A key Harley-Davidson issue

Neil PascaleA very important V-twin industry topic was raised late last week but really never saw the light of day due to the somber news about Buell. That tremendously important topic: The health of the Harley-Davidson dealer network. Harley-Davidson disclosed publicly for the first time what dealer closures they have had recently and what they expect to see in the next six months.

Truly, it wasn’t as bad as expected with rumors flying around about the number of dealers facing credit challenges.

Harley-Davidson has had four dealerships close in 2009 as well as an additional 10 secondary retail locations. These retail locations are often smaller stores that only carry Harley-Davidson’s parts and accessories, apparel and general merchandise.

The OEM says it expects further dealer losses in the next six months, although not in any large numbers. Harley said approximately 15-30 dealership and secondary retail locations could close in the next six months.

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