A survey by the investment firm of AG Edwards in late March of 32 Harley-Davidson (HDI) dealers (approximately 5% of HDI's domestic dealer base) across 15 states showed that Harley unit sales through March are up 8% compared to 13% for the same period last year. Participating dealers tended to be the largest dealers in major metropolitan areas. Dealer optimism is high, reports Senior Analyst Tim Conder, and dealers expressed no concerns over inventories. There were no promotional incentives on '05 Harley-Davidson models from the company during the first quarter, notes Conder.
Rising rates do not appear to be an issue, says Conder, as the average loan is $15,000 over four years, and not many bikes were refinanced when rates dropped. The survey also indicates that used bike prices are stable, compared to the same period last year; 50% of the dealers said current model inventories were lighter this year than last, and overwhelmingly, the participating dealers said higher gas prices have not had a negative impact on bike sales.
Copyright 2005 Powersports Business