. There is only brickwork. They have no idea about the reality with customers in Austria. ”KTM has meanwhile made up for its production backlog with the Super Duke. Elvira Idt from Hessen also got her “Beast” in July 2014 after all. In an interview, KTM spokesman Thomas Kuttruf describes the situation from the manufacturer’s point of view.

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There’s another way

The example of Moto Guzzi rider Jutta Landmann from Stuttgart shows that things can be done differently despite similar problems. Because she could no longer keep up with the other family members on tour with her wine-red, 49 hp Breva, she decided to buy one in 2013 after reading various tests Yamaha MT-09: “I really wanted one in Deep Armor”. “That is dark lilametallic, after all, I am a woman,” says the naturopath. When she was ordering in December, her dealer warned her: “He said right away that it could be June or July. Or even later. “The reason he gave was that at the moment there was simply no MT-09 from Japan because the moped was simply sold out.”

For Jutta Landmann a clear statement with which she could plan and be satisfied. In June, at the earliest possible agreed delivery date, she informed her dealer and informed her that the three-cylinder was by no means ready for her to collect before August – but he kept this date, namely mid-August. Even if Yamaha Germany boss Jorg Breitenfeld specifies the waiting time as “several weeks” instead of realistically several months, the Stuttgart native is now a satisfied Yamaha rider. While Elvira Idt is not the only KTM rider who is extremely skeptical of her new brand after the first experiences.

MOTORRAD reader Andreas Bauer, who also ordered a KTM 1290 Super Duke R in autumn 2013, is now happy with his new machine. In May he had had enough, canceled the KTM sales contract – and a few days later a brand new Ducati was at the door.

Interview Thomas Kuttruf, KTM press officer

Delivery times of the motorcycle manufacturers


Thomas Kuttruf, KTM press spokesman.

KTM had massive delivery problems with the 1290 Super Duke in the spring. Has the success taken KTM by surprise? Or was it because of difficulties with suppliers?
KTM knew that the 1290 Super Duke R could have a good chance in the market, but we didn’t expect such huge demand either. What you need to know: Production is subject to long-term planning (plus six months). It is impossible to significantly increase planned quantities in the short term. In the interests of our customer proximity, however, KTM has mobilized the global supply chain in order to be able to produce again in June and July. As unpleasant as it was for some of our customers, we tried to help our customers with a replacement vehicle program. Certainly, there will always be bottlenecks on the supply side when rescheduling. There can be no question of a general problem in the case of the 1290s.
A rumor circulates in the scene that there were no rims and that hundreds of Super Dukes were standing around without wheels.
Due to bottlenecks on the supplier side, there was a time shift in production after the increase in quantities. The delay is only a small part of the vacuum. KTM is mainly responsible for long-term production planning. That several hundred Super Dukes should have stood without wheels? Sorry – but this is a joke.
Does it generally happen that a production target cannot be met due to a supply bottleneck??
The main thing is not to let such problems arise in the first place. Nevertheless, there is always a certain degree of dependency in many ways. Transparency and long-term planning can bring a lot of security to the processes, but there is no guarantee. It is also important to always pass on the desired quality to the customer. The bottom line is that KTM is in a good position here, as we have established good local partnerships around the world and also work with many premium suppliers.
As soon as you as a manufacturer notices that production is lagging behind, you can’t even run extra shifts like in the automotive sector?
Adjustments are already possible, but the total resources are much more limited than in the car business, for example. What can be done is done, for example, production is also carried out on Saturdays at peak times. What should also be considered in the case of KTM: In relation to annual production, the quantities per model are not very high – and every change to the production plan always has an immediate effect on the available model mix. We respond with measures to increase capacity. Millions of euros are currently being invested at the Mattighofen location in order to be able to produce more in the future and to be able to react even more quickly to changed demand situations.
Keyword KTM / Bajaj in India: Why is it that, according to dealers, the KTM models built in India are currently being massively affected by delivery problems?
It is true that we were clearly delayed in delivering the 390 Duke of the last model year. Waiting times, if any, are currently very country-specific. Depending on demand and national planning, some countries get bikes faster than others. We currently have to make the Duke and RC models available in over 80 countries. The goal is that everyone then has exactly the right number of motorcycles in the store on the right day, but not always realistic.

Interview with Jorg Breitenfeld, head of Yamaha Germany

Delivery times of the motorcycle manufacturers


Jorg Breitenfeld, head of Yamaha Germany.

