Falling sales of Harley Davidson and Polaris. Statistics of the 2nd quarter of 2019
Both major US manufacturers reported quarterly financial results, and both reported a decline in sales of about 10 percent. The American motor market continues to experience a decline in demand.
Harley Davidson received the expected profit figures but lowered its forecast for the number of motorcycles sold this year by 5,000 units, expecting to sell 212,000 bikes instead of 217,000. If the forecasts are confirmed, this will be the company’s fifth consecutive year in which sales are reduced.
Harley Davidson sales in the second quarter were down 8.4 percent globally and 8 percent in the US compared to the second quarter of last year. One of the reasons for the decline in sales was delays in obtaining permission to supply motorcycles made in Thailand to Europe, without which motorcycles are subject to an additional tariff when sold in the European Union. But the main problem for Harley Davidson is the decline in sales in the US market.
For Polaris, owner of the Indian brand, things are a little harder. Motorcycle division Polaris has recently launched the Slingshot three-wheeler, and the failed demand is weighing on the Indian brand. Motorcycle sales were up in dollar terms from the second quarter of last year, thanks in large part to demand for the FTR1200 offsetting poor results from Slingshot. In North America, Indian sales are down “just under 10 percent” according to a Polaris report, which confirms Harley’s report of falling demand in the American motor market.
Polaris chief executive Scott Vine has been one of the most outspoken opponents of U.S.-foreign tariff barriers, and he returned to the topic in a sales audio conference.
Mutual duties remain a major contributor to low sales, but aggressive and innovative measures we are taking are mitigating our damage, ”said Vine.
Indian has more reasons to expect good things in the near future. First, when both companies made the decision to add anything other than large cruisers and tourers to the lineup, Indian was the first to bring its FTR1200 to market, with a rather unexpected success. Harley has yet to deliver a single copy of its new models to dealers, and the only new model that has any information about it, the LiveWire, is a limited-edition electric bike, sales of which will not be able to seriously affect the profits of a giant like Harley.
Secondly, Indian initially assumed that sales of the FTR1200 in the European market would be as profitable as in the domestic market., and now these predictions are confirmed: Europe buys more motorcycles than America.
Harley Davidson is a pure motorcycle company, while Polaris also deals in buggies, ATVs, boats, car parts and more. But both companies face the same challenges: declining sales in the domestic market, new demands from buyers, an unpredictable situation with duties in overseas markets. Both companies have strategies to overcome these challenges, and steady declines in sales are pushing both giants towards new solutions, new models and new markets. Ultimately, in order to get out of the black band, you need to be ready for it.