Helped by a strong fourth quarter, Harley-Davidson is reporting signs of growth for 2012, with the company’s global sales again up 6.2% over the figures from last year. With sales up 6.6% in the United States, and 5.6% abroad, Harley-Davidson sold 249,849 motorcycles in 2012, and those sales figures translated onto the balance sheet into a 6% growth in revenue ($4.9 billion) and a 4% increase in net income ($623 million).
“Thanks to the outstanding efforts of our employees, dealers and suppliers, Harley-Davidson achieved its growth and restructuring goals in 2012,” said CEO Keith Wandell. “The ambitious restructuring of our manufacturing operations, aimed at delivering better responsiveness for customers and greater operating efficiency, is now largely behind us.”
Though showing only modest growth in the United States in 2012, Harley-Davidson continued to see strength in the Latin American (+39%) and Asia Pacific (+14%) markets. However, sales in Europe were down 3%, following the overall trend for the region.
With the Milwaukee brand’s stronger fourth quarter, there is at least evidence of there being some momentum to the US motorcycle industry’s resurgence after the recession from the credit market falling out. Responsible for roughly half of the US market, Harley-Davidson’s sales gains bode well for the industry’s annual report.
Beginning to invest in its growth in the European market, the woes of the EU continue to plague the Milwaukee brand, as with virtually every other OEM, which has likely been the impetus for Harley-Davidson making advances into India and other developing markets. Expect to see Harley-Davidson continue to push into India in 2013, especially with its rumored made-for-India model.