Harley to reduce shipments in 2014 to increase demand

Publish Date: 
Jul 22, 2014
By Vince Guerrieri

Wandell said each U.S. dealer should have at least two Street models for sale by August, and the company still plans to ship between 7,000 and 10,000 Street units by the end of the fiscal year.

Harley said more than 2,000 Street motorcycles have been shipped to U.S. dealers, most for Harley’s Riding Academy. Wandell said about 150 were shipped for retail and they went quickly. “About a third of those retailed within a day of getting on the floor,” Wandell said.

"There's just not enough parts on their way to us."

-- Keith Wandell, CEO, Harley-Davidson, on the supply chain delay for Street models

Street models were delayed due to quality control issues. Wandell said the Street has a long supply chain for a Harley-Davidson product, and it extends outside the United States. There was a learning curve with some suppliers, Wandell said, particularly relating to quality control. “There’s just not enough parts on their way to us,” he said.

The debut of the Street also affected Sportster sales. Wandell said they expected some adverse effects on Sportsters, but not what they got – a double-digit percentage decrease in sales.

“The reception we had to Street was much greater than we anticipated, and the impact to Sportster sales was also greater than we anticipated,” Wandell said.

On the finance side, Harley-Davidson Financial Services made $1 billion in retail loans in the quarter, an increase of 10.5 percent year over year, and 30-day delinquencies have reached a 13-year low.

The Motor Co. plans to ship 49,000 to 54,000 bikes during  third quarter. Harley-Davidson will hold its annual dealer meeting at the end of August, where it will introduce new models – including the return of the Road Glide.

“We anticipate Road Glide customers will be excited by the changes we’ve made,” Wandell said. “Most of our Road Glide riders are very loyal and are awaiting the return of Road Glide.”