The iconic American motorcycle manufacturer reported its strongest third quarter since 2015 despite decreasing sales volume.
Harley-Davidson announced its third quarter results for 2020, and although revenue and sales both declined, net income of the American motorcycle manufacturer increased 39 per cent. This is the brand’s strongest third quarter earning since 2015 despite decreasing sales volume. Revenues declined by 8 per cent to $ 1.166 billion, but net income increased by 39 per cent to $ 120 million from the $ 87 million reported in the same period in 2019. This was Harley-Davidson’s best third quarter since 2015, when the brand saw a net income of $ 140 million.
Worldwide retail sales are down 8.1 per cent in the third quarter, but that is a marked improvement over the first two quarters, as sales for the year to date are down 18.1 per cent. According to Harley-Davidson, the sales decline has slowed in most markets, with Europe sales actually growing by 6.7 per cent. With the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on sales, Harley-Davidson’s Rewire strategy also focused on reducing production and to clear out existing inventory.
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Harley-Davidson is working on a new strategy to increase profit by curbing motorcycle production and costs, and Chief Executive Officer Jochen Zeitz is scaling back overseas expansions, eliminating slow-selling models and lowering inventory at bike dealers to sharpen Harley’s focus on best-selling models in markets with strongest sales. Harley-Davidson said it will exit 39 overseas markets with low sales and rely on distributors to sell its motorcycles in 17 countries, including India, where Harley-Davidson has an assembly plant.
On October 27, 2020, Harley-Davidson announced that India’s Hero MotoCorp will sell and service Harley’s bikes in India. And under a licensing agreement with Hero, Harley-Davidson will also allow Hero to develop and sell motorcycles under the Harley-Davidson brand. Under Zeitz’s new vision, the American motorcycle brand will concentrate on about 50 markets, primarily in North America, Europe and parts of Asia. These markets generate a large share of the company’s sales and offer the best potential for growth. Harley-Davidson says it has closed down 61 full-line dealerships, or about 4 per cent of its dealer network.