Harley-Davidson ships 70831 units in first quarter, but retail sales down

2017 Electra Glide Ultra Classic (Image: Harley-Davidson)

MILWAUKEE, WI – Harley-Davidson shipped 70,831 units worldwide in first-quarter 2017, on track with its forecast that it would ship between 66,000 and 71,000 units, but maintains its 2017 full-year forecast that shipments will be “flat to down modestly.” U.S. and Canadian retail sales were down compared to this time last year, the company reported.

“First-quarter U.S. retail sales were in line with our projections, and we remain confident in our full-year plan, despite international retail sales being down in the first quarter,” said Matt Levatich, CEO, in a statement issued by H-D. “We are very pleased with our continued growth in U.S. market share and the progress our U.S. dealers made in reducing their inventory of 2016 motorcycles in the quarter.”

Worldwide, shipments were down 14.7 percent from this time last year, when it shipped 83,036 units. In the U.S. market, The Motor Co. shipped 45,784 units, down from 57,635 this time last year. U.S. shipments accounted for 64.6 percent of total units shipped in first quarter, down from 69.4 percent this time last year.

Reuters earlier this week revealed that The Motor Co. was offering rebates on 2016 units to U.S. dealers, as an incentive for them to clear inventory in preparation for receiving 2017 model-year motorcycles.

The Motor Co. said it expects to ship approximately 80,000 to 85,000 motorcycles in second quarter.

Worldwide, Q1 retail sales fell 4.2 percent compared to the same period in 2016. U.S. sales were down 5.7 percent, Canadian sales dropped 4.4 percent, and international sales decreased 1.8 percent. Harley-Davidson said its U.S. market share for the first quarter was 51.3 percent for the 601cc-and-higher segment, an improvement from Q1 2016.


First quarter retail motorcycle sales (vs. Q1 2016)
  • United States: 33,316 (35,326, down 5.7 percent)
  • Canada: 2,361 (2,470; down 4.4 percent)
  • Latin America: 2,342 (1,886; up 24.2 percent)
  • Europe/Middle East/Africa (EMEA): 10,167 (10,210; down 0.4 percent)
  • Asia-Pacific: 6,863 (7,566; down 9.3 percent)
  • Worldwide: 55,049 (57,458; down 4.2 percent)

“As we expected, U.S. sales were adversely impacted by soft industry sales and the company’s decision to reduce shipments of model-year 2017 motorcycles,” Harley-Davidson reported. “This decision helped dealers focus on selling down their model year 2016 retail inventory.”

Worldwide, motorcycle revenue fell 16.5 percent vs. Q1 2016, P&A dropped 8 percent, and General Merchandise was down 20.9 percent. Financial Services revenue dropped slightly (by 0.1 percent) vs. the same period last year, but operating income was down 6.6 percent, due to a higher provision for credit losses, the company said.


Worldwide Segment Results (vs. Q1 2016)
  • Motorcycles: $ 1,099.7 billion ($ 1,317.6 billion, down 16.5 percent)
  • P&A: $ 169 million ($ 183.7 million, down 8 percent)
  • General Merchandise: $ 55.8 million ($ 70.6 million, down 20.9 percent)
  • Gross Margin: 35.9 percent (37.4 percent, down 1.5 points)
  • Operating Income: $ 238.8 million ($ 332.5 million, down 28.2 percent)
  • Operating Margin: 18 percent (21.1 percent, down 3.1 points)
Financial Services Segment Results (vs. Q1 2016)
  • Financial Services Revenue: $ 173.2 million ($ 173.4 million, down 0.1 percent)
  • Operating Income: $ 52.6 million ($ 56.4 million, down 6.6 percent)

Harley-Davidson shares (HOG) fell 6 percent in pre-market trade on Tuesday after the company missed analysts’ revenue expectations.

Harley-Davidson reported, worldwide, touring bikes accounted for 41 percent of total Q1 shipments, down from 46.4 percent in Q1 2016, cruisers made up 35.5 percent (vs. 32.4 percent last year) and Sportster/Street motorcycles were 23.4 percent of the mix, vs. 21.2 percent last year.


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Craig Ballantyne

I love anything to do with Harley Davidson and have two beautiful children and a beautiful partner. In my spare time i like building websites and love anything to do with the internet.

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