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Business Management

Will Industry Rebound in 2011?

Show Season Acts as Predictor for Industry Health


While final 2010 MIC sales figures show that the industry was still down year-on-year, there is some light at the end of the tunnel, as December unit sales deficits were much less significant than in previous months with on-highway motorcycles only taking a 1.9 percent hit for the month when compared with a 14.3 percent decrease for the entire year.

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In addition, Harley-Davidson recently forecast shipment growth for 2011 as it reported broad improvements in full-year results from continuing operations in 2010 with full-year income from continuing operations of $259.7 million, or $1.11 per share, compared to income of $70.6 million, or $0.30 per share, from continuing operations in 2009.

Will we finally see the market turn in positive growth numbers for 2011? It may be too soon to say at this point, but as I write this, we are just weeks away from what have come to be the annual barometers for industry health each year — the V-Twin Expo in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the Dealer Expo in Indianapolis, Ind.


On an annual basis, these shows have continued to be an apt predictor of aftermarket performance for the year.   

Dealer attendance and ordering behaviors are indicative of your confidence in the market for the upcoming year, and this trickles up into the confidence of aftermarket manufacturers and distributors as well as the OEMs.  

So how confident are you going into trade show season? Have you made the commitment to attend a trade show? Will you be window shopping or will you be at the shows ready to write some orders?

By the time this magazine lands in your inbox, we will have returned from the V-Twin Expo and will be packing our bags for Dealer Expo. In anticipation of that show, we’ve rounded up some of MPN’s top supporters for our annual Dealer Expo Booth Preview section on page 38 of this issue. Use this guide as a starting point for your show planning and be sure to check out our product focus sections highlighting street helmets on page 26 and sport ATV add-ons on page 30 to start a list of must-have inventory additions.


The MPN team will be at Dealer Expo (Booth 5051). We’d love to see you at the show, and we’re very interested to hear your predictions for market performance in 2011.

If you won’t be at the show, stay tuned for news straight from the show floor via our news feed at and via special editions of our eNews and Essentials Update enewsletters. If you aren’t signed up for our enewsletters, visit us online and subscribe today!
See you at Dealer Expo!


Colleen Brousil is the editor of Motorcycle Product News. Her monthly column, “The Road Ahead” explores issues facing dealers across the country.

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