Harley-Davidson April-May US Sales Seen As Slowing Down. Dealer checks suggest that retail sales were down between 1 to 3%. The 2 reasons most often mentioned: 1- Unusual excellent sales during the 1st quarter 2012 due to exceptional clement winter weather. 2- a shortage of available new models in many dealerships, something that will benefit motorcycle pricing from the point of view of Harley-Davidson and of its dealers. For the first time since 2008 some dealers sell models at MSRP or above. Most analysts think that June sales will be in check with Harley projections for this time of the year.
Big Bear Choppers Update. Simon Scott purchased the company’s brand, intellectual property, tool and proprietary parts and design in December 2011, completing the entire purchase in April just before Big Bear Choppers filed for bankruptcy on May 4, 2012. In an interview with Dave McMahon of Powersports Business, Kevin Alsop made the following statements:
1- “We had about 30 bikes that were on order from customers when we closed. About 25 people didn’t get their bikes unfortunately, and there were about 40 bikes that dealers ordered but didn’t get” 2- “Nobody’s in the Chopper business except for us” 3- “People still want the bikes. There are people calling here every single day saying they really want this or that” 4- “We’re basically looking at building four bikes a month to break even” 5- “Our game plan is to start to clean up the image. There are some people that lost money and work through the bankruptcy” 6- ‘It broke our hearts, as Big Bear was our lives and the company meant so much to so many people” 7- “Now we are proud to say Big Bear Choppers will be one of the brands that will help drive the industry forward” 8- “Eventually we’ll build back the dealer confidence and the consumer confidence. There are dealers that Big Bear Choppers owed money and we’ve already made deals with some of these dealers, like ‘We owe you $10 grand. If you order another two or four bikes, we’ll give you a discount to make up for what you lost. Dealers are starting to do that.”
Harley Davidson Not To Build Sub-800cc Made For India Market. During these last couple of weeks a persistent rumor was circulating on Harley-Davidson about to build in India a sub 800cc model that was expected to be tailor made for the Indian market. The rumor is officially denied by Harley, and at the opposite it is expected that all existing Harley models will be available soon in Indian and globally in each market.
Craig Vetter: Grand Marshal At AMA Vintage Days. AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame member and noted designer Craig Vetter – whose contributions to motorcycling range from the iconic Windjammer fairings and the Triumph X-75 Hurricane to the Mystery Ship limited-production high-performance motorcycles and a number of high-profile motorcycle fuel-economy contests – will be honored as this year’s grand marshal at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days featuring Rockers and Mods, July 20-22, at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.