By Dennis Chung
BMW and KTM AG announced this week they will not be taking part in the industry’s two largest motorcycle shows due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Intermot, in Cologne, Germany, and EICMA in Milan, Italy, are still months away, but the two European companies say there’s too much uncertainty to properly plan for the trade shows.
Having two of Europe’s largest motorcycle manufacturers pulling out is a big blow to the two shows, especially for the biennial Intermot Show, seeing as BMW is the marquee German brand and KTM hails from a close neighbor in Austria. BMW and KTM (along with its sub-brands Husqvarna and GasGas) may not be the only manufacturers to withdraw either, as other brands are no doubt considering their options.
As KTM puts it: “The proper planning of such events is currently at risk due to the uncertainty surrounding public gathering restrictions in most countries. The annual success of these indoor shows also sees hundreds of thousands of visitors gathering in enclosed spaces for a period lasting days and even weeks. For these reasons, KTM AG have identified their exclusion as way to contribute towards a safe and strong return to normal activity.”
KTM’s withdrawal from the motorcycle shows also includes Husqvarna, which revealed its Norden 901 concept at EICMA last fall and was expected to show the final production version this year.
The question, then, becomes whether the two shows should be held at all. Italy, in particular, has been hit hard by COVID-19, and the last thing officials want is to have a large international gathering converging in Milan, even if the show’s not until November. Germany hasn’t had as many coronavirus-related deaths, thanks in part to widespread testing and a crackdown on public gatherings, but it’s hard to …read more