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.”