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Harley-Davidson poised for 20% Q3 U.S. retail growth, analyst says

The third quarter is shaping up to be a strong one for Harley-Davidson dealers, according to a research note provided to Powersports Business by WellsFargo Securities analyst Tim Conder, who writes that dealers “remain optimistic that Q3 2013 will see strong retail results (we estimate U.S. +20%).”

Filed in advance of Harley-Davidson’s model-year 2014 lineup introduction, to be announced Monday at the Denver dealer meeting, the report says “demand fundamentals (consumers’ willingness to purchase, financing, strong used bike prices, etc.) remain solidly intact. New products for model year (MY) 2014 (to be introduced August 19) are speculated to be: (1) a new Touring model, (2) a potential new engine (hybrid oil/air cooled engine to keep the ‘potato, potato’ sound yet purr smoothly with higher horsepower output), and (3) Dyna models with larger engines. …”

Harley dealers in Denver can expect “a new entry-level training (Rider’s Edge) sku to replace the old Buell Blast. Management is expected to comment on how new product will position HOG competitively vs. Indian’s 3 initial MY2014 SKUs (further building for MY2015) and de-contented Japanese product. …”

Regarding Indian’s competitive threat to H-D, Conder reports that “HOG should ship an estimated more than 260,000 units in 2013 versus Indian about 1,500 units ramping up to an estimated 8,000 in 2014, (2) Indian initially is targeting 45+ year old riders versus HOG 25-55+ year old riders, (3) Indian will likely take initial share from Japanese heavyweight riders who are not predisposed to HOG, (4) Polaris has financial staying power and is committed to Indian long term. We believe it will be 2015 at the earliest before Indian is a material threat to HOG.”

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