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posted on 20 September 2017

Tough Times At Harley Davidson

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-- this post authored by Isabel von Kessel and Econintersect

In undeniably tough times for a legendary company, could we actually be witnessing the downfall of Harley Davidson?

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Recently, the iconic motorcycle company released its figures for the second quarter of 2017 revealing a downward trend in overall revenues compared to the same period in the previous year.

Accordingly, motorcycle sales decreased 4.5 percent from 1.33 to 1.27 billion U.S. dollars due to lower shipments year-to-year. Also, the general merchandise division (t-shirts, necklaces) suffered, losing 16.8 percent in revenue over the year. The company explains this with the fact that the overall U.S. industry is down for the same period.

Yet, president and CEO of Harley Davidson, Matt Levatich, seems optimistic for the future:

"Our long-term strategy, focused on building the next generation of Harley-Davidson riders, is our true north. Our new product investment is one pillar of our long-term strategy to build riders globally and we are energized by the strength of our model year 2018 motorcycles coming later this summer".

Infographic: Tough Times at Harley Davidson | Statista You will find more statistics at Statista.

Note added by Econintersect:

In the first chart below it is seen that HOG rallied more than 40% from early 2016 to early 2017, even though the company's performance in 2016 was flat from the year before. But the second chart below puts the situation in context: The 2016 move was clearly a counter-trend rally for a declining stock. From 2010 to 2014 Harley was growing revenue and the stock was on a tear. Both revenue and stock price declined sharply in 2015.

In 2016 revenues stopped falling and there was a "maybe the worst is over" rally.

In 2017 it appears that 2016 optimism was misplaced.



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