Harley-Davidson. Fourth Quarter And Full-Year 2015 Results. Profits Fall On Lower Sales.

HDThroughout 2015, Harley-Davidson retail motorcycle sales were adversely affected by heightened competitive pressures including those arising from shifts in world currencies. Harley-Davidson Inc reported a 43.3 percent fall in quarterly profit, hurt by weak demand in the United States, its biggest market. The Milwaukee-based company said its net income fell to $42.2 million, 22 cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, from $74.5 million, or 35 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue slipped 2.3 percent to $1.01 billion.

2HDRetail Motorcycle Sales Highlights: In the fourth quarter, Harley-Davidson’s U.S. market share was 51.4 percent in the 601cc-plus category, flat compared to the year ago period. “Our U.S. market share stabilized as we began to ramp up marketing investment, and as we lapped the initial impact of heightened competitiveness and price discounting that began late in the fourth quarter of 2014,” said Levatich.

3HDRetail Harley-Davidson motorcycle sales are down in the US 3.4% in 4th quarter and 1,7% for full year 2015. Sales in Canada grew 12.3 percent in the quarter, following the company’s move to direct distribution in the market. The Asia Pacific region had its best year ever for dealer sales of new Harley-Davidson motorcycles. For the full year 2015, worldwide Harley-Davidson sales were down 1.3%. But Harley remains number one in market share in the 601cc-plus segment in the U.S., Canada, Australia, India and Japan.

“We are focused, with strength and resolve, on growing demand and building on our substantial market leadership position,” said Matt Levatich, President and Chief Executive Officer, Harley-Davidson, Inc.  “Although we expect the macro-economic environment to remain challenging, we are confident we’ll continue to lead with our powerful brand – not simply because of our substantial strengths but through our increased demand driving investments and our incredibly talented and passionate employees and dealers.”

In October, the company unveiled plans to increase its customer-facing marketing investment, starting in 2016, by approximately 65 percent over 2015 levels, and to increase its investment in new product development by approximately 35 percent from 2015. These changes represent an approximate $70 million increase in investments to drive demand compared to 2015. The increased investments are focused in four areas: increasing product and brand awareness; growing new ridership in the U.S.; increasing and enhancing brand access; and accelerating the cadence and impact of new products.

Guidance 2016: Harley-Davidson expects to ship 269,000 to 274,000 motorcycles in 2016, an approximate 1 percent to 3 percent increase from 2015 shipments. In the first quarter of 2016, the company expects to ship 78,000 to 83,000 motorcycles compared to 79,589 motorcycles shipped in the year-ago period. The company expects full-year 2016 operating margin of approximately 16 to 17 percent for the Motorcycles segment. The company expects 2016 capital expenditures for Harley-Davidson, Inc. of $255 million to $275 million.

24 Responses to “Harley-Davidson. Fourth Quarter And Full-Year 2015 Results. Profits Fall On Lower Sales.”

  1. 1 Nitschke Jan 28th, 2016 at 9:11 am

    I’m sure the champagne corks will be popping for many who visit this blog.

  2. 2 P. Hamilton Jan 28th, 2016 at 9:24 am

    More pain for Harley will make them building better bikes, tame their arrogance (execs and dealers)

  3. 3 J. Rchter Jan 28th, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Listen to me all. In 5 years, in the US 601cc-plus category, Harley market share will fall from 51% to 40%. Polaris motorcycles market share will go from about 4% (I think I guess right…) to 20%. I bet my money on PII, buying the stock today at a very low price (compared to 1 year ago.) I can wait 5 years.

  4. 4 Dyno Jan 28th, 2016 at 9:54 am

    It was anticipated. Of course Harley will not explicitly mention the name of competitors. Guess?

  5. 5 takehikes Jan 28th, 2016 at 10:15 am

    HD just won’t listen so they will pay the price. Go away? No. Perhaps build better bikes and at a better price point. I say maybe.
    Until they get their collective heads out of the asses of guys my age that ain’t buying any more overfed underwhelming “original, lifestyle, classic” bikes.

  6. 6 Brett Garner Jan 28th, 2016 at 10:52 am

    And what if we enter a new global recession?

  7. 7 James just another crazy kiwi Jan 28th, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    Funny How things change, I remember when buying an new AMF HD I was hoping it would help them survive. My loyalty has never changed even when they became a strong American Corporate that its own people have turned against. Imagine if they had gone bust in the early 80’s.
    Many of the after market and MotorCycle building jobs would not exist and many of you would be doing some mundane job that would of been sold off to the Chinese.

    Just a thought !!

    Tall Poppy syndrome from the land that gave us Buffet and Trump

  8. 8 fuji Jan 28th, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    Here is a paragraph of an article that I read dated January 4, 2016 By Mark Gardiner

    Think about it: Harley still has almost half the market, but if the half it has is aging out and the company wants to preserve its sales, it has to capture virtually all of every competitor’s market share ― not to grow, just to maintain volumes.

  9. 9 Keith Jan 28th, 2016 at 7:46 pm

    Yeeea, Here comes the Indian….Ohhh, Yeaaaaa, He ain’t gunna dieee….

