Harley-Davidson Making Its Numbers With Dodgy Tactics?

hdbisThe Motley Fool, a very respected multimedia financial-services company that provides financial solutions for investors through various stock, investing, and personal finance services ran last weekend an interesting analysis of Harley-Davidson 4th quarter results. Journalist Rich Dupreys wonder if Harley is using dodgy tactics to make the numbers for its shipping guidance. The issue is regarding falling Harley sales standing in sharp contrast to rising bike shipments to dealers that just manage to get it just above the low and of its guidance. I thought you would be interested 9investor in HOG or not) in reading some highlights of his analysis. Of course, it’s his opinion and does’t necessarily reflect mine.

“How many times will Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG) use this tactic to make its sales numbers? To me it’s suspect, and investors should be wary that things might continue to get worse before they get better. The big-bike maker’s recent fourth-quarter earnings results showed Harley just making it over the hump of the low end of its dealer shipment forecast. After adamantly refusing to lower its guidance for most of the year despite every indication sales would keep falling, it finally capitulated after it posted its disappointing third-quarter results, reducing its dealer shipment forecast from a range of 276,000-281,000 motorcycles shipped in 2015 to 265,000-270,000 motorcycles. And when it reported its results late last month, it indeed made those numbers, albeit at the low end, with 266,000 bikes shipped.

Harley-Davidson Q4 U.S. Sales v. Shipments (% Chg.)
Hd

Missing those numbers would have been horrible. Exactly! And that’s what’s troubling. A year earlier, Harley-Davidson was also under pressure to make its shipment numbers. Just as it did last year, the bike maker was suffering from falling sales as competitors like Polaris Industries introduced popular new models, such as the Indian Scout, and Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Yamaha were discounting their bikes. Even Polaris bemoaned having to join in on keeping prices low to attract customer. But Harley’s been bucking the trend, refusing to give up the premium it charges for its bikes for the sake of market share. And as the past year proved, it lost share to rivals, even though it still does own almost half of the big-bike market.

However, there’s little justification for Harley shipping so many bikes to dealers when they aren’t selling the ones they have on their lots already. The fourth quarter is historically one of Harley-Davidson’s slowest sales periods, and if you look back at 2013 and 2012, you’ll see it actually shipped fewer bikes to dealers than it did the year before. And rightly so: sales growth has slowed significantly since it rebounded sharply after the recession, so the bike maker was right to scale back deliveries.

As I said a year ago, accusing a company of channel stuffing is a harsh thing to do, but investors should wonder why Harley-Davidson feels the need to send more bikes to its dealerships even though it knows sales are falling. That suggests to me the bike maker is more interested in making its business look better than it really is, and that bodes ill for future results and investors.” Rich Dupreys

47 Responses to “Harley-Davidson Making Its Numbers With Dodgy Tactics?”


  1. 1 chopmonster66 Mar 23rd, 2016 at 8:10 am

    GREED WILL BE THEIR DOWN FALL ..

  2. 2 NoH2oh Mar 23rd, 2016 at 8:19 am

    This will be a fun post to watch. Not having a HD or its stock I have no horse in the show, but do have to say I have never seen so much stock in the showrooms of the dealers around the Chicago area.

  3. 3 Minnesota Mack Mar 23rd, 2016 at 9:57 am

    Greed is good, Greed captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit.

  4. 4 Breeze Mar 23rd, 2016 at 9:57 am

    I wonder how many dealers still have some of last years models left?

  5. 5 Seymour Mar 23rd, 2016 at 10:11 am

    I didn’t know Harley was still owned by AMF lol

  6. 6 Matt W. Mar 23rd, 2016 at 10:14 am

    Some very interesting questions asked. Whether Harley is shuffling their numbers or not though I think it’s finally time for MOCO to decide if they are going to step up their quality control or lower their prices. You can’t have it both ways forever.

  7. 7 Mike Mar 23rd, 2016 at 10:29 am

    These days the motley fool site is mostly just right wing propaganda. They lost credibility quite a while ago

  8. 8 MrDefo Mar 23rd, 2016 at 10:33 am

    If only they’d come down on their prices, they would sell more bikes. People know they aren’t worth what Harley’s charging.

  9. 9 1550tc Mar 23rd, 2016 at 10:40 am

    Figures don’t lie, but liars figure.

