Harley-Davidson’s profits get a boost from international sales, while US sales continue to spin out

Despite its worst quarterly sales plunge in 8 years, Harley Davidson has still figured out a way to boost profits.


October 24, 2018

Look, the company’s been haulin a** for 115 years, and besides its pristine machinery, the sultan of ’sphalt has a little thing called worldwide brand prestige — and it’s kind of the only thing keeping the company afloat.

Thanks to improved international sales, and its 115th anniversary rallies, Harley-Davidson reported higher quarterly earnings over last quarter, despite the fact that its US motorcycle sales dropped 13% — its lowest quarterly drop in 8 years.

Living like you’re Steven Seagal in the ’90s ain’t exactly realistic

Of course, HD has been affected by the tariffs imposed on US motorcycles from the EU, but there are also a few other reasons:

First, much like a good Steven Seagal reference, all the people who would get them are getting too old to be riding hogs. 

When baby boomers were in their 20s, Harley hit some of its best income-earning years in the company’s history. Now they’ve aged out, and young Americans are more hybrid-happy than ever.

Plus, why buy a new Harley, when you can buy an old one for less money? According to Harley’s CFO John Olin, used Harley prices are at historic lows right now (though, on the rise) and are actually hurting sales of new momo’s.

Yet they still bring in the cash

The world’s largest moto-facturer still managed to earn $113.9m this quarter, up a whopping 67% from $68.2m in the same period last year.

A 2.6% increase in international sales contributed to the company’s reported $1.32B in revenue this quarter, up nearly 15% from a year ago.

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