For the full-year 2016, worldwide Harley-Davidson retail motorcycle sales were down 1.6 percent compared to 2015. U.S. retail sales decreased 3.9 percent, partially offset by international growth of 2.3 percent.
In the fourth quarter, worldwide retail sales of new Harley-Davidson motorcycles declined 0.5 percent versus the prior year behind modest declines in some international markets partially offset by slight growth in the U.S.
Fourth quarter revenue from motorcycles and related products was down versus the prior year behind fewer motorcycle shipments. Operating margin as a percent of revenue increased in the quarter compared to the same period in 2015, resulting from lower SG&A.
“The global competitive environment remains intense, but our 2016 results demonstrate that our increased investments to drive demand and bring impactful new products to market are working,” said Matt Levatich, president and chief executive officer, Harley-Davidson, Inc. “We are energized by our resolve to compete and win in the U.S. and in major international markets. Our market share performance gives us great confidence in the strength of our long-term strategy.”
During 2016, the company reported its best-ever retail sales results in Asia Pacific and EMEA. In the 601+cc motorcycle market, the company grew its number one market share position in the U.S. and grew market share in Europe. The company added 40 new dealer points internationally and reported that U.S. dealers trained more than 65,000 new riders through the Harley-Davidson Riding Academy. The company also launched its model year 2017 lineup of motorcycles, featuring the new, highly-acclaimed Milwaukee-Eight™ engine, and upgraded suspension, on all new Touring motorcycles.
“Our long-term strategy is all about growing ridership in the U.S., growing reach and impact internationally, and growing share and profit in every market we serve,” stated Levatich. “Our goal over the next 10 years is to build the next generation of Harley-Davidson riders worldwide.”
Guidance For 2017, Harley-Davidson anticipates full-year motorcycle shipments to be flat to down modestly in comparison to 2016. In the first quarter of 2017, Harley-Davidson expects to ship approximately 66,000 to 71,000 motorcycles. Harley-Davidson expects full-year 2017 operating and gross margin as a percent of revenue to be approximately in line with 2016 and its full-year effective tax rate to be approximately 34.5 percent. The company anticipates 2017 capital expenditures of $200 million to $220 million.