Not enough inventory, H-D dealers complain

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With Harley=Davidson tightening its supply lines, consolidating its dealer network and trying to keep new bike prices aloft, some dealers are complaining they can’t get enough new bikes.

In a Robert W. Baird & Co. survey of 64 dealerships in July and August, two out of three dealerships reported inventories are too low. Baird analyst Craig Kennison noted that protects long-term brand value.

The days when dealers could charge a premium for selling a new bike off the floor are largely gone, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, but 42% of the surveyed dealerships were still selling bikes at or above SRP.

Even 1 percent overproduction can sour prices dealers can command for bikes on showroom floors, the report says.

"There are some dealers with huge numbers of 2010-model bikes left over. Their showrooms are full," Richard Kummer, of Route 43 Harley-Davidson in Sheboygan, told the Journal-Sentinel. "I am very fortunate that I only have four 2010 bikes left. And I have magic stuff in my pocket called fairy dust. I will turn one of my motorcycles into another one if I need to."

Posted by Holly Wagner