Harley-Davidson Q3 Sales Up 20% in the US, 15% Abroad

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Signs of life are finally coming back to the motorcycle industry, as Harley-Davidson has shown strong gains in the third fiscal quarter of 2013. Posting an increase in sales of 15.5% worldwide, Harley-Davidson grew 20.1% in the United States the last three months, due mainly to its “Project Rushmore” line of water-cooled motorcycles.

“Rider response to the 2014 motorcycles we introduced August 18 was extremely positive. In fact, initial retail sales of the new Project Rushmore motorcycles sparked the largest year-over-year new model year sales increase in two decades,” explained Harley-Davdison CEO Keith Wandell in the company’s investor communique.

In the first nine months of 2013, Harley-Davidson has sold 214,964 units to consumers, an overall increase of 4.1% YTD. Harley-Davidson now forecasts that it will ship between 259,000 to 264,000 motorcycles to dealers and distributors worldwide by the end of 2013 (the Bar & Shield brand shipped 247,625 units last year).

The real important news though is that Harley-Davidson saw growth in its bottom-line figures. Up 21.1% over Q3 2012, Harley-Davidson reported operating income of $175.5 million, while revenue grew 10.7% over last year’s Q3.

Accounting for roughly half of the American motorcycle market, Harley-Davidson’s positive gains the last three months should help buoy the two-wheeled industry. However, the bigger point from Harley-Davidson’s news is that brands that continue to develop their product lines and release new models in this economy are seeing positive results. Hopefully other OEMs will take note.

Source: Harley-Davidson

Jensen Beeler

Despite his best efforts, Jensen is called one of the most influential bloggers in the motorcycle industry, and sometimes consults for motorcycle companies, whether they've solicited his expertise or not.