Fast Motorcycle Industry News

Harley-Davidson, Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer Keith E. Wandell Named Chairman of the Company’s Board of Directors. “Keith is a transcendent leader who has done an outstanding job of guiding Harley-Davidson in a period of extraordinary challenge and transformation,” said Barry K. Allen, who has served as the Company’s non-executive Chairman since 2009.”nHe added “With the Company’s tremendous progress under Keith’s leadership over the last three years, the Board believes the time is right to recombine the roles of Chairman and CEO.

Harley-Davidson Board Approves Cash Dividend Increase of 24%. The Board Of Directors approved a cash dividend of $0.155 per share for the first quarter of 2012. This represents a 24% increase over the Q4 2011 dividend ($.125) and a 55% increase over the Q1 2011 dividend ($.100). The dividend is payable March 2, 2012, to the holders of record of the Company’s common stock on February 21, 2012.

Polaris Boost Its Stock Dividend By 64%. Polaris Industries (PII) the power sports company making ATVs, snowmobiles and Victory motorcycles is increasing its dividend by a whopping 64%. The firm raised its quarterly shareholder payout to 37 cents a share, up from 22.5 cents. The 64% increase marks the biggest percentage jump since the company started paying dividends in 1995. The hike also marked the 17th straight year of a dividend increase. Polaris will distribute the payout March 15 to shareholders of record March 1. Investors need to buy the stock at least three days ahead of the record date in order to receive the dividend. At the new annual rate of $1.48 a share, Polaris offers a current yield of about 2.2%.

Harley-Davidson Dealership Suing County Over Equal opportunity Compliance Policy. Bumpus Harley-Davidson, which also operates a dealership in Murfreesboro is suing in federal court Shelby County over a certification process requiring companies that want to win government contracts to hire a certain percentage of minorities. The proportion of minority employees must be at least half of the proportion of minorities in the area where the company is located. And what if no member of these minorities is not the most qualified person for the job offered?

Myrtle Beach Harley Addresses Backlash Over Spring Rally Dates Change. Backlash Over Spring Rally Date Change. When old conflicts seem to be settled and forgotten, another one is popping up. ABATE of Horry County, SC is threatening to boycott the 2 Myrtle Beach Harley-Davidson stores because their owner, Phil Schoonover, has decided to extend the Spring Cruising The Coast Rally to Memorial Day. The rally is scheduled for May 18 to May 28, an expansion from previous years and would end up overlapping with the Memorial Day Bike Fest centered in Atlantic Beach. The date change had confused other local businesses who have already announced other dates. ABATE sattes that the Spring Rally already upsets residents at immediate proximity of the 2 Harley dealerships. Myrtle Beach Harley issued a press release stating that “”They apologize for any inconvenience to any individuals that may have been misled and event promoters that have been advertising other dates. With that in consideration, their events and dates are stand-alone events and not Harley-Davidson sponsored events” What ‘s next? The Myrtle Beach local government is going to involved again with the Horry County Council to discuss and decide on February 14th what to do, to pull or not the vendor permits, to keep the original dates unchanged for the Official Harley Spring Cruising The Coast Rally.

Cyril Huze