Put the Market on Prozac!

economy credit crunch industry slowdown motorcycle sales motorcycle sales projections motorcycle shipments

Harley-Davidson reveals it will ship about 27,000 fewer units this year than in 2007 (bad news). "We expect U.S. economic conditions and ongoing consumer concerns to continue to create challenges at least through the end of the year," says Jim Ziemer, CEO. The Motor Co. is using the relatively low priced XL883 Sportster to coax younger buyers to the brand (good news).

Honda motorcycle and ATV sales in North America fell 18.2 percent during its last fiscal year (ending March 31); however, sales for its first financial quarter are up 12 percent (good news). ATV sales during this time totaled 30,000 units, down 16.7 percent from this time last year (bad news).

Yamaha says business conditions "remain worrisome, amid a worldwide economic slowdown resulting mainly from the worsening financial crisis in the Untied States, and high crude oil and raw material prices." Big Blue's motorcycle sales in North America were down about 20,000 units from the previous period (bad news). The OEM is banking on its two new big-displacement machines, the TMAX scooter and V-Max motorcycle, to attract buyers in 2009 (hopefully good news).

KTM says it expects worldwide motorcycle sales to climb in the double-digit range to about 95,000 units this year (good news). But due to a continuing weak dollar and "poor economic surrounding conditions," the OEM says earnings are expected to be 50 percent below last year's level (bad news). KTM ended its fiscal year Aug. 31 and hadn't arrived at an official number before press time. The new LC4 models (690 Duke, Enduro and Supermoto Competition bikes) and LC8 models (1190 RC8 and 990 Supermoto) were strong sellers. KTM also reports higher sales in parts and apparel (good news).

Arctic Cat estimates that its second-quarter net sales for the period ending Sept. 30 would be about $5 million down from the same period last year (bad news). It expects, however, to achieve 5 percent to 6 percent growth (good news) by the time its fiscal year ends next March, based on increased snowmobile revenues, anticipated revenues from its new ATV models, and what it calls a better overall product mix.