  10. 10 AmazingRiders Jan 29th, 2016 at 4:07 am

    It was the golden age of Harley has gone. I still quite like the feeling of riding an Harley. Many youngsters nowadays opt for sport bikes instead – more powerful, more attractive. For me, the Harley position in market will never be replaced.

  11. 11 The Slob Jan 29th, 2016 at 4:49 am

    this wont help the motor companys bottom line…some guy went nuts at one of their warehouses in York Pa…damaged a bunch of bikes !

  12. 12 DJ Jan 29th, 2016 at 8:01 am

    I’ve seen this coming since willie g. Left. Harley went to a platform of trying to market to specific demographics and build bikes for specific markets based on race and gender thus changing the winning formula they have had for over a hundred years and alienating their base. They have cheapened the brand and as a result changed the whole industry which has trickled down to us small repair shops. They started playing with fire when they pushed Big Dog, Titan and all the other small guys out by lobbying the EPA to mandate fuel injection and pollution controls. They did this knowing these companies did not have the Capitol for R&D and put them out of business. Harley has made bad decision after bad decision

  13. 13 Chris Jan 29th, 2016 at 8:16 am

    @Keith, was that an Alice in Chains reference? Nice.

  14. 14 tony davidson Jan 29th, 2016 at 8:19 am


  15. 15 Clyde da glide Jan 29th, 2016 at 11:44 am

    Someone has lost touch with the market place.

  16. 16 BIG DOUG Jan 29th, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    mmm I will still love my harleys love my shovel,xr1200 and my rushmore street glide because of the feeling I get when I ride them,they just have soul and history and sorry as for the new indians I and many off my friends just can’t get over the looks,those guards looked good on a 53 chief but not on a 2016 bike and as for victory’s they might be fine bikes but they just don’t move me the way an hd does.

  17. 17 richards Jan 29th, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    Big Doug…People are writing Harley off have no idea of what they are talking about. 113 continuous years of building great bikes. They still have 51% of 600cc and higher of the entire market. They have caught up with technology. They are making changes and progress keeping us old traditionalists and at bringing “newbies”. They have gone international in both manufacturing.marketing and sales. Choices have expanded to include prices from $7,000. to $40,000. Water-cooled and air cooled.

    I read the remarks of the naysayers and recall the oft repeated axiom “If you have to ask, you wouldn’t understand”.

  18. 18 BobS Jan 29th, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    No need to worry about the MoCo. I’m sure if this slide continues in a few years they’ll just reach out to President Hillary for a bailout. They’re pretty good at that too.

  19. 19 Pat h Jan 29th, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    Never mind the tens of thousands of people they employ some of Which may be your neighbor’s, friends, somebody you may do work for, maybe they sell stationary, measuring equipment, trucking, foundry, tooling,paint, the corner cafe next to a plant, ect. They may not be directly on h-d’s payroll but you would be surprised how many people’s livelihoods depend on a small company like h-d, so let’s wish them the worst and watch work go overseas or worse go away altogether, hope your comfortable with your wishes, cause it might effect you.

  20. 20 Badams Jan 29th, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    It’s global now. As a frame of reference Apple’s biggest growth market is China. Once MoCo retools and pivots the go to market strategy it will be interesting to watch. Way too many moving financial and supply chain parts for me to even comprehend however they are over 100 years strong for a reason.

  21. 21 Texx Jan 30th, 2016 at 3:10 am

    I visited the local motorcycle show a few weeks ago here in Calgary, Canada, Huge turnout of spectators for the show, all the major brands were represented. All day the Victory & Indian displays were packed with enthusiastic people of all ages. The H-D display area was like a ghost town.

    No mention of the huge recalls in H-D’s annual report. Management needs to get a grip on whats happening in the market these days. Sad…

  22. 22 Blackmax Jan 30th, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    All this posters here has said what I
    & a lot of others have said every time one of these reports come out .
    H-D has acknowledged Indian exists
    And they still are the “Big Gun” on the black with 50% market share
    But every time these reports come out you see the share is incrementally shrinking.
    Build a damn better bike that a buyer doesn’t have to spend $3500 – $5000
    in the aftermarket to make it run right.
    (S & S Gear Drive would be the FIRST thing I would convert to, once the warranty ran out)
    I think the arrogance is fading but probably not quick enough for a lot of people
    Me, I’ve known for quite awhile now, where my next big $$ cycle purchase is going to be
    & it won’t be H-D !!!!

  23. 23 fuji Jan 31st, 2016 at 9:35 pm

    HD claims 50 percent of the US market but remember Polaris doesn’t have to sale 50 percent of the market to be the number one .

    It needs to get 26 percent of Harley’s sales

  24. 24 Kansas Jan 31st, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    I rented a Road Glide Special last fall and it was OK. Just not worth the up charge from my 2012 FLD. The RGS was another Harley and I have owned plenty. Now that Indian Dark Horse, it is pretty cool and about $5K cheaper than the Road Glide Special. Think I’ll at least go look when it warms up.

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Cyril Huze