Harley-Davidson's U.S. dealerships saw accelerated retail sales growth in the month of June that was estimated in the 10 percent range, according to a research note provided to Powersports Business by RBC Capital Markets analyst Ed Aaron. It would be the second consecutive month of sequential growth, the report says.
Aaron reports that RBC "finds this encouraging given the more cautious macro backdrop and the fact that Harley faced a tougher comparison of plus-17 percent in the month of June. Dealer feedback leaves us comfortable with our plus-7 percent U.S. retail sales forecast for Q2. ... Dealers seemed generally pleased with traffic and buying interest levels during the month."
Aaron also notes more "unease about inventory availability compared to our last round of checks. More dealers indicated concern that a tight supply of certain models is causing them to leave some sales on the table. Some dealers worry that this issue could worsen during the upcoming model-year changeover period."
Finally, Aaron's report says "evolutionary" product news "is expected for the summer dealer meeting in August. Based on information gleaned from the California Air Resources Board site, highlights for the 2013 model year include a couple of additions to the CVO line (including an entirely new Softail called the 'Breakout') and a number of 110th anniversary models. A version of the Street Bob ("NGP") also appears new for model-year 2013."
"Existing models not on the CARB site (and thus might be eliminated) include the CVO Street Glide, the CVO Softail Convertible, and the Nightster (Sportster)," the report says.
Check out results of Powersports Business' industry-wide Q2 Dealer Survey, conducted in partnership with RBC Capital Markets, in the August 6 edition. Dealers can take the survey through today, July 3, here.