News Motorcycle Industry News Harley Worldwide Sales Decline 3.8% in Q1 & 2019 Outlook

Harley Worldwide Sales Decline 3.8% in Q1 & 2019 Outlook

2019 Harley-Davidson Q1 Report

Harley-Davidson released its first-quarter results for 2019, the Motor Company reporting a 3.8 percent decrease in worldwide motorcycle sales.

Harley says international sales were down 3.3 percent, and U.S. sales down 4.2 percent. These decreases were driven by “continued weak industry sales that were down 4.7 percent.”

Harley Worldwide Sales Decline 3.8% in Q1 & 2019 Outlook Livewire

Harley’s LiveWire – the company’s first electric motorcycle that launches later this year

Harley also says limited availability of Street motorcycles due to a January recall is also a contributing factor to negative Q1 sales.

“We are acting with agility and discipline to take full advantage of rapidly evolving global markets,” said Matt Levatich, president and chief executive officer, Harley-Davidson, Inc. “Harley-Davidson’s U.S. market share growth and retail sales performance in the first quarter are further evidence of the effects we are having as we continue to implement and dial-in our More Roads efforts.

“We are driven by our un-paralleled rider focus and deep analytics that are guiding our efforts today and into the future. We, along with our dealers, are determined to lead and stimulate global industry growth.”

Harley-Davidson also provided some outlook on its long-term and 2019 initiatives, including the “More Roads to Harley-Davidson” accelerated growth plan that looks forward to 2027.

By then, Harley plans to build 2 million new riders in the U.S., grow international business to 50 percent of annual volume, launch 100 new high impact motorcycles and do so profitably and sustainably.

Harley says during Q1, it had made some progress on the More Roads plan. Harley:

  • Appointed its first-ever brand president, a move that positions the company to fully engage the power of the brand as a catalyst to achieve its strategy and long-term objectives.
  • Expanded its electric portfolio with the acquisition of StaCyc, a maker of electric two-wheelers for kids.
  • Continued preparations to launch LiveWire, Harley-Davidson’s first electric motorcycle, later this year.

“In the short eight months since we announced our More Roads plan, we continue to accelerate our progress to build the next generation of Harley-Davidson riders,” said Levatich. “During the first quarter we intensified our march by investing in our future and adding capabilities that we’re confident will inspire riders today and for generations to come.”

Harley Worldwide Sales Decline 3.8% in Q1 & 2019 Outlook Electra Glide Standard

Harley’s newest offering – the Electra Glide Standard

Harley also reported some data about its initiative to build riders:

  • 278,000 new riders joined Harley-Davidson in 2018 in the U.S. This group is the most diverse across age, ethnicity and gender in all of the years Harley-Davidson has tracked this data
  • Expanded access to new customers in part with the launch of the new Electra Glide Standard motorcycle at $18,999 U.S. MSRP
  • Increased marketing support reached more consumers sooner and drove action — increased traffic to, brand awareness, trial and sales
  • Media spend up nearly 90 percent, focused on increased brand awareness and driving sales
  • Direct marketing up over 200 percent
  • PR and Media Impression – 2 billion, up from 436 million

2019 Harley-Davidson Outlook

For 2019, Harley also reported that it expects:

  • Motorcycle shipments to be approximately 217,000 to 222,000 motorcycles. In the second quarter, the company expects to ship approximately 65,500 to 70,500 motorcycles
  • Motorcycles segment operating margin as a percent of revenue to be approximately 8.0 to 9.0 percent
  • Financial Services segment operating income to be down year-over-year
  • Effective tax rate of approximately 24.0 to 25.0 percent
  • Capital expenditures of $225 million to $245 million including approximately $20 million to support manufacturing optimization

For additional information, visit Harley-Davidson.

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling.

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