2019 was a challenging year for the entire motorcycle industry. Even India, the largest and fastest growing motorcycle market, has not escaped a general downturn.
Some manufacturers, such as BMW, managed to end the year on a positive note thanks to good demand in the European market. Others saw a clear decline in sales. Harley Davidson recently released their 2019 sales figures, and they’re not doing well.
Falling sales of Harley Davidson
Harley Davidson was hit hard in 2018 by European tariff barriers, bypassing which it placed production in Thailand. However, real Asian-built American bikes in Europe sold worse than expected and 2019 was a tough year for Harley Davidson. They ended the year with an 8.5 percent decline in sales of motorcycles, accessories and merchandise in the fourth quarter, posting revenue of $ 874.1 million versus $ 955.6 million in the same period last year. In America, the drop in sales is partly due to the brand’s strong image “for an adult audience”… But not only the weak interest in Harley motorcycles among young people was the reason for the decline in sales – the American market as a whole has been falling for 12 quarters.
However, there is hope for the Milwaukee company. Sales numbers are not bad everywhere: in the Asia-Pacific region, sales grew 2.7 percent year-over-year. The company has entered into a partnership with Chinese giant Qianjiang to co-manufacture small-capacity motorcycles, with the first of them expected to start in 2020. Harley Davidson expects half of its profits to come from new markets by 2027, Harley Davidson said.
And in the American market, Harley Davidson continues to drive the electric revolution, and soon two electric models are expected from them – a scooter and a motorcycle based on the flat tracker. 2020 is also expected to see the company’s first touring bike, Pan America, and its first sports bike in years, the Bronx.
The company expects that negative trends will be reversed no earlier than 2021, when the recently laid down new development strategy begins to bear the first real fruits.