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At Largest Market: Two-wheeler sales crash to 10-year-low in FY22

By General Posts

Two-wheeler sales crash to 10-year-low in FY22; motorcycles fall below 9 mn
India is the largest manufacturer of two-wheelers and also the largest market for it. (China being second)

One of the primary reasons for this downfall is the spiraling cost of fuel prices.
by John from https://www.newswwc.com/

New Delhi: Rural distress impacted the Indian two-wheeler segment, one of the largest in the world, in a big way that their sales in 2021-22 fell sharply, for the first time in ten years, to 13,466,000 units, as per the latest data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). It was in 2011-2012 that the two-wheeler sales were close to this number at 13,409,00.

( India’s Financial Year is calculated as from 01-April-2021 to 31-March-2022 )

Throughout the year, demand for motorcycles and scooters was impacted by rural distress and higher ownership cost amidst soaring fuel prices. Sales of two-wheelers, particularly motorcycles failed to gather momentum even during the festive months, leaving the companies burdened with a pile of unsold stocks. As a result, the overall sales of motorcycles fell below the 9-lakh mark for the first time since 2016-2017, SIAM report said.

One of the primary reasons for this downfall is the spiraling cost of fuel prices. Barring two months, petrol prices escalated in almost all months of FY22, sometimes even thrice a month that severely impacted the demand of entry-level motorcycles which is the primary choice of the budget-conscious low-income consumers.

New motorcycle sales are directly correlated with fuel prices, as 62% of the country’s fuel sales are consumed by the two-wheeler segment.

According to market experts, spike in auto fuel prices has triggered the rate of deferment majorly among the consumers of below 125cc two-wheelers that hold about 80% of the total market. Besides, shortage of semiconductors and high container charges have also deterred the production levels of OEMs.

Besides, frequent price hikes by the OEMs to overcome the spike in input cost coupled with moderation in rural demand hugely deterred the buying sentiments of consumers.

Additionally, electric vehicle demand continues to witness pickup in the states with higher government incentives like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi, Karnataka etc., which are also key markets for conventional two-wheelers.

All the segments except the two wheelers are in green. Passenger vehicle sales grew 13.2% to 30,69,499 units in FY 22 compared to 27,11,457 units in FY21. Sales of passenger cars stood at 14,67,056 units, utility vehicles at 14,89,178 units and vans at 1,13,265 units.

As fuel prices skyrocket and concerns grow over the running cost of petrol and diesel vehicles, the electric vehicles market has quietly started to build up. As fiscal 2021-22 came to a close, the green brigade — still small in numbers — seems to be coming of age, also charged by government subsidies.

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Harley’s shares hit 3-year high on EU-US trade truce

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by Michael Taylor from https://www.forbes.com

Harley-Davidson Stock Soars As EU Decides Against 56% Tariff Surge

The Harley-Davidson stock price surged this morning after the European Union deferred a tariff plan that would have seen the classic American motorcycle maker face a 56% entry ticket into the European market.

Harley-Davidson Inc would have been one of the biggest losers if the tariff increase from the current 31% had gone through, though whiskey distillers and boat makers would also have taken a hit.

“We are encouraged by today’s announcement that tariffs affecting our products will not escalate from 31% to 56%,” Harley-Davidson Chief Executive Jochen Zeitz said.

“Harley-Davidson employees, dealers, stakeholders and motorcycles have no place in this trade war. These tariffs provide other motorcycle manufacturers with an unfair competitive advantage in the EU.

“European motorcycles only pay up to 2.4% to be imported into the US. We want free and fair trade,” he said.

The tariff hike was set to come into effect on June 1, but it has been shelved as both the US and the EU set about negotiations on steel and aluminum tariffs.

It is estimated that the tariff would have impacted US$4 billion in exports from the US.

The tariffs were initially imposed in 2018 in retaliation to a Trump administration tariff on steel (25%) and aluminum (10%), with further tariff retaliation slated to begin in June.

“We did not want to be in this position,” European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said in June 2018. “However, the unilateral and unjustified decision of the U.S. to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on the EU means that we are left with no other choice.”

The company may have dodged the tariff bullet, but it is still fighting on another front in Europe after having its Binding Origin Information (BOI) revoked, hurling its import tariff up from 6% to beyond 30%.

Its BOI credentials allowed Harley to operate at the lower tariff rate with bikes from its international plants, but their removal created a crisis.

“The company will continue to pursue its legal challenge to the Binding Origin Information (BOI) revocation, and its application for extended reliance.”

Tariff truce may spare iconic US products from huge price hikes

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by Jenny Leonard from https://financialpost.com

U.S. and EU Set to Reach Temporary Tariff Truce Over Metals

Iconic American products affected by EU countertariffs include Harley-Davidson Inc. motorcycles, Levi Strauss & Co. jeans and bourbon whiskey. Business associations and lawmakers have asked that the U.S. lift the duties, saying they do more harm than good.

