If we're being a bit pessimistic, we can extend this quite a bit beyond Europe. I'm going as far as saying they've priced themselves out of the range of most parks anywhere, except for the very biggest ones, and even then only when the park is laying down a huge investment. Like new Chinese parks built from the ground up, or major additions to big Western parks.Fascinating discussion, until this I hadn’t really considered that B&M have almost shut off the European market for themselves.
I've got some time on my hands at the moment, so let's make an exhaustive list of parks that have built a new (not relocated) B&M coaster in Europe and North America in the past decade (2010-2020), and what type of coasters those were. Europe first:
- Gardaland (Wing, Dive)
- Heide Park (Wing, Dive)
- Thorpe Park (Wing)
- Parc Astérix (Invert)
- PortAventura (Giga)
- Efteling (Dive)
- Toverland (Wing)
- Liseberg (Dive)
- Carowinds (Hyper, Giga)
- Dollywood (Wing)
- Canada's Wonderland (Giga, Dive)
- Cedar Point (Wing, Dive)
- Kings Island (Invert, Hyper)
- Holiday World (Wing)
- SeaWorld Orlando (Hyper)
- SeaWorld San Diego (Dive)
- Hersheypark (Hyper)
Secondly, they're really just selling three of their models. Only two of their coasters built in the West since 2010 were not Hypers, Wing Coasters, or Dive Coasters. Particularly in Europe, where parks tend to enforce stricter height limits, they've mostly just sold Dive and Wing coasters, and as we've seen, most of the parks that can afford them now have them.
This means that B&M's customer base is small and shrinking, because every coaster they build saturates their market further. Take Gardaland, for instance. They can't build a Hyper for space and height reasons, they've got a Wing Coaster and a Dive coaster already, their SLC probably means getting a B&M Invert is out of the question, and there are many cheaper options if they want to build a sit-down looper. Same story for Heide Park, minus the Hyper thing (a Giga was in Heide's plans a couple of decades ago, and although it didn't come to fruition, at least it shows they've got the space and height ceiling required) - but I don't see Merlin shelling out for one of those nowadays. You could probably say the same for Cedar Point too. They've got the entire catalogue already, minus the family coasters, which they can easily get cheaper elsewhere. Several American parks are one Wing coaster away from having built one of everything B&M is likely to sell them.
There are still openings in the European market, but they are somewhat few. I could see Thorpe and/or PortAventura getting a Dive Coaster, Toverland may realize their old dream of building a Batman clone, and Parc Astérix could splurge on a big B&M too some day, but unless Flyers make a triumphant return in the market (and as I've touched upon, I think Wing Coasters are taking over their niche) or the Surf Coaster turns out to be a best-seller, I don't see many potential customers for B&M in Europe.
I see somebody suggested Denmark, but I'm not sure. The last time a Danish park built a coaster with inversions was 2008, and the last time they built a full-circuit coaster taller than 31 meters was never. The Venn diagram of B&M's catalogue and the Danish market has an awfully small overlap.
In light of this, it's understandable that B&M appears to be making a larger fraction of their sales nowadays in China. It seems like there are Wing Coasters and Hypers popping up everywhere there. But I can't help but wonder what happens when the Chinese boom is over. They've got a tremendous property bubble ripe to burst any day now, and when that happens investments into theme parks may dry up for a while. It really looks like B&M is in desperate need of some innovation.