Harley-Davidson Sales On The Rise

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Harley-Davidson Sales On The Rise

Harley-Davidson today announced its first quarter sales performance for 2014 with U.S. sales up year on year and an upward trend around the world in the 89 markets that it sells its motorcycles.

In the first quarter of 2014 H-D dealers sold 57,415 motorcycles compared to 54,254 during the same period in 2013. In the U.S., 35,730 new H-D motorcycles were delivered, an up swing of 3% over the previous year. Globally though sales were up a big 10.9% with 21,685 bikes sold in the first quarter of this year compared to 19,548 previously.

Perhaps not unsurprisingly with the launch of the new smaller engine H-D Street models aimed at specific markets, sales were up 20% in the Asia Pacific region, 8.2% in the EMEA and 8.9% in Latin America. Canada was the one market for H-D that so far this year has seen a slowing up with sales down 2.4%

Not only is H-D selling more motorcycles than previous years, it’s also making money.  Its first quarter operating income rose $25.6% in 2014 to $347.7 million over $276.8 million during the same period in 2013. The company attributed this to an increase in motorcycle shipments and higher gross margins than last year.

H-D’s revenue from motorcycle sales grew 13.1% to $1.31 billion in the first quarter of 2014 compared $1.15 billion in the first part of 2013. Revenue from parts and accessories was at $198.1 million – up 7.7% – but general merchandise, which includes apparel, was down 11.1% at $64.1 million.

H-D remains optimistic too about its sales performance for the remainder of the year telling financial analysts that in total for 2014 it expects to ship 279,000 motorcycles to dealers, which is a 7-9% increase compared to 2013.

In a company statement, H-D’s Chairman, President and CEO Keith Wandell said: “Together with our dealers, we continued to expand the appeal of our products and the Harley-Davidson experience.

“Harley-Davidson dealers sold more than four times as many new, on-road motorcycles, 601cc and up, to U.S. young adults last year, and among riders age 35-plus, more than nine times as many to women, more than six times as many to African Americans and more than seven times as many to Hispanics, as the nearest competitor.”

  • Steve

    What happened to this place? Wes and HFL is what got me into riding in the first place and it’s a shame how quickly the style of this place has changed. In the past original videos were produced with Drive network, there were unique articles and top 10 lists along with reveiws that weren’t afriad to call somethign out that they didn’t like. 1 year down the road and now it’s just filled with copy and pasted press releases and low budget gear reviews. There are plenty of standard Motorbike magazines that do this already (and better i may add).

    I want a Jalopnik of Motorcycle news, not another Car and Driver…..please bring it back

    • Benjamin Reynolds

      I agree, this is utter crap. Any suggestions for a new motorcycle site to follow that is similar to the old HFL?

      • Clint Keener

        revzilla has their HUB blog. But it’s pretty small.

    • Richard Gozinya

      I miss Wes’ smug jerkyness too.

    • roma258

      Hear, hear!! A Harley press release? The corpse of Hellforleather is spinning in its grave.

    • http://www.rideapart.com/ Nolan Zandi

      Not everything we put out is for everyone but if any of you are interested in writing for us about your motorcycle lifestyle, hit us up at info@rideapart.com.

      • Dennis Hightower

        Hey Nolan, you guys are working hard no doubt, but one result of “not everything we put out is for everyone” (or the converse, “something for everyone”), is that attracts no one. HFL and early RA had jerky smug passion, but at least it resonated with readers. Heather M. is an example of something to come to this site for. Harley pap…not

      • BigRooster69

        Good luck with that. You are losing your audience. I no longer associate with the brand. I am not engaged and don’t care about your success. I assume few have any desire to help fix what you ruined.

      • Paolo

        Thanks for suggestion Nolan. If nay-sayers cared enough they’d be part of the solution instead of typing away their unfulfilled dreams of a website catering entirely to their tastes 100% of the time.

      • Fava d’Aronne

        Hi there, I just sent you an email with a few suggestions…hit me up!

