Breaking News. Just One Day Before 1st Quarter Earnings On April 18, Harley-Davidson Offers Very Rare Incentives To Dealers?

What To Expect From Harley-Davidson On Tuesday morning? Harley-Davidson Inc has taken the rare step of offering rebates on its 2016 motorcycles to U.S. dealers as an incentive for them to shift a backlog that has restricted sales of its latest models, three dealers and two analysts said.

Keen to protect its premium-brand image, Harley-Davidson does not discount its bikes. The unusual promotion, which the dealers expect to run until the end of April, is likely to weigh on the U.S. motorcycle maker’s margins in the first half of the year, the analysts said.

After announcing a few months ago that Harley-Davidson is plotting a full-scale aassault on the motorcycle market (50 models in five years in an historic promise), such a promotion will probably limit shipments of its 2017 models, including the new “Milwaukee-Eight” engine touring motorcycles. Three U.S. dealers and two analysts said Harley was offering rebates of up to $1,000 on each sale of its 2016 motorcycles, including its higher-end touring bike, cruisers and Sportsters.

The dealers spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity as the information is confidential. Dozens of other dealers declined to comment on the rebates. Harley did not respond to a request for comment on whether it had offered rebates to its dealers. As of Dec. 31, Harley had 701 U.S. dealerships. Harley is scheduled to report its first-quarter results on Tuesday April 18 at 8 a.m.

17 Responses to “Breaking News. Just One Day Before 1st Quarter Earnings On April 18, Harley-Davidson Offers Very Rare Incentives To Dealers?”

  1. 1 Mkviz Apr 17th, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    They seriously need to start at the dealership level and re-train the staff. Especially if they consist of 50 plus year old salemen that have no desire to talk to the younger demographic. How do i know this? Because i am the younger demographic. Im 36 and considered the demographic that harley needs. I can afford a 40k harley but not stupid enough to blow that kind of money. The first 10 mins of a customer that walks in a store really makes or break it. No type of marketing will help if the dealership only caters to the old folks.

  2. 2 Mike Boatwright Apr 17th, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    I bought a ’16 Street Bob last summer and was floored when the salesman lopped $1,000 off the list price without me even asking. I was so floored that I took the deal without hesitating. I’d NEVER seen any HD dealer budge a dime on price, and the best I’d ever heard before was “we charge the least for setup fees of any dealer in the state so you’re getting a break there.” Hindsight makes me think I should have pushed for more, but I’m still happy. That being said, this news doesn’t surprise me.

  3. 3 Industryguy Apr 17th, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    Looks like Indian is getting some of Harley’s market share. Too bad for willie greed

  4. 4 Industryguy Apr 17th, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    Looks like Indian is getting some market share. Too bad for willie greed

  5. 5 sbashir Apr 17th, 2017 at 11:45 pm

    $1000 off a $25,000 motorcycle is not that much. Why make a big deal out of it?

  6. 6 Highrider Apr 18th, 2017 at 1:22 am

    They have to move the old motors , as they will just sit there with the new M-8 sitting beside them. The introduction of a new engine has always devalued the prior model motors.

    Indian has a nice model out now, but at $31,500 not a threat to the HDs I do like the new Roadking and hope the bring the same ” Gloss Black” to Road Glide new year. ( I will have one for sure.)

  7. 7 big doug Apr 18th, 2017 at 4:41 am

    here in nz dyna’s are more popular here, if the m8 was in a dyna they would be moving way quicker than the baggers.I have a customer prepared to wait until they build an m8 dyna,

  8. 8 Jim Tom Stimpson Apr 18th, 2017 at 7:12 am

    $1,000 off is only a $20 difference in your monthly payment.

  9. 9 Kansas Apr 18th, 2017 at 7:42 am

    I have a 2017 Road Glide Special being delivered today. Stunningly good trade for my 2012. I had to do it.

