The news just doesn’t get better for Harley-Davidson (NYSE: HOG) and its peers in the “big bike” business. US motorcycle sales shrank by 14.1% in the third quarter from the year before, extending the grueling decline to 15 consecutive quarters. Remember, that is a 14.1% decline from the already deeply depressed sales figures of 2009.
According to the Financial Times, “Sales are now less than half the level at the peak of the market in 2006… Highway bike sales totalled 383,000 last year, down from 660,000 in 2008 and 724,000 in 2007.” (see US motorcycle sector extends decline)
How bad is it? Some of Harley’s Japanese competitors did not produce 2010 models.
I’ve written quite a bit about Harley-Davidson over the years (see prior posts). I can’t help but almost feel sorry for the company. You cannot say that Harley’s woes are due to bad management. Harley’s management team generally gets high marks. No, Harley-Davidson’s problem is visit website bad demographics.
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