The Biden administration is set to announce it’s reached a truce in a dispute with the European Union over metal tariffs, sparing iconic products such as U.S. bourbon whiskey from a doubling of EU duties next month, people familiar with the matter said.

A resolution could be announced as soon as Monday, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private.

At issue is a high-profile dispute that started in 2018 under former President Donald Trump, in which the U.S. imposed duties on steel and aluminum from Europe, Asia and elsewhere over risks to American national security. The EU has since retaliated and on June 1 was set to double tariffs on a list of American products to 50%.

Under the agreement with the Biden administration, the EU will refrain from increasing those tariffs and both sides will engage in a dialog on steel overcapacity, according to the people.

The European Union had previously proposed to suspend all duties on each other’s products for six months while negotiations on a long-term solution continue.

“We can only reiterate that the EU remains committed to finding a solution with the U.S. to the unduly justified tariffs on steel and aluminium and to working with the U.S. in tackling the root cause of the problem, which is the global steel overcapacity,” a spokesperson for the European Commission said on Saturday.

Negotiators on both sides of the Atlantic are working to eventually remove the tariffs but are not yet ready to do so, the people said.

Spokespeople for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and Commerce Department didn’t respond to requests for comment.

President Joe Biden will participate in a U.S.-EU summit in Brussels next month during his first foreign trip as the nation’s leader. Biden and his European counterparts are set to discuss trade cooperation, the White House said.

Trump imposed the 25% steel tariff, along with a 10% duty on aluminum imports, in March 2018, using an arcane national-security provision in a 1962 trade law to justify the move. Some countries, including Brazil and South Korea, negotiated deals to avoid the tariff, and Trump dropped the duty for imports from Canada and Mexico. But the tariffs still apply for much of world.

The tariffs in place “have already exacted a heavy toll from U.S. businesses and the workers they employ,” John Murphy, the senior vice president for international policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement Friday. He noted an almost 40% drop in U.S. spirits exports to the EU since the duties came into place.

In a Senate Finance Committee hearing Wednesday, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai defended Trump’s metals tariffs. They “have really roiled our economy, but were necessary to address a global overcapacity problem driven largely but not solely by China,” she said.

The U.S. has achieved its goal of blocking subsidized Chinese steel from the American market through other tools such as anti-dumping and countervailing duties, Murphy said. Separate tariffs imposed via section 301 of the Trade Act, under which Beijing’s practices were deemed unfair, have also deterred shipments, he said.

Chinese steel imports now account for less than 1% of U.S. steel consumption, Murphy said.

Harley-Davidson hit with 56% EU tariff effectively blocking it from the EU market

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by Rick Barrett from https://www.jsonline.com

Harley-Davidson hit with 56% EU tariff, an ‘unprecedented situation’ that will block the motorcycle maker from the market, CEO says

Harley-Davidson Inc. has been slapped with a 56% European Union tariff on all its motorcycles, the company said Monday, effectively blocking it from the EU market.

Harley said it would appeal the ruling scheduled to go into effect in June.

“This is an unprecedented situation and underscores the very real harm of an escalating trade war to our stakeholders on both sides of the Atlantic. The potential impact of this decision on our manufacturing operations and overall ability to compete in Europe is significant,” Jochen Zeitz, Harley chairman, president and CEO, said in a statement.

Europe is Harley’s second largest market after the United States.

“Imposing an import tariff on all Harley-Davidson motorcycles goes against all notions of free trade and, if implemented, these increased tariffs will pose a targeted competitive disadvantage for our products, against those of our European competitors,” Zeitz added.

In 2018, the European Union placed a 25% incremental tariff (31% total tariff) on motorcycles imported into the EU from the United States.

Under the latest proposal, the EU would place a 50% incremental tariff on U.S. motorcycles for a total tariff of 56%. The ruling would even apply to Harleys manufactured in Thailand, where the company had set up operations to get around the 2018 EU tariff.

Monday, Harley posted a quarterly profit of $259 million, or $1.68 a share, up from $70 million, or 45 cents a share, in the year-earlier period.

Revenue rose to $1.4 billion from $1.3 billion a year earlier.

“The actions we have taken to reshape the business are having a positive impact on our results, especially for our most important North American region,” Zeitz said.

Harley-Davidson shares closed Monday up $3.91 a share, or nearly 10%, on Monday to $44.29.

Harley-Davidson To Vigorously Defend Itself Following Aggressive EU Tariff Ruling – Quick Facts
from https://www.rttnews.com

Harley-Davidson, Inc. (HOG) announced Monday that it has received notification from the Economic Ministry of Belgium that it would be subject to the revocation of Binding Origin Information (BOI) credentials, effective April 19, 2021, following a request from the European Union (EU).

Harley-Davidson said it will be lodging an immediate legal challenge to this decision.

Since 2019, the company has operated with BOI regulatory credentials, allowing it to supply its EU markets with certain motorcycles produced at its international manufacturing facilities at tariff rates of 6%.