  10. 10 blast Apr 18th, 2017 at 8:09 am

    First off they are not coming out with 50 new models. We take a bagger and make 6 variants. We take a softail do the same, dyna do the same, sportster do the same. This is all the engineering and marketing department can come up with. You have no new models other than the v rod and that was the motor to use on the other models. Thank you Porsche for the help. The new motors are anemic. Keep what you have gut that lawn mower engine replace it with S and S guts and save 20 large. I’ve had 16 of them own 2 now and that is my formula for success. If that don’t blow your mind put a super charger on it with the above. Blast out.

  11. 11 seymour Apr 18th, 2017 at 8:21 am

    Um,,, Mkviz,, sounds to me like maybe the salesman was smarter than you. You said it yourself, you’re not going to buy one, so why should he waste his time on you?

  12. 12 Carl H Hursky Apr 18th, 2017 at 9:13 am

    The dealers need to wake up and quit screwing customers. I really wanted a RG CVO at the end of the 2015 year. All four local dealers would not give a dollar on the price in October. They ALL tried to screw me on the trade in on my like new 09 Ultra classic because. It had 50k on it. One dealer telling me a bike with that many miles was only worth wholesale. Tried to take me for 1000 for tires when rear was new. Every used bike they had was wearing almost half tires. I got a much better deal at Indian and glad I did. It is a much better bike, I am much happier with it so HDMOCO and their cheap ass dealers can kiss mine.

  13. 13 splattttttt Apr 18th, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    Watin for an M8 motor to get into a Lowrider
    Sales guy said it’ll be years before I see one. Told him I’m not buyin a tourer. But the RK sure does look good. All the kids want them LOL
    The MoCo is chasing away a lot of potential customers with their greed but corporate won’t budge. They rather liquidate, rather than take a cut

  14. 14 mkviz Apr 18th, 2017 at 1:19 pm


    How can the salesman be smarter than me if they never even noticed I existed? While they are sitting in their cube playing with there smartphone? Funny part is an older guy dude came in as I was about to leave. Guess what, they sure as hell got out their asses and directly greeted and said hi to that guy. So yeah, there is a big problem with that when sales are focusing on the old dudes. How do they know that the old guy has money. Because he is old? You cannot make misconceptions or prejudge people by their looks.

  15. 15 Craig Hayden Apr 18th, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    Just, last month a friend and me went to our local HD dealer. The tourers and baggers where right up front and salesmen was right on us. We had to move on to the Softails and Dynos or he would had kept us there. He didn’t say nothing about Sportsters or the Street models, I only saw one each. I can see why if young person walk in there all they can do is dream.This remind me of when Buells first been sold, I felt I knew more about them then salemen. It was like talking to a Cadillac salesmen about Corvettes! Funny when they sell you bike They tell you what great value it is. Then you go to trade, all sudden the value is gone. A grand off want completely cover the sales tax. One thing he did say “This the last year for the V-Rod!”

  16. 16 Batterycap Apr 24th, 2017 at 10:19 am

    Mkviz – you base your whole point on one interaction? That’s not smart, or logical, or intelligent. Your sample is incoherently small, and not worthy of any extrapolation.

    As for us 50+ year old’s being lazy and disinterested – again, your sample is insufficient.

    Now, as for my observation that those 40 and under only want a participation trophy and consider the world to be at their service, I need only read the news to see a massive sample set to support my conclusions.

  17. 17 Jeremiah McKenna Apr 24th, 2017 at 11:17 am

    Uhm, Harley has been giving $2,000 off of the bikes since the beginning of the year. In fact, a couple of the dealerships near me have offered to sell me a new 2016 for less than dealer invoice, minus the $2,000 rebate. Dealer invoice is from $1,300 on the Street 500, to $5,000 on an Ultra Limited and even as high as $8,000 on a trike.

    They are doing what the auto industry has been doing for years. This is not the first time this has happened, HD has given rebates in the past. Few, but it has happened. And I think that shows a strong brand and loyalty to the brand and in return to the customers.

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