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Harley Third Quarter Retail Motorcycle Sales Rise

Harley-Davidson’s recently released third quarter results show continued strong improvement in earnings and dealer retail sales, compared to a year ago.

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Harley-Davidson’s recently released third quarter results show continued strong improvement in earnings and dealer retail sales, compared to a year ago.

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Retail sales of new Harley-Davidson motorcycles grew 5.1 percent worldwide in the third quarter compared to the prior-year period, led by a 5.4 percent rise in the U.S.

For the first nine months of 2011, Harley-Davidson income from continuing operations was up 63.5 percent compared to the year-ago period to $493.4 million. Retail sales of new Harley-Davidson motorcycles through nine months grew 4.9 percent worldwide compared to the year-ago period.

“We are pleased with our sustained progress, and we continue to realize strong momentum in the transformation our business,” said Keith Wandell, president and chief executive officer of Harley-Davidson.

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“Two years ago we embarked on our strategy to focus solely on the Harley-Davidson brand, provide the flexibility required in today’s market and make Harley-Davidson lean, agile and more effective than ever at delivering remarkable products and extraordinary customer experiences. Today, we continue to see the positive results of the course we have charted,” Wandell said. “The changes underway in manufacturing, product development and retail capability will increasingly enable Harley-Davidson to be customer-led like never before."

On a worldwide basis, the company’s third-quarter retail new motorcycle sales grew 5.1 percent compared to last year’s third quarter to 61,838 units. Dealers sold 42,640 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the U.S., a 5.4 percent increase compared to last year’s third quarter. In international markets, dealers sold 19,198 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles during the third quarter, an increase of 4.4 percent compared to the year-ago period.

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Through nine months, worldwide retail sales of new motorcycles increased 4.9 percent compared to the prior-year period to 194,829 units. U.S. retail sales of new Harley-Davidson motorcycles increased 4.7 percent to 127,930 units through three quarters compared to the year-ago period.

In international markets, retail sales of new motorcycles increased 5.2 percent to 66,899 units for the first nine months of 2011 compared to 2010. Through nine months, industry-wide U.S. heavyweight new motorcycle (651cc-plus) retail unit sales increased 3.7 percent, compared to the year-ago period.

Harley expects to ship 228,000 to 235,000 motorcycles to dealers and distributors worldwide in 2011, including 45,500 to 52,500 in the fourth quarter.

For the full year, Harley now expects gross margin to be between 33.5 percent and 34.5 percent, compared to previous guidance of 34.0 percent to 35.0 percent.

For more financial information about Harley-Davidson, visit http://investor.harley-davidson.com.

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