Harley-Davidson Has Good And Bad News For Start Of 2018
Harley-Davidson has reported its 1st quarter financial results for 2018 – and things aren't as bad as expected.
Harley's revenue increased by 2.7% compared to the same period last year and international sales have grown. That's the second straight quarter revenue has risen from motorcycles and related products, following five quarters of declines.
The issue however, lies in the fact that the uplift in sales outside America was marginal, at 0.2%, and the US retail sales for the same period were down by 12%, with global retail sales falling by 7.2%.
Harley boss Matt Levatich remains optimistic though, saying: “We are pleased to deliver revenue growth on the heels of our recent product investments in Softail and Touring. This, plus solid financial services segment performance and strong cash returns during the first quarter underscore our commitment to drive shareholder value. Our international markets returned to retail sales growth supporting our long-term objective to increase international sales to build the next generation of riders globally.”
While the growth in international sales is small, there's something to be said for it. Harley has focused almost exclusively on its core US market for a long time, and while that did pay off for a while, there's pressure to expand horizons or face obscurity.
Harley says its objectives for the decade up to 2027 are to gain two million extra riders in the USA, while also increasing international business so that it accounts for 50% of the firm’s annual production.
To start working on those international sales, Harley says it’s expanding in new directions, which is all part of the plan to launch 100 new models during its 10-year plan.
Levatich said: “Our view of the highly competitive global motorcycle market is grounded in a realistic assessment of risks, opportunities and capabilities needed to inspire ridership and grow our business. Our data-driven insights compel us to enhance and accelerate our strategies to ensure we deliver on our long-term objectives as we build the next generation of Harley-Davidson riders.”
There's already an electric Harley in the mix which is set to debut in 2019, developed with the help of Alta Motors, but whether it stacks up is another question all together.