The EU’s new ruling will apply to the entire Harley-Davidson product portfolio and will effectively prohibit the company from functioning competitively in Europe.

From June 2021, all Harley-Davidson products, regardless of origin, will be subject to a 56% import tariff within the EU.

In 2018, the European Union placed a 25% incremental tariff (31% total tariff) on motorcycles imported into the EU from the U.S., effective June 22, 2018. The tariff is scheduled to increase to a 50% incremental tariff (56% total tariff) effective June 1, 2021.

European OEMs, including motorcycle manufacturers, will continue operations with significantly lower import tariffs to the U.S. ranging from 1.2% for up to 800cc products to 2.4% for over 800cc products, and with automobiles at 2.5%.

Harley-Davidson Hit With EU Tariff Ruling
by Alistair MacDonald from https://www.wsj.com

Motorcycle maker says ruling would subject its products to 56% import tariff within the EU.

Harley-Davidson Inc. has been hit with a European Union import ruling that the motorcycle maker says would impose an import tariff of 56% on its products and keep it from functioning competitively in Europe.

The Milwaukee-based company announced the ruling along with better-than-expected sales and profit for the first quarter, news of which lifted the stock to a new multiyear high.

Harley-Davidson has been one of the highest-profile U.S. casualties of recent trade disputes, after the EU put a 25% duty on its bikes and other U.S. goods in 2018. Those levies were a response to tariffs the Trump administration imposed on steel and aluminum from producers in Europe and elsewhere.

On Monday, Harley-Davidson said Belgium’s Economic Ministry, on behalf of the EU, had notified the company that it was revoking an agreement that allowed the business to supply Europe with certain motorcycles produced at its international manufacturing facilities at tariff rates of 6%.

Harley-Davidson said the EU ruling would apply to its entire lineup and subject all products—regardless of origin—to a 56% import tariff within the trade bloc beginning June 1.

Harley-Davidson beats forecasts as international sales rebound

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by Rachit Vats, Ankit Ajmera from https://www.reuters.com

(Reuters) – Harley-Davidson Inc (HOG.N) beat expectations for profit on Tuesday and stuck to its full-year shipment forecast, allaying fears of another major hit from European import tariffs and a further slump in sales in its main U.S. market.

Shares of the company rose as much as 8.8% to $40.36, as it posted the first rise in international sales in a year during the third quarter and a 3.6% dip in U.S. retail motorcycle sales – the smallest decline in nearly three years.

Profits continued to sink – by 24% – but the results offered some hope that one of the biggest names in motorcycles was finally beginning to arrest a slide in global sales that it has been fighting for years.

Sales in the world’s biggest motorcycle markets in Asia, which Harley has targeted with smaller bikes that go against its traditional profile, rose 8.7% in the quarter and are up about 1.6% this year overall.

The company plans to source half of its revenue from overseas by 2027 and international retail sales rose 2.7% to 23,619 motorcycle in the quarter.

While worldwide shipments fell 5.8% to 45,837 motorcycles, they topped analysts’ estimates by over 1,000 motorcycles, and the Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based company stuck to its 2019 shipment target of 212,000 to 217,000 bikes.

“As we look to the remainder of 2019, we are encouraged by the momentum of retail sales trends through the first nine months of this year but also recognize substantial headwinds that we continue to face,” Chief Financial Officer John Olin said.

The company is also cutting spending and said it now expects 2019 capital expenses of $205 million to $225 million, about $20 million less than its previous estimates.

Excluding items, the company earned 70 cents per share, beating Wall Street expectations of 52 cents while revenue from motorcycles and related products overall fell 4.9% to $1.07 billion.

The company, which has been criticized by President Donald Trump for its plan to shift some U.S. production overseas, has also been battling the effects of trade tensions on its business globally.

Harley said on Tuesday retaliatory import duties imposed by the European Union and China on its bikes would cost the company about $105 million in 2019, up from its prior estimate of $100, with about $90 million of the hit coming from EU tariffs.

Brussels in June raised import duties on U.S.-manufactured Harley bikes to 31% from 6%, and the company said the impact from tariffs more than doubled in the third quarter from a year ago to $21.6 million.

In response, Harley plans to begin shipping bikes from its Thailand plant but a delay in regulatory approval from the trading bloc means it will not see any benefit in earnings before the second quarter of 2020.

Ural Phenomenon : the Incredible Sidecar Sub-culture Among Motorcyclists

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Soviet Russian espionage during World War II, Nazi motorcycles, hacking, ancient resource rich Ural mountains, a defunct brewery factory, privatization – what have these things got in common? A legendary sidecar wielding motorcycle is what they all mixed together to create in the heat of world economy.

CLICK TO READ NOW !!!

A legacy of WWII is now an ambassador of goodwill and friendship across the world. We present two-part Feature Article on Ural sidecar motorcycles.