    • Kevin B

      This is the last in the string of press release regurgitations I will read on Ride Apart. Deleting the link from my phone and unfollowing on Facebook. This blog has really lost its way.

      • Paolo

        Oh no! How can our lives possibly go on without you?! :(

        • Kevin B

          With fewer clicks than you had before

    • Send Margaritas

      Motorcycle(dot)Com did the same story. It is just news.This is just a Harley-hater site, and haters hate.But the stories about riding, were what was good about this site.Personally, I’m glad Wes Siler is gone.

      • Paolo

        …and yet Harleys keep rolling off the showrooms into the roads. I guess hating on the brand doesn’t slow down sales figures, whaddaya know?

        As for the riding stories, aren’t we all riders here? We could all share our stories and maybe have the most interesting ones posted or something. It could help deal with the decreasing number of writers the website currently has.

        Not to bust a rhyme or anything, but I couldn’t care less for Wes. (either)

    • nomad2495

      What’s wrong with car and driver? They review everything and do their job excellently

  • Jack Meoph


  • Richard Gozinya

    Well, that was awfully nice of you to repeat a press release for HD. I’m not sure who, other than stockholders, actually care about things like this, but ok. Of greater importance, at least to me, in regards to Harleys, is why does nearly every person who rides one insist on wearing those stupid vests? I was in Yuma this past weekend visiting family, and that happened to coincide with the Yuma Prison Run (Had to drive the cage unfortunately, since I had to bring other people with me). I think I saw maybe two who weren’t wearing their little matching vests. Though I guess the ones with whatever HOG chapter had to be the douchiest. Anybody who gets tribal over a brand needs to get a life.

    • Heather McCoy

      I actually contemplated crashing that ride (not literally, I mean); now, I wish I would have…what a great story that would have been, me on my Duc in all my ATGATT glory, riding in THAT gang, huh? Will try to seek out more unique opportunities for you guys (honestly, that one just scared me, though). :)

      • Richard Gozinya

        Not sure why it would be scary, they were all more or less polite. Nearly all were too old to cause any actual trouble. They just seem to really like their little vests is all. It’s not like Sturgis, at all. I doubt the people of Yuma would put up with it, they depend too much on Snowbird money.

        • Piglet2010

          A bunch of old guys on H-Ds would scare me too – I would want to be well away from a group of questionably skilled riders on bikes that may have questionable handling and brakes (especially choppers).

          • Heather McCoy

            That is EXACTLY why I didn’t go, Piglet!

          • Paolo

            “questionably skilled riders”? So I’m assuming anyone riding a different kind of bike is a complete pro, right?

            • Piglet2010

              No, but these types of gatherings tend to bring out the people who ride 6 or 8 nice weekend days per year – at least for me regular commuting keeps me a lot sharper on the bike.

              At times I think I am a terrible rider (e.g. getting off the back of Jason Pridmore’s Gixxer Thou after a couple laps around the track), and other times when I feel quite competent compared to others (e.g. the couple of charity rides I have been requested to attend).

              And yes, other types of bikes generally out-handle most cruisers – there is a reason why one almost never sees them at track days.

              • Paolo

                Good observation on the 6-8 nice weekend riders…as a daily bike rider myself, I would agree on the “questionably skilled riders” part, not because of their choice of bike but by their time spent on the saddle.

  • hunkyleepickle

    just when i thought this site was turning back in the right direction…..barf.

  • Piglet2010

    “Not only is H-D selling more motorcycles than previous years, it’s also
    making money. Its first quarter operating income rose $25.6% in 2014 to
    $347.7 million over $276.8 million during the same period in 2013. The
    company attributed this to an increase in motorcycle shipments and
    higher gross margins than last year.”

    Also attributed to H-D stomping all over its workforce, as the divide between capital and labor grows ever wider in the US. H-D will need to grow export markets, because soon most blue and many white collar workers in the US will not be able to afford one.

    • Heather McCoy

      An that right there, is a story, Piglet. Would be a very tough nut to crack, but I’ll see what I can come up with.

