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Harley Davidson Sales Are Down By 4.2% Globally For Q1 2017

2017 is shaping up to be a difficult year for the motorcycle industry in general, but Harley Davidson sales are hurting the most: sales are down by 4.2% globally in the first quarter.

Harley Davidson’s sales figures for Q1 of 2017 report that sales are down by 4.2%. That’s the global statistic though. If you want to know about their domestic sales in the USA, the reading becomes even worse. For Q1, Harley Davidson posted a decrease in sales of 5.7% compared to 2016.

It’s not all doom and gloom though, because Harley Davidson aren’t the only companies feeling the burn, and very few have managed to report positive gains. Though US sales might be in a bit of a decline, they aren’t fairing too badly abroad. In total, sales are only down by 1.2%, which is pretty good considering the state of global economics. The dip might not seem so bad, but Harley Davidson have had to cut back on their shipments all over the world, stemming the flow of 2017 models and trying to get their dealerships to push their existing 2016 units instead.

Here’s what CEO Matt Levatich had to say: “First-quarter U.S. retail sales were in line with our projections, and we remain confident in our full-year plan, despite international retail sales being down in the quarter. We are very pleased with our continued growth in the U.S. market share and the progress our U.S. dealers made in reducing their inventory of 2016 motorcycles in the quarter.”

The declining sales were also noted in Canada, Europe, The Middle East, Africa, and Asia-Pacific. Canada sold 2,361 units (down 4.4%). Europe, the Middle East and Africa sold 10,167 bikes (down 0.4%). And the Asia-Pacific region only managed to sell 6,863 units, which is the worst shortcoming of all, down 9.3% from 2016.

On the other side of the coin, Latin America posted great results, with a boost of 24.2% in the Harley Davidson sales department, with 2,342 bikes sold.

Harley Davidson Sales Are Down – But They Have A Plan!

For the most part, the Harley Davidson sales slump can be attributed to the nature of the US motorcycle industry, which still hasn’t recovered from the glory days before the financial crisis. The global economy certainly didn’t help their sales either. However, Harley Davidson are confident about the market, and have expressed that the figures match their projections. They’ve also outlined an ambitious ten year plan to help drive the brand forward.

The new plans include training new Harley Davidson riders in the USA – 2 million new riders, in fact. Next, they plan to expand their international business by a further 50 percent. They’re also expecting to deliver better returns for their investors, and grow the business without increasing the overall environmental impact. And most importantly…

Harley Davidson plans to launch “100 new, high impact motorcycles.” High impact? We certainly hope so. It would be nice to see Harley Davidson break out of their comfort zone and deliver the real powerful punch that they’re certainly capable of. Ten years is realistic. But 100 new high-impact models? They’re going to have to work hard…

Categories: Motorcycles

Joe Appleton
About Joe Appleton

I’ve done a bit of work here and there in the industry – I’ve even ridden a few bikes for actual money but what it comes down to is this: I ride bikes, build bikes and occasionally crash ‘em too. I like what I like but that certainly doesn’t make my opinion any more valid than yours…