Dealer survey shows Harley’s 4Q U.S. sales fall 20-25 percent

A Harley-Davidson dealer survey shows its U.S. retail sales have decreased 20-25 percent in the fourth quarter compared to a year ago.

The survey, done by Wachovia Capital Markets, showed all regions down by a similar percentage. However, dealers largely said retail sales appeared to stabilize in the latter half of December.

As a result of the slow sales, dealer inventories are largely heavier than a year ago. Thirty five percent of Harley dealers characterized their inventory as “heavy.”

Dealers also are reporting a decrease in the price of used Harleys, noting an increased amount of preowned bikes currently on the market.

The survey, which was skewed toward larger dealerships, contacted 40 dealerships in 27 states.

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