Though a couple brands are showing gains, 2017 looks like it will be a tough year for the motorcycle industry – a statement supported by Harley-Davidson’s Q1 2017 sales figures, which are down 4.2% compared to last year, with 70,831 motorcycles sold to consumers.
That figure gets worse when you zero-in on Harley-Davidson’s domestic numbers, with the brand’s motorcycle sales in the United States down 5.7% for Q1 2017. Still, it is important to note that Harley-Davidson maintains a 51.3% marketshare figure in the 601cc-plus category, in the USA.
Compare that to Harley-Davidson’s progress abroad, where on its face things don’t seem to be going too poorly, with sales down only 1.2%.
However, it should be noted that shipments abroad are down considerably, 14.7% to be exact, a sign that bikes aren’t moving as quickly as expected in markets outside of the United States.
While the overall US motorcycle industry is likely to blame for Harley-Davidson’s worrying Q1 drop, abroad the results depend more market-to-market. Sales in the Asia Pacific, Europe, and Canada were down, while sales in Latin America were up:
- United States: 33,316 (-5.7%)
- Canada: 2,361 (-4.4%)
- Latin America: 2,342 (+24.2%)
- Europe/Middle East/Africa (EMEA): 10,167 (-0.4%)
- Asia-Pacific: 6,863 (-9.3 %)
Harley-Davidson has a list of reasons why its sales are lagging, though of course its main culprit is the stalled nature of the US motorcycle industry.
Drilling into the topic further though, Harley-Davidson has reduced deliveries of its 2017 models to dealers, hoping to unload a backlog of 2016 models that are still sitting on showroom floors.
In response, the iconic American motorcycle company has outlined five goals that will drive the brand for the next 10 years:
- Build two million new Harley-Davidson riders in the USA
- Grow international business to 50 percent of annual volume
- Launch 100 new, high-impact motorcycles
- Deliver superior return on invested capital for Harley-Davidson Motor Company (S&P 500 top 25%)
- Grow the business without growing its environmental impact
Looking down the road, towards the end of the year, Harley-Davidson expects 2017 sales figures to be inline with those we saw in 2016, if not taking a minor dip.