1- Harley-Davidson and other brands motorcycle sales in the US. There is a consensus in the industry that beginning of year 2011 is much better than it has been during the last 3 years (for me too, with an increase of close to 40% in custom parts sales versus last year.) But it comes with a complete reshuffling of the way we do business. And it includes marketing, advertising, distribution, type of products, models of motorcycles and pricing. A topic I will develop in another post…
As an example of how fast things have changed very fast in the last few years, look at the US market shares of motorcycle manufacturers. For example Harley-Davidson recently reported U.S. retail sales of 42,000-plus bikes in the first quarter of 2011, which equates to roughly 50 percent of the market share of on-road motorcycles. In 2008, Harley-Davidson represented only 36% (Harley states a higher percentage because the company takes in account only heavy cruisers in its category.) Even if the overall market of new registrations would not increase in 2011 (but it is possible it will expand) Harley-Davidson US market share has increased by at least 14% in 2 years.
What is interesting to observe is the fast progression of some foreign brands in the US (Ducati, Triumph, Royal Enfield) and the getting weaker every day market shares of Japanese metric motorcycle manufacturers (not due to Tsunami.) Just check these numbers from 1st quarter of 2011 (source JAMA, Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.) Total Metric exports to America (including off-road): 2008: 372,362 units, 2009: 160,655 units, 2010: 88,074 units. Total Metric exports to Canada: 2008: 37,131, 2009: 21,986, 2010: 18,177. So, it is probable that the progression of Harley market share in the US comes mainly from the ones lost by all Japanese brands.
2- Ducati North America Motorcycle Sales Up 68% for 1st Quarter 2011. 3 Quarters in a row Ducati North America has exceeded its sales versus same quarters of the previous year. An increase of sales by 68% in the 1st quarter of 2011 is quite an outstanding result by the Italian manufacturer. North america is now the largest export market for Ducati. The acclaimed new model the Diavel just arrived in US dealerships at the end of March and the new Monster Evo 1100 & Multistrada 1200 should continue to support strong sales throughout the end of the year.
3- Harley-Davidson Sportster Forty Eight launched In India. The Forty Eight is the latest in Harley’s Sportster range and features the tried and tested 1,200 Harley Davidson V-Twin engine. But the engine isn’t the reason why the Forty Eight is different from the other Sportsters in the Harley family. It is distinguished by its fat front tire, ow seat and retro styling, which is an eclectic mix of cafe racer and street bobber influences. The Forty Eight, like in the US is targeted at India younger riders