    Motley Foo is just like a porn site for site for investors who are addicted to internet investment porn sites

    Harley isn’t going anywhere ……market share might erode to other makes

    Ask Polaris how their market share with victory is going now that the hype is on Indian?? Carry over models are all part of retail……….so many emerging markets for Harley and Indian that their future looks pretty good!!

  10. 10 Chief Waldo Mar 23rd, 2016 at 11:19 am

    I don’t like the idea of focusing only on the 4th quarter, as the actions described here could be something as simple as replenishing lower than normal stock at HD dealers. I’d like to see this chart for each of the quarters to get a better look at sales vs. shipments over the last five years.

  11. 11 SoCalPhun Mar 23rd, 2016 at 11:41 am

    Small snippets like 1 year’s 4th Quarter view point tells us nothing. Running lean and “channel stuffing” is a common tactic for many publicly traded companies when in the 4th quarter.

    Give me 3 years worth of data before passing judgement on the health of a company. As mentioned by others, HD is not going anywhere. I will say, I do not expect any continued growth from HD for sometime though. Strong US dollar is not helping, global economic retraction is not helping, buyers who wanted the Rushmore upgrade is coming to an end….

    Not playing the price-war games…I get it, smart move. What they need to do is added a little more value to the premium pricing and release something truly innovative within the next coming years.

  12. 12 richards Mar 23rd, 2016 at 11:44 am

    PURE SPECULATION! Does this clown have any FACTS to support his opinion? Also, when you talk about sales…Harley actually has 52% of the total 600cc bikes and larger. Honda, kaw, yam, triumph, ducs, sussies, vics, and indians etc. own the other 48%. Oh yeah…it’s not unusual for corps to adjust their forecasts near the end of the year, in fact it’s normal.

  13. 13 pabstbluerigid Mar 23rd, 2016 at 11:50 am

    let me preface my comments & observations on the fact I worked for HD oem franchises for 25 years, and I left HD behind when the one I worked (2 decades) for was sold due to the “aging ol’ school owners” wife, his “rock,” passing on. he could not go on, having been in it since 1970. store bought by a “group” (trend now days?) who prefer “fancy jeans & affliction shirts a size too small.” enough said. our ideas on customer service, loyalty & making customers for life differed too much – they wanted more “transactions, line items,” I wanted to “grow our family.” I left on good terms.

    yes, in the old days we saw the tough times (having to finish assembly of bikes shipped with parts in a box, in the crate, lol) and the wait-list years where while everyone else added a premium to availability we did not. we made loyal customers for life.

    i currently ride a rigid 4 speed evo at 50-plus yrs/old, and appreciate all things with wheels regardless of the tank-badge.

    alas, I digress. the motor company will be their own down-fall, and yes greed is at the center of it…mgmt, shareholders & the “newer dealers” who bought their way in…

    the last GREAT one was Richard Teerlink. look him up, those who do not remember. committed to product, the employees, price-points, maintaining a loss-leader – CHEAP entry level Sportster(s), and above all he spent time in the field with customers, LISTENED to their input. emphasis was on the bike? without the bike there would be no accessories or for that matter, no need for apparel or doo-dads.

    so just what happened? and when, how.

    now sportsters over $10,000? the profits made on BIG-TWINS are considerable before accessories, highest in the motorcycle industry and that’s before the “back-end monies” too – remember the sportster buy-back in the early-mid 80’s? not saying “do that” but HD needs an entry level unit other than that “Street,” which is still filling showrooms across America…good for lil’ more than a Rider’s Edge unit! a styling abomination….dear God. They need a “base” model 883, aluminum finish motor, peanut tank (retro hipsters will go nutz) solo seat (2 -up an accessory item, right?), the old style 883/low bars, etc…..you CANNOT tell me that is impossible for a reasonable price, cept for how many dealers would SQUAWK without their BIG MARGIN…they need a “loss-leader.” they must, dealers, take one “for the team” and get the youth in the door.

    no entry level…no future. NONE.

    what the hell is going on? I will tell you. they need to look around. that is why the indian scout looks so good….all that power, under 9999? and the 61?? how about the new cb1100, fuel injected with style! the sr is back from yamaha kickstart & fi, plus the BOLT is a great ride too! the royal enfield continental is amazing, $5995.…there are over 25 quality bikes i can list under 10,000….and many yet still? many under $7500!

    the up-and-comers do NOT want to tour, the “run-abouts” are the thing…their jobs (many have multiple?) prohibit them from extended travel. It’s about style, price….

    on a sidenote, Honda is the MASTER of customer cultivation! Start em’ on a CRF50, lol….then 125, 250. they see the red & white colors, the wings…becomes imbedded subliminally. then the rebel, the shadow, the fury….the f6b, lastly the almighty goldwing.

