Harley’s U.S. unit sales fall 24 percent

Harley-Davidson saw a decrease in its U.S. retail unit sales and market share for its first quarter, the company reported today.

However, the company’s decrease in unit sales was its lowest percentage-wise since a year ago and the company’s financial services division reported a return to profitability.

“We are seeing directional improvement in our dealers’ retail motorcycle sales as we enter the key selling season,” Keith Wandell, Harley-Davidson’s CEO, said in a press release.

Harley’s U.S. retail sales fell 24.3 percent compared to a year ago and its market share declined 2 percentage points to 55.5 percent, the company reported in its earnings conference call. Its worldwide sales of new motorcycles fell 18.2 percent.

Harley-Davidson Financial Services reported a profit after three straight quarters of losses due to improved performance in its loan portfolio and a lower cost of funds.

Harley also noted it is in discussions with potential buyers for its MV Agusta brand. The company reported a net loss of $35 million for the first quarter for that brand.

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