Nov. 12, 2007 – H-D’s U.S. sales fall 2.5 percent

Harley-Davidson Motor Co. could not overcome a sluggish U.S. retail environment even though it did outperform the heavyweight market as a whole.
The Milwaukee manufacturer reported reduced U.S. new unit sales, overall revenue and net income in its recent third-quarter report.
But Harley-Davidson (H-D) did beat the industry average for U.S. sales for the heavyweight market, which includes models that have at least 651cc .
For the United States, H-D’s retail sales were 2.5 percent below the year-ago period but above the industry as a whole (down 4.4 percent). It’s the second straight quarter the company has outperformed the industry after trailing industry averages the prior two quarters (the first quarter of this year and the last quarter of 2006).
Overall, H-D’s third-quarter new motorcycle sales were essentially flat, with worldwide sales down 0.2 percent.
Still, H-D reported a nearly 6 percent decrease in revenue and a 15.3 percent downfall in net income in its third quarter, which ended Sept. 30, compared to the year-ago period.
H-D CEO Jim Ziemer called the financial results “disappointing but not unexpected” in a company press release. H-D had earlier in the quarter announced a reduction in its new unit shipments.
Looking ahead, H-D is expecting a modest decline in revenue for 2007, but it expects moderate revenue growth in 2008 even with a continuing challenging U.S. market.
“I am optimistic and confident about our future,” Ziemer said.
For its first nine months, H-D is down 4.7 percent in its U.S. retail sales and 0.9 percent for its worldwide new unit sales.
Shipments have decreased during that time nearly 3 percent while revenue from new unit sales ($3.3 billion) is essentially flat.
One consistent for the company: International sales remain on the rise. H-D reported nearly a 9 percent increase in international sales in the third quarter and nearly a 13 percent rise for its first nine months.
In the third quarter alone, H-D sales increased in Europe (10.7 percent) and Japan (9.1 percent), while falling in Canada (7.7 percent).
In its third-quarter report, the company also revealed the following:

  • Revenue from parts and accessories totaled $251.5 million and increased 1.2 percent over the year-ago period;
  • General merchandise sales, which includes apparel and collectibles, rose 16.7 percent to $83.2 million; and
  • Financial services’ income dropped 10.4 percent to $49.5 million. psb

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