Harley-Davidson Retail Sales Down 13% Through February

harleydavidsontankSince last year, confronted with the most dramatic contraction in consumer spending in decades, Harley-Davidson and its competitors in the heavyweight bike market are bracing for a decline of 2009 sales. In the US, for the 1st 2 months of the year, U.S. dealers sold 9.4% fewer motorcycles than they did during the same period last year. For the same period international retail sales are down13%. U.S. retail sales represent nearly 73% of total worldwide sales.

13 Responses to “Harley-Davidson Retail Sales Down 13% Through February”

  1. 1 Jeff Nicklus Mar 9th, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    ….. and exactly who does this surprise? ……

    Over & Out,


  2. 2 Boss Hawg Mar 9th, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    Jeff Jeff Jeff…Of course not you and me Bro!

    Boss Hawg

  3. 3 Jay Mar 9th, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    Numbers do not lie. I will tell you who lies… sales people and anyone that works at a Harley dealership. They are in denial!!! Anytime I pop in at a dealer or run into someone that works at a dealer and ask, “so, how are things going?” The response is always, “Great! We are selling a ton of bikes this month and people are coming in like crazy.”

    I am not lying, this is exactly what was told to me over the past month at two different dealerships in the greater Milwaukee area. They need to get over themselves, recognize that there is a problem, and work to do something about it.

    “Denial aint just a river in Egypt!”

  4. 4 Crash Mar 10th, 2009 at 7:47 am

    Jay , it must be this way at 99% of Harley dealerships. At least any Harley dealer I vist has almost the same line aka same lie. And 9 times out of 10 should you tell them you may be considering a new custom bike then chances are they begin their spill about the custom market being dead and what a bad investment it would be.

  5. 5 Divercal Mar 10th, 2009 at 8:29 am

    Only 13% thru Feb??? 9.3%less than 1st 2 months last year???
    To me, that’s where the denial is!! They’re sayin that except for
    Only 13%, business is good??? I mean who’s buying anything
    substantial anywhere lately???? I would think theywould be down
    45 – 60 % or more!! I think they are just missing that great profit margin.

  6. 6 Mike Tomas Kiwi Indian m/c Co Mar 10th, 2009 at 9:39 am

    Does this figure include sales of used m/c’s as this would directly reflect a different figure for new m/c’s. I hope everything works out well for them, being around continually since 1903 is an achievement in itself.

  7. 7 J Mar 10th, 2009 at 9:47 am

    Yep, I agree with you, Divercal- down only 13% seems pretty suspicious- it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to walk into ANY Harley dealership and see the backed- up inventory of bikes jamming their lots- here on the west coast of Florida, all the dealerships look like GM car lots- lol.

    You don’t shut down factories when your sales are down only 9-13%……..

  8. 8 I Work at One Mar 10th, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    I am constantly amazed at how short sighted some people can be. For example, all the whining about Harley dealership staff lieing to their “customers”– what do you expect them to do? Start crying they’re about to lose their jobs, not be able to feed their families, HAVE INCOME TO BUY YOUR STINKING PRODUCTS!!!!

    Sorry, a small rant there. So sue me.

    Now, here’s the reality in the longer term. Read the article again– Harley isn’t the only manufacturer out there having a rough time. So forget the brand for a moment, and think about this: if you don’t support your local dealer, it won’t be there when you finally scrape up enough cash and cajones to buy a bike. And the paycheques of the people who used to work there may have been the one thing keeping your boss’s doors open. you could be next trying to paint a brighter picture than what your customers see.

    Misery doesn’t love company. It demands it. Go be miserable somewhere else. Dealership staff have more important things to worry about.

  9. 9 David Mar 10th, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    It sure is nice to be able to go in a Harley dealer and see that there are a selection of bikes on the floor “FOR SALE”.

  10. 10 Rocky, ironwigwam.com Mar 10th, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    These are tough times for everyone, our president has asked to dig in and stand up and stay the course, if they could survive for 106 years, they can figure this out

  11. 11 BigHand Mar 10th, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    Has Harley backed out of asking for a BAILOUT . Screw um if they think they should get a handout…I mean a BAILOUT .

  12. 12 Cade Mar 10th, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    Rocky, ironwigwam.com …..blah,blah,blah

  13. 13 Nicker Mar 11th, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    Gotta side with Dave & I-Work on this one.

    For all those who were sniveling about Availability and Price,
    nows the time ta-go get-cha a scooter.
    Around here the prices have never been better.

    Oh and…….. Rocky
    “…. our president has asked ..”

    Get Real.


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Cyril Huze