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Global Motorcycle Sales In Free Fall Due To COVID-19

By General Posts

by Dustin Wheelen from https://www.rideapart.com

Even before the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11, 2020, many financial experts were speculating on the impact of the global crisis. Once motorcycle manufacturers and dealerships closed their doors to observe social distancing orders and promote public safety, we knew that the market could undergo a massive reduction in productivity and sales.

Now that economic reports for the month of March are available, we’re able to assess the impact on the industry—and it isn’t good. We all knew that global motorcycle sales stumbled in 2019, but with the advent of the novel coronavirus, we could see a further decline for markets like India and a contraction of previously growing sectors in Europe.

In India, the world’s largest motorcycle market, domestic manufacturers saw steep downturns in March. Year-over-year sales figures declined for Hero MotoCorp (-43 percent), Royal Enfield (-44 percent), Bajaj (-55 percent), and TVS Motor Company (-62 percent) during the third month of 2020.

Foreign makes weren’t immune to the economic slowdown with Suzuki India selling 42% less units during the period as well. Not all the news was bad though, as Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India managed to increase sales by 10 percent. Despite the bleak numbers, Suzuki India Managing Director Koichiro Hirao emphasized the company’s responsibilities during the global pandemic.

“At present, our first and foremost priority is to ensure the health and safety of the employees and all stakeholders,” said Hirao. “As the industry fights the COVID-19 pandemic by implementing shutdowns and taking precautionary measures, we believe that industry will overcome this difficult time and bounce back with positive growth in the coming months.”

Though Suzuki India is enduring its own woes during this time, the company still reported a 5.7-percent increase in sales during the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

“We are pleased to close this financial year on a positive note with 5.7 percent growth amid the precautionary measures taken in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” stated Hirao.

In Europe, Italy’s motorcycle market crumbled with sales numbers plummeting by 66 percent. Scooter and moped purchases fell by 62 percent while motorcycle sales collapsed with a 69-percent reduction. However, the country’s motorcycle market also experienced growth in the first and second month of 2020.

Calculating the overall sales for the first quarter of 2020, Italy only dropped 24 percent compared to last year. Regardless of the meager returns, the BMW R 1250 GS sold the most units—presumably to those looking for an apocalypse-appropriate motorcycle.

With the majority of factories and dealerships still shuttered, who knows what April’s sales data has in store. Manufacturers are keeping an optimistic eye on the future with hopes that the industry will bounce back once closures and social distancing measures are rolled back. Until we reach that post-COVID-19 world, we’ll have to continue speculating about the future of the motorcycle industry.

Harley-Davidson to hold virtual annual meeting, acting CEO says More Roads plan is working

By General Posts

by Margaret Naczek from https://www.bizjournals.com

Amid the instability of the COVID-19 pandemic, Harley-Davidson Inc.’s acting president and CEO Jochen Zeitz reflected back on the advancements made in the More Roads to Harley-Davidson strategy in 2019.

2020 already was a pivotal year in the company’s strategic plan to grow more riders and expand dealership reach, but the year became a lot more crucial as the Harley-Davidson (NYSE: HOG) looks to also overcome the difficulties during a pandemic.