Keyword MT-07 and MT-09: In Germany, Yamaha has meanwhile been able to deliver a motorcycle to anyone willing to buy?
We were convinced from the outset of the success of the two models MT-09 and MT-07, and we planned accordingly generously. Nevertheless, there was gigantic demand worldwide, which led to delivery bottlenecks. And certainly there was still one or the other in August who still had to wait for his motorcycle. We pulled out all the stops to help our customers and our dealers. After all, we make a living from selling motorcycles.
How long were waiting times for these models – and why?
Unfortunately, some customers have had to wait up to several weeks for their vehicle. Especially with new product launches, it is often the case at the beginning that you cannot meet the initial demand all at once, because there is a huge wave of demand at the beginning and production is only partially met. Only a certain number of vehicles can be manufactured per day. As production progresses, this balances out more and more.
What resources are there for you as an importer to assess the market??
There are complex planning parameters, starting with the evaluation of the economic and political situation (e.g. driver’s license amendment), through trends in individual segments, to the results of market research. You also have to consider the respective competitive environment of the individual models – externally as well as internally. And there are medium and long-term forecasts.
But the feeling from experience also plays a certain role, especially when it comes to breaking down the quantities of different models into individual variants (with or without ABS) and the respective color variants. When planning, one proceeds with the greatest care and tries to optimally take into account all the decision parameters mentioned.
Why can’t you just reorder in Japan??
This is not possible because production planning for global requirements is an extremely complex topic with very long lead times. The many suppliers cannot even manufacture and deliver 10,000 components that are needed at the moment. So if anything goes wrong in the long supply chain, for whatever reason, delivery problems can arise, which we of course regret and which we also try to cushion with other actions as much as possible.

Interview Liane Drews, BMW press officer

Delivery times of the motorcycle manufacturers


Liane Drews, BMW press officer.

How long does the delivery time of a BMW motorcycle take on average, in the best and in the worst case for the customer?
The average delivery time is around a month. A general statement is not possible, as this depends on a large number of influencing factors. If, for example, warehouse vehicles are available in the desired configuration, the delivery time can be reduced to a few days. On the other hand, the disproportionate demand for a model can also result in an extension of the delivery time.
It also depends on the amount and type of optional accessories that have been ordered?
We differentiate between special equipment (installed at the factory) and special accessories (installed at the dealer). The assembly of special equipment is integrated into the regular assembly process in the factory, so there is no influence on the delivery time – except in the case of unplanned occurrences. As far as the special accessories are concerned, Be-
There are also no dependencies on the delivery time, as special accessories are installed on site at the dealer. If the vehicle arrives at the dealer before the desired accessories are available, the customer is free to take his vehicle with him or leave it at the dealer until the special accessories are completely installed on the vehicle.
What is the current delivery situation for the R nineT? As with the R 1200 GS and the S 1000 R.?
The specific delivery time in individual cases depends on a number of factors. Statements on delivery times can only be made in general terms and do not have to apply to every model and every dealer. If a new vehicle is ordered today, August 2014, the following delivery dates apply roughly: R nineT: 2015, R 1200 GS: one month, S 1000 R: end of 2014.
It is common to produce BMW motorcycles in advance, i.e. in stockpiling?
In order to take into account the seasonality in the motorcycle business (especially at the start of the season) and to ensure sufficient availability at the start of a new model, a certain amount of pre-production is required. Basically, however, we proceed according to the built-to-order principle, which guarantees a high degree of flexibility for the customer, as he can still make changes to the order up to around two weeks before his vehicle is built.

Interview Matthias Meier, Harley-Factory Frankfurt

Delivery times of the motorcycle manufacturers


Matthias Meier, Harley-Factory Frankfurt.

How long do you have to wait for an individually built Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO) Harley??
The CVO models have a special status: if you do not order within about four weeks after the first photos of the new model year are available, you will usually no longer receive a machine. These Harleys, built by small teams, are so popular around the world that annual production is gone immediately.
And the normal models?
For Harleys in standard colors, delivery times are between two and six weeks. As a Harley dealer, we can check online what is in stock at the European Distribution Center in Belgium. We can make use of this, and the Harley is ready for delivery within two weeks. If it is on the move by ship, it takes four weeks; if it is intended for production in the USA, it will be six weeks.
And how was 2013 with the new Softail Breakout?
Here the annual sales forecast was far below the actual orders. But even then, Harley was able to react and cover the increased demand within a quarter. The European Head Office (H-D Europe) plans the demand, i.e. the model mix for Europe, on a quarterly basis.

Long delivery time: what to do?

When concluding the purchase contract, one should not under any circumstances embark on unclear terms such as “as soon as possible” or “as soon as possible”. Rather, agree on a specific date as the delivery time. However, one thing must be clear: in practice, no dealer can be nailed to a binding date. And a non-binding promise can usually be exceeded by up to six weeks without any consequences. If the motorcycle is still not there after more than six weeks, the customer has the option of requesting the dealer to deliver – the seller is in default.

Then the seller should be given a reasonable period of 14 days for delivery. If this time also passes without the motorcycle being delivered, the buyer can withdraw from the contract. He can even demand compensation if the dealer is at fault. In the event that the two-wheeler is the only vehicle in the household or is firmly planned for an upcoming vacation trip, ask the dealer to promise that he will provide a replacement vehicle free of charge if the agreed delivery date is not met.

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