Harley-Davidson retail sales fall 12.7 percent in Q1

Publish Date: 
Apr 25, 2013

MILWAUKEE, Wis. - Harley-Davidson dealers in the U.S. sold 34,706 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the first quarter, down 12.7 percent compared to the year-ago period, which the Motor Co. believes benefited from accelerated sales due to abnormally warm weather.

Industrywide, Harley said U.S. heavyweight new motorcycle (601cc-plus) retail unit sales decreased 16.5 percent compared to last year’s first quarter. The company has adjusted its definition of heavyweight motorcycles to 601cc-plus from the prior definition of 651cc-plus, to better align with the industry definition.

Harley-Davidson first-quarter 2013 diluted earnings per share increased 33.8 percent on higher motorcycle shipments and continued improvement in operating efficiencies, compared to the year-ago period. First-quarter net income was $224.1 million on consolidated revenue of $1.57 billion, compared to net income of $172.0 million in the year-ago period on consolidated revenue of $1.43 billion. First-quarter 2013 diluted earnings per share were $0.99, compared $0.74 in the year-ago quarter.

“With our focus on continuous improvement throughout our operations and providing outstanding products and customer experiences, we have continued to deliver gains in Harley-Davidson’s financial and competitive performance,” said Keith Wandell, chairman, president and CEO of Harley-Davidson. “The successful launch of seasonal surge production at our York assembly operations in the first quarter is the latest example of our efforts to drive greater efficiency and be even more responsive to the market.

“Thanks to the outstanding efforts of our employees, dealers and suppliers, we believe Harley-Davidson is well positioned to deliver on all the ways we serve our customers, generate strong results for investors and build a successful business for the long term,” Wandell said.

Worldwide sales, growing customer base
Dealers worldwide sold 54,254 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the first quarter of 2013 compared to 59,677 motorcycles in the year-ago quarter. In international markets, dealers sold 19,548 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles during the first quarter, compared to 19,915 motorcycles in the year-ago period, with unit sales up 11.5 percent in the Asia Pacific region and 6.2 percent in the Latin America region, and down 10.8 percent in the EMEA region and 0.4 percent in Canada.

Harley-Davidson recently reported newly available U.S. demographic market share data for 2012 new street motorcycle sales (all engine displacements) showing the company continued its market leadership in the U.S. among young adults ages 18 to 34, women, African-Americans, Hispanics and Caucasian men ages 35 and older.

“We believe our continued market leadership in these customer segments demonstrates the strong and growing appeal of our products and brand across generations and cultures,” said Wandell.

“In 2012, nearly 4 in 10 sales of new Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the U.S. were to customers who are new to the brand. Outside the U.S., two-thirds of sales were to customers new to the brand. And nearly 6 in 10 sales worldwide were to customers outside our traditional U.S. base of Caucasian men 35-plus. We believe our strategy to expand our reach to new customers and market segments in the U.S. and internationally, while also growing the base, holds tremendous opportunity for Harley-Davidson’s future,” Wandell said. (Continued.)