The yearly results for Harley-Davidson are out, and once again they paint a dark figure for the iconic American motorcycle brand, as its total worldwide sales collapsed like a dying star, with a decline of 4.3% to bring the company to a total of 218,273 units sold worldwide.
Things were worse in the domestic market, with Harley-Davidson’s sales in the USA showing a 5.2% drop (125,960 units) from 2018’s figures.
This leaves the Bar & Shield brand’s international sales down an even 3% (92,313 units) – for those doing the math.
|Asia Pacific||7,691||7,244||6.2 %||29,513||28,724||2.7 %|
|International Total||18,550||18,462||0.5 %||92,313||95,183||-3.0%|
As one can imagine, Wall Street didn’t take the news kindly, with Harley-Davidson stock dropping roughly 3% on the news. This is due in part to investor confidence in the brand, but also because of the hit that the sales drop has meant to Harley-Davidson’s financials.
Yearly revenue for Harley-Davidson was down 8% in 2019, with the operating income down 31% compared to last year.
The only positive one can take from the Harley-Davidson balance sheet is the revenue increase coming from the company’s financial services division, which was up 5.5%. However, the operating income from Harley-Davidson Financial ended down 8.6% for the year.
Despite all this, Harley-Davidson’s CEO Matt Levatich remains committed to the company’s change in business direction, as it promises a better long-term stability for the brand than the company’s past trend of focusing solely on the cruiser market and baby boomer generation.
The question for Harley-Davidson loyalists (and financial investors) though is how much bleeding will still need to come from Harley-Davidson before the company is healthy again?
Our guess is that Harley-Davidson still has some tough sales reports still in its future, and it will be several years before the brand is stable again…if it makes it that far.