    I WISH NOT ONLY HARLEY-DAVIDSON, BUT ALL WHO WORK IN THE POWERSPORTS INDUSTRY AN AMAZING & PROSPEROUS 2016 & BEYOND! But the strong will adapt & survive, those with an open mind & eye.

    Peace.

  14. 14 Woody's Mar 23rd, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    Interesting, but hard to say one way or the other. I imagine a comparison with the next quarter and also both quarters to last year’s might be interesting. Hard to tell what an elephant looks like from ¼” away, sometimes you have to step back quite a ways to make it out.

  15. 15 highrpm Mar 23rd, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    if h-d leadership/ ownership were really ‘rebels’, they might choose to follow the ‘rebel’ mantra and f*k wall street and take the motor co private. as mike and 1550tc note, motley is just another wall street porn site. h-d has something polaris will likely not get for several more generations, even with indian: cultural heritage. maybe a private business model that plays on that with smaller volume and higher prestige will flourish. perhaps jeff bezos can give some direction and $$$, like he did with washington post? (although that’s be like knocking on the devil’s door with one’s hand out.) how do the porsche and ferrari business models seem to flourish?

  16. 16 bigitch Mar 23rd, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    we had the housing bubble almost 10 years ago.

    is this the biking buble?????

  17. 17 Toomeyboy Mar 23rd, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    Lot’s of speculation by lots of folks. The actual problems are many – bad economy!; more and more competition!; competitors with better pricing!; competitors with better products!; touring no loner the vogue thing to do!; less and less disposable income! boomers becoming more knowledgeable on better values!; etc, etc, etc……… But Harley’s biggest boner move……. putting twenty somethings in place as General Managers and Sales Managers with the result being a staff that can’t explain a damn thing about their product line, nor their competitions product lines. The reality is too many dealerships are now owned or run by former auto dealers or auto dealer finance types who are in it for profit, profit, profit. Customer service is a thing of the past on the sales floor and in the service department. And then there’s Harley’s 21st century business plan – wherein all of the mom/pop dealers were forced to sell to deep pocket corporations who built big boxes and stuffed ’em full of a product baby boomers no longer want and the millennials cannot afford and could care less about anything that isn’t functional. American Corporations certainly do have to evolve to remain in business. It’s so unfortunate the care of Harley’s 100 year old brand/image was placed in the hands of folks who just don’t get it. Later………………………….

  18. 18 hal Mar 23rd, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    Hm,
    They need to address the real problem.

  19. 19 highrpm Mar 23rd, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    @hal,

    interested in what you see as h-d’s “real problem.”

  20. 20 highrpm Mar 23rd, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    how is h-d’s “real problem” anything like hewlett-packard’s loss of cultural heritage from it’s standing in the 70’s as a premier instrumentation company to what it is now? this amazon 1-star reviewer’s venting about the h-p’s officejet 8600 printer says a lot:

    “This printer is the last straw for me in purchasing HP Inkjet Printer products. This printer’s design clearly shows the number one motivation of HP, revenue over customer satisfaction.”

    do 13% of h-d sales trigger a similar frustration? and if so, why?

  21. 21 nicker Mar 23rd, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    Would be far more interesting to view HD in the context of the broader economy.

    After all, if the overall economy isn’t “REALLY” doing as well as advertised by talking heads and administration hacks, there is no reason to suppose that any one sector could dodge that bullet for long.

    Moreover, comparisons of how each enterprise in a given sector perform is a for more subtle question than can be answered by two or three quarterly reports.

    Having said that, it should be noted that the market is littered with the bodies of enterprises that lost connection with their customers.

    -nicker-

  22. 22 1550tc Mar 23rd, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    Guys next time you see a guy with Hewlett-Packard tattooed on his body PLEASE POST IT OK !!!
    or better yet, let me know when you see…………………….

    3-4-500K owners of any product; meet and get together anywhere in the world yearly and just have fun with other owners of that product ……….please let me know!!!
    cause it aint Porsche Nikon apple BMW Rolex Chevy ect or Walmart shoppers

    Only events i can think of were wood stock and the rolling stones on the beach in Brazil

    HD is just very a unique brand and its loyalty cant be compared to many, if any products.

    A BMW is your wife but Harley is the girl that will give you the night of your life complete with hi maintenance!!

  23. 23 Zenaldo Mar 23rd, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    HD can’t keep their heads in the sand too much longer, I hope….

  24. 24 Steve the Poducer Johann Mar 23rd, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    As Sgt. Sholtz used to say: “I know nothing, nothing”.

    Other than… Bezos is not who you want to purchase your business.

    As for underlying issues many of you have covered them. Some here have a better understanding than others. and I am not saying I am one of those.

    I have strongly voiced my opinions on our show for the past 8 years that if you want to sell more bikes you better offer products that are much lower in price and size entry level newbies feel comfortable riding around town on. The H-D night 500 is a great entry level bike but a non aligned not so quick to go into debt newbie may opt to pay cash for a used metric at lets say $2,500 to $3,500 and try out the lifestyle before plunging 7 thousand or more into a new bike. I site $2,500 as there was a low mile Honda Cruiser sitting in a used car dealership for that price just a few months ago a friend almost purchased.

    Except for a for a small number of people the economy has not gotten much better. This means holding onto your current ride for a lot longer rather than moving into a new model.

    Lastly according to banking stats I have seen, people are saving more of their money now than they have in a very long time. This means people are not buying like they used to. They are less willing to go into debt to buy things especially non essentials like a motorcycle.

  25. 25 mkviz Mar 23rd, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    I thought that was standard practice????

  26. 26 JohnnySpeed Mar 23rd, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    The views of some of the commenters here about this story are very interesting and insightful.. I definitely think Harley needs to hire you for a long term focus group. It’ll be very interesting to see where Harley sits in the marketplace in 10 years or so as the population ages and if they’re able to maintain their market share. I’m technically a millennial at 35y/o and I came to Harley in my mid 20’s despite the fact that my father and brother rode/ride Japanese bikes. So it is possible for them to get the interest of younger people.

  27. 27 J Mar 23rd, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    It’s not rocket sclence- the market isn’t expanding fast enough to meet HD’s growth target…. Competition is eating at their existing market…. The only variables that HD can control are inventory and finance;

    So yes, channel stuffing IS happening, just like funky financing IS happening. HD management is financially creative, and it is laying most of their credit risk off on CDS paper-

    But- as GM found out- one can only play this game for so long. When the junk bond market crashes (at it will, it’s at a historically high and unsubstainable valuation), all the derivatives that HD has racked up will fall apart- it will be an event, not a trend.

    Maybe HD expects a bailout, a la GM- in fact, there are many companies in the same boat as HD right now, who believe that there is a backstop to the inordinate risk that they’ve taken on;

    Not a chance.

  28. 28 Freedomlaw Mar 24th, 2016 at 6:20 am

    Great post Pabstbluerigid. You explained a complex issue exceptionally well. Thank you.

  29. 29 Jim Tom Mar 24th, 2016 at 6:26 am

    pabstbluerigid, perfectly stated!

  30. 30 Sportman Mar 24th, 2016 at 7:04 am

    As far as Im concerned they should have to pay for all the customers they have so blatantly screwed over the years with their warranty tactics for one. Their prices are to high and their bikes are way overrated. I love Harleys but not the way they teat you after the purchase.

  31. 31 Sportman Mar 24th, 2016 at 7:06 am

    Karma will get you every time. Its about time

  32. 32 domino Mar 24th, 2016 at 7:30 am

    Lifelong motorcycle enthusiast here … After many bikes I bought my first Harley in 1986. Black 883 Sportster for $3999.00, guaranteed trade in value within 2yrs. The dealer even threw in slip on exhaust and a P-pad!
    I rode that bike for 4yrs, so I did not get the trade in deal. I did however sell that bike for $4k (I made a dollar) and used that money towards my brand new FXR ……..
    Yes pabstbluerigid, what a way to get a loyal customer. What happened? It has all been said right here.

    …………………………………….. Domino Dave……………………………………………

  33. 33 Bob Athey Mar 24th, 2016 at 9:00 am

    BULLSEYE ……………Pabstbluerigid, very well said, and an opinion I have long held.

  34. 34 SIGFREED Mar 24th, 2016 at 9:41 am

    Using dodgy journalism to sell content?

    I always just chuckle when I read these kinds of articles (eg there is a clear bias on this site).

    While I am a fan of some bits of Polaris – eg the new POLARIS SPRINGFIELD – however, to even compare (directly or even subliminally) Polaris cruisers with HD, is simply laughable.

    It is notoriously difficult to get reliable figures on the number of Polaris cruiser motorcycles sold – but I will venture a guess around 10,000 in 2015.

    While back at the ‘ranch’, where HD has kept is doors open for > 110 years (!), the figures are > 250,000.

    Come on man, come back in 50 years, or a 150 years, when you can even begin to play anywhere but Little-league, Polaris…

    PS:

    Je Suis Bruxelles

  35. 35 Gym Mar 24th, 2016 at 10:32 am

    Maybe it’s time to purchase an Italian motorcycle company that already makes small entry level bikes? If times get worse the hipsters are turning to bowling so maybe teaming up with a bowling industry giant would turn the tide?

    Just some new ideas to float past the HD bean counters…

  36. 36 HD-Loyal Mar 24th, 2016 at 10:50 am

    Not even worth a comment, have been a loyal HD customer for many years, I love my bike and if you think your going to get an equivalent bike Ultra Limited vs Indian Roadmaster for less money, you are wrong. All the posts I see are comparing apples to oranges in order to confuse a new group of riders into purchasing anything other than Harley. You dont get a bigger section of the market place then the rest of your competitors combined by selling an inferior product. Bottom line is buy what you wish, but my ride will always be HD.

    PS.
    The 2016 Indian Roadmaster sells for around 28,000, I picked up a 2016 Ultra Limited with a killer paint scheme for 24,000 out the door.

  37. 37 takehikes Mar 24th, 2016 at 11:13 am

    The MoCo makes one bike, a cruiser. Many shades of it but thats it.
    Their opposition typically builds everything….cruisers, dirt bikes, touring, supersports etc. Point is HD has no pipeline from smaller bikes or different bikes to get a rider up to the one they really want to sell. The big margin cruiser. They have been living on image and lifestyle that was false to begin with. They have done it well but the chinks in the armor are showing. They won’t go out but they will be something less than what they are.

  38. 38 1550tc Mar 24th, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    no entry level…no future. NONE.

    ……………. how about the MASSIVE USED BIKE MARKET ????from selling what ???over 250K bikes for the last 15 years and so many models with TC 88-96-103 A motors …….. makes buying all kinds of parts so easy and maintaining a bike just as cheap!!!

    Used market is a huge part of their entry level market

  39. 39 rebel Mar 24th, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    think what you will HARLEY-DAVIDSON is alive and well, and they have a plenty of room to come down on prices to lure sales if the need ever arises, hell they’re going up on everything! so I wouldn’t loose any sleep about Harley

  40. 40 mjnone Mar 24th, 2016 at 4:26 pm
  41. 41 pabstbluerigid Mar 24th, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    @ 1550tc

    the “massive used bike market/inventory” is out there, and yes it is a manifestation of the MOCO’s greed & desire to please shareholders, make the numbers…keep shipping them out, make more.

    perhaps that is an option for a few future riders? But NOT the vast majority of the younger “up and coming segment.” the future of motorcycling? talk with them.

    but, let’s remember, how did things spiral out of control…and for the sake of this discussion, based on cyril’s original article….harley’s numbers, the numbers game.

    there is just no longer the mystique today, as when production was ramped up into the 2000’s, the mystique diminished, harley’s became “dime a dozen” – and it was funny, cuz employees went from order takers to salesman overnight to survive. less than 1/2 I knew made it.

    suddenly anyone, everyone could get a “magical” Harley! sure there were those of us still committed to rollin on the prevos (pre-evos), as we knew how to work on them….even the newer amazing evos! but with the twin cam came a motor with sensors, computers, the need for computer diagnostics, etc. – ”trouble free new technology” and everyone who wanted one could get one, right away!

    back in that late nineties, even early twinkie-years…there was still a wee-bit of a wait (sometimes 3-6 months, based on color, wheels, etc), the bikes were still somewhat “special,” and previously owned product still held it’s value, BEST in the industry. not everyone could ride, own one, a Harley….weird as it sounds? coveted product. production increases blew it all, crashed the used market….flooded everything. Let’s get a bike to anyone/everyone who can afford one, even those who cannot say hello to eaglemark financial.

    but back to “our future,” those of us in the business…still passionate about bikes, wanting to nurture the next gen, maintain our livelihoods, and continue in this amazing profession, life & career.

    talk with them? the NEW riders want ease & convenience, often to buy new with a warranty, a large percentage have no mechanical ability & are familiar with the conveniences of the “5 minute oil change” and they pay someone to fix a phone screen…..and yet oddly, there is a small segment emerging, of youth who WANT to wrench, learn, weld, grind & make parts like was done pre-catalogs…these “purists” will buy a few percent of the VAST used inventory – but more, a significantly higher % would buy “a new stripped down 883 with factory warranty, aluminum finish motor, solo seat, xl883/original flat track style bars, a BASE MODEL” which would serve a building block or foundation for something more….and be a stepping stone for their next harley.

    but c’mon, lol…new sportsters (2016), many over $10,000????

    again, I don’t know it all, but I am still in the industry…have children in their late teens/20’s, and I listen to them talk with friends…i still listen to “aggressive music,” with them at times, lol….and find it amusing to see stripped cb’s, rigid XL’s parked in front of a club on a Friday night! owned & ridden by these so-called hipsters….but as much as they bare the brunt of “beard jokes, craft beer stereotypes, & sport pendelton flannels” – they are riding and helping to pay my bills….2 things I appreciate.

  42. 42 Alex Fleury Mar 24th, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    My local dealership told me to go to the cutom shop down the street to purchase parts for my 1987 Sportster. Said they don’t stick parts (or apparently order) for those older bikes anymore.

  43. 43 pabstbluerigid Mar 24th, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    @ Alex

    -local dealers here (southeastern u.s.) will not service bikes over 10 years old? so if you have a 2001 Softail? u outta luck.

    -local dealers (yes, plural) stock NO CV carb parts, “Harley hasn’t had a carb since 2006” yet how many thousands of bikes rock a carb.

    -local dealerS have no lip seals or timken bearings for pre 2000 wheels, despite the fact all bikes from the 70’s till 1999 need them, and even if u carry in a wheel off a pre-2000 bike, they will not even mount/balance a tire, and none of the newbie techs can set-up a pre-99 race/bearing/spacer….

    and dealers wonder why there is an alienation factor?

    I pine, hope to find a shopwhere, someday where they honor all on 2 wheels, emphasis on v-twin preferably? till then, I, personally have “switched teams/oems.”

    I live for this business, and made it my life many years ago…and work hard to serve all. I currently work for a metric dealer, but have Drag Specialties & Biker’s Choice and order thousand$ in inventory for local v-twin riders because the oems…just don’t care.

    off soapbox. if I did not care, I would not rant.

  44. 44 BuzzD Mar 25th, 2016 at 9:35 am

    to Alex Fleury and pabstbluerigid really doesn’t matter if it is a old car or old bike factory dealerships don’t keep parts on the shelves for them anymore—-that is what drives the indie shops whether 2 wheels or 4

  45. 45 Woody's Mar 26th, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    Respectfully disagree that you need beginner bikes to be successful as a high end cruiser company. How’d that work out for Cadillac with re-badged and sequined Cavaliers? Does Jaguar also have to make something along the lines of a Hyundai Accent for “beginning drivers”? Harley needs to concentrate on improving their actual product so that it isn’t premium in price only. As riders age, they generally have increased disposable income and decreased desire for sportbikes as anything but a 2nd or 3rd bike AFTER their comfy Oldsmobagger is in the garage. Carver doesn’t have to sell bass boats to get future customers into their showrooms.

  46. 46 MJ Motors Mar 27th, 2016 at 4:21 am

    Reasons:
    overall economy status
    competition
    bad quality
    high prices
    surplus of used motorcycles in the market

    Solutions:
    down size
    focus on popular models
    improve quality
    adjust prices
    offer good customer services
    continue brand exclusive events

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