      • Piglet2010

        I used to live in Milwaukee County (had to leave when the construction business tanked in 2009), and the loss of middle-class blue collar jobs has turned much of the city into urban wasteland. The move by H-D to replace living wage jobs with seasonal lower paid jobs with minimal benefits only exacerbates this.

        Henry Ford was no friend of labor (e.g. Harry Bennett and his gang of union (and head) busting thugs), but he knew well enough to pay his workers high enough wages to buy the cars they made.

    • Stuki

      Fat chance of that changing with a Yellen helmed Fed, deeemooooocraciiiii taking on trappings of a religion and all-outcomes-must-be determined-by-policy progressivism the almost entirely universal creed of all those with enough power to change anything.

      Like the automakers have figured out, the real money is in building high markup ostentatia to serve as some Friend-of-Yellen’s 15th car/bike. Or, focus on funding an export push with the help of cheap funds handed over by the former, after being taken from the rest.

    • Paolo

      Yeah, numbers make the company look good, but in reality all that profit comes from ugly sources like Piglet mentioned. So sad, profit over people…

  • Blake Bryce

    I don’t mind the H-D stuff, but at least ride one and give a review. If you wouldn’t ride one though, you probably shouldn’t post about it.

  • David

    Please read this in the polite tone it is written in.

    Are you guys ever going to review bikes again? Maybe write an article about the direction of this web site. I’m tired of reading about bikes in never going to own. There’s all the new Yamahas, BMWs, and Triumph just updated almost their entire line up. There’s virtually 100′s of new bikes out right now. Ural just did the unthinkable and added fuel injection to all their bikes. You could write about that. Please, write a review about a motorcycle, or let us know that you no longer intend to write about bikes.

    Thank you.

    • Tom Gabriele

      I would like a behind-the-scenes article too. We, the readership, love you guys, and want to help RideApart become the motorcycle blog we want. Pulling back the curtain won’t ruin it for us. Tell us everything that’s going on. Wes left, what’s changing? What’s missing? Where are you struggling? And perhaps most importantly,how can we help?

  • Doug Erickson

    joinin’ the chorus: where are the bike reviews? the snarky listicles? the prose pieces on riding? i mean, really, tim and heather seem talented — why is this site foundering so badly in wes’ (and presumably sean’s) absence?


  • http://turnerart.la/ Justin Turner

    Looks like my comment was deleted. Point proved.

  • BigRooster69

    What happened to HFL? This site is horrible now. Not just the Harley stuff. It’s boring and mush less interesting. I only come back to watch this failure in slow motion.

    • Richard Gozinya

      Harley stuff I don’t mind, I’ve read some fun reviews of Harleys over the years. The ones that take a look at the more rideable models, especially when written by non-Harley folks, tend to be pretty good reads.

  • LS650

    Yeah, no. If you post a review of a Harley, I’ll read it, but what’s with the regurgitation of their press releases?

  • Heather McCoy

    Damn, when you guys throw down the gauntlet, you don’t mess around, do you? Can only speak for myself here, but will definitely try to meet your expectations with unique content (you know I have a full-time career in medicine, though, right?). And if you’re giving me permission to inject a little more ‘tude, well, be careful what you wish for…

    • Michael Howard

      HfL was FOUNDED on ‘tude. It’s what brought us all here from the beginning.

      • Heather McCoy

        Well, then, I accept!

        • Dennis Hightower

          Really simply, HFL had a srong point of view that readership could (self) identify with. Recent RA does not. Apathy ensues.
          Thanks Heather and Tim for writing with some personality.

    • SXV 550

      We’ve been reminded of your day job – were all impressed you’re a nurse. If you were even around for HFL back when it was all gruff opinionated original content maybe you’d see how the site has sold out. If I didn’t like the pre-sellout HFL so much this probably wouldn’t be such a downer.

      • Heather McCoy

        God, do you always talk like the mean head cheerleader?

  • RumbleStrips

    I have to agree with everyone else’s sentiment here. I have been disappointed not only in the content this site has produced lately but also the response, or lack thereof, the readers have gotten to their very legitimate complaints. Instead of viewing these complaints as purely negative, I wish RA would see it as a positive. The readers are reacting this way because they see something they care about dying in front of their eyes. If I was on the RA staff, I’d be more worried if people were not complaining about the obvious steep slide in quality of the content, because it would mean that their readership consisted of the indifferent and undiscerning. In fact, the case is the opposite. RA, you have thoughtful, intelligent readers who care about what you do! This is a true luxury. The readers who care about this site do so because they found an authenticity and edginess that resonated with them, and was so vastly different from the cookie cutter content they were so used to being forced down their throats and passed as actual journalism. Wes, for better and sometimes for worse, was undoubtedly a big part of this, but his departure should not stop you guys from producing the kind of content that originally set you apart from everyone else. You have talented writers who are as passionate about riding as your readers are. Please, RA staff, please consider these complaints as a positive sign and work harder to do right by your loyal readers who have continued to come here despite their frustration with the recent content. Thank you.

    • Piglet2010

      The drastic decrease in the number of comments should be getting someone’s attention, especially if the site is depending on advertising revenue.

  • notfishing

    Most of the Harley riders I see have grey to white beards.

    As the Boomer Generation grows older they’re completing their “bucket list” while trying to spend less on gas before they grow old, feeble and driving golf carts on the street. A decade from now a whole lot of used Harley’s will be up for sale.

    • Richard Gozinya

      And that’s when you take one of those big twins and stick into a nice chromoly perimeter frame. Actually, that’s what Harley needs to build. Something along the lines of a Monster, but packing one of their big twins. Or you could spend $10,000 on an S&S engine and do it. Either way, it needs to happen.

      • Piglet2010

        Except no one would buy it – H-D has made two decent handling bikes in the last decade (Street Rod and XR1200), and both were cancelled after the second model year due to poor sales. The ill-will over killing off Buell (BRP wanted to buy Buell) could also turn away potential customers for a non-traditional H-D.

        • Richard Gozinya

          I know nobody would buy it, but it would still be awesome.

          • Piglet2010

            Bring in the fork rake, raise the seat, bring back the pegs a bit, add a second front brake disc and quality forks and shock, and the Victory Judge could be turned into a really fun retro standard.

  • Charles Quinn

    I used to read everything on HFL word for word. Now I just scan the front page of RA every couple of days … I read this one for the comments because I knew what was coming :(

  • John Martinez

    Seems that, recently, whenever there is a repost of a press release (which may or may not be informative) this same tone of comments appears and yet, we continue to see a steady stream of press release like material. I get it, developing/writing content isn’t easy. But for the sake of me and others not searching “Motorcycle Blogs” in the Google, take a position on something and share it here. I look forward to thoughtful pieces and draw others to share their views and experiences in the comment section. Reading an earnings press release without an opinion or position adds no value to my time spent on RA. I think we can all agree on that.

  • Helmut_Schmidt69

    1) There are a dozen mainstream websites that publish press releases like this. Why would anyone go to this site versus others?

    2) There has been an obvious decline in the number of comments. That should be indicative of something.

    3) We all know 90% of HD sales are to old baby boomers who will soon be dead. Why insult us with these kinds of “articles”?

  • Paolo

    So much whining I thought I’d logged in to a daycare…sheesh.

    …and as usual, Harleys keep selling no matter how much you diss them, go figure! I guess there really is “a sucker born every minute”…or they’re actually not as bad as you would have them to be. Not every bike has to have the latest gadgets and gizmos, or the highest top speed (which most of the buyers don’t really get to experience anyway) to be enjoyable.

    • Piglet2010

      Lots of crap sells really well – watch prime time television shows or listen to Top 40 radio for proof.

      • Paolo

        Ha! So true!

      • Michael Howard

        To me, “popular” generally represents mediocre, average, watered-down, compromised, lowest common denominator, (barely) “good enough” products. Popularity is hardly a metric for quality.