x

Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 15 November 2018

Harley-Davidson sales lose drive in Middle East

The American motorcycle maker has reported a fall in retail sales across every region apart from Latin America as the company says markets have softened.
Harley Davidson sales have fallen in almost every region. Joseph Eid / AFP
Harley Davidson sales have fallen in almost every region. Joseph Eid / AFP

The US motorbike maker Harley-Davidson has reported sales declines in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (Emea) for the first quarter, mirroring falls almost everywhere else.

Retail sales in Emea were down by 0.4 per cent while in Canada they declined by 4.4 pr cent. The company said the figures compared with strong prior year growth of 8.8 per cent and 16.3 per cent, respectively.

Harley said first-quarter 2017 diluted earnings per share tumbled 22.8 per cent to US$1.05 compared with $1.36 in the same period of 2016. First-quarter net income was $186.4 million on consolidated revenue of $1.5 billion versus net income of $250.5m on consolidated revenue of $1.75bn in the first quarter of last year, it said.

The firm said US sales were adversely impacted by soft industry sales and its decision to reduce shipments of model year 2017 motorcycles.

“First quarter US retail sales were in line with our projections and we remain confident in our full-year plan despite international retail sales being down in the first quarter,” said Matt Levatich, the chief executive of Harley-Davidson. “We are very pleased with our continued growth in US market share and the progress our US dealers made in reducing their inventory of 2016 motorcycles in the quarter.”

First-quarter worldwide Harley-Davidson retail motorcycle sales were down 4.2 per cent compared with the same period last year. Retail motorcycle sales in the United States were down 5.7 per cent. However, Harley-Davidson’s US market share for the quarter was 51.3 per cent in the 601cc-plus segment, up compared with the first quarter in 2016. International retail sales decreased 1.8 per cent compared with the same quarter in 2016.

“We recently announced our plan to build the next generation of Harley-Davidson riders globally. We are energised by our focused strategy, and we believe our powerful brand and commitment to excellence will position us to drive demand for our products and grow our sport,” said Mr Levatich.

The company said its long-term strategy for the next 10 years is focused on five objectives, including to build two million new Harley-Davidson riders in the US, grow international business to 50 per cent of annual volume and launch 100 new, “high-impact motorcycles”.

Sales also fell by 9.3 per cent in Asia Pacific but in Latin America, the only region where sales rose, they increased by 24.2 percent.

chnelson@thenational.ae

Follow The National’s Business section on Twitter