From January 1st through mid-February 2012, a Harley-Davidson dealerships survey by Wisconsin-based Robert W. Baird, a wealth management, capital markets, asset management and private equity firm, reveals that sales of new motorcycles were up about 30% nationwide.
A renewed consumer confidence (unemployment at a 4-year low, positive US stock market with Dow Jones Index up 63% since 2008), better and cheaper models in phase with what bikers can afford and want to ride, a very mild winter especially in the Midwest, all helped produce robust new Harley bike sales.
Other result of interest is that US Harley-Davidson new models inventory is at its lower level in about a decode. Average US inventory level is at about 52 motorcycles per dealer compared with about 125 in 2006. 84% of dealers believe that this level is about right or too low. It means that “scarcity value” of the brand is going up again after many years of trending down and that Harley-Davidson Cash Cycle (time between cash to produce and cash received) is much shorter, both good financial news for the factory. Still, many dealers continue to sell new bikes below the recommended MSRP. If March sales, a strong indicator of what could be the sales for the rest of the year, continue to be excellent, potential buyers could expect to pay MSRP or even above, Harley-Davidson declared strategy being to continue to limit production to protect brand value.