You remember that last August Harley-Davidson informed its US dealers network that online sales were forbidden outside their dealership territories. Main targets were those dealers selling online parts and accessories to 3rd party independent dealers (brick & mortar and online shops usually reselling Harley genuine parts at a discount) and to individuals whose residence are outside each dealer territory. Beginning of this month, I reported that St. Paul Harley-Davidson (incorporated as St. Paul Motorsports Inc.) sued the motorcycle manufacturer to fight the policies, which would eliminate about a quarter of the 72-year-old dealership’s revenue.
On Monday November 28, 2011, U.S. District Judge Patrick Schiltz ordered Harley-Davidson Motor Co not to enforce its ban on sales of parts, accessories and apparel through third-party websites or to international customers. The judge’s order is effective through Feb. 29, 2012. Through his attorney, St-Paul Harley owner Tom Giannetti successfully argued that although his dealership motorcycle sales were dropping since year 2000, he was able to stay in business thanks to profitable online sales. Judge Shiltz keeps the case on hold until February to give both parties enough time to negotiate an amicable resolution of the dispute.