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Harley-Davidson Struggles in Last Quarter of 2018

Harley-Davidson’s U.S. retail sales fell 10 percent in the last three months of 2018, marking the eighth consecutive quarterly drop.

According to a report from Bloomberg on Jan. 29, Harley-Davidson, Inc. barely broke even in the last quarter of 2018. The report noted that the motorcycle company’s shares dropped the most last year, noting the international tariffs from the European Union that could add an extra $2,200 per bike.

In addition, Harley-Davidson’s U.S. retail sales fell 10 percent in the last three months of 2018, marking the eighth consecutive quarterly drop. Bloomberg noted: “Chief Executive Officer Matt Levatich is having trouble attracting younger riders and plans to offer cheaper bikes and sell more clothing and gear — including on Amazon — to reach new customers.”

Bloomberg: For 2019, Harley plans to ship between 217,000 and 220,000 motorcycles. The midpoint of that forecast would be the lowest shipments for the company since 2010.

International retail for Harley-Davidson dropped in Europe and Asia, sending global sales down 6.7 percent in the last quarter. Levatich told Bloomberg H-D’s plans call for half of sales to come from outside the U.S. by 2027, up from about 42 percent last year.

The company has been investing in an expansion plant in Thailand to boost exports and produce motorcycles sold in the EU and China by the end of 2019.

Electric is on the rise at H-D and the company introduced as many as five electric models, including lightweight, urban bikes to target growth in Europe and India. Bloomberg analysts think demand for Harley’s first electric model, the LiveWire, will be limited because of its $29,799 price tag.

Link: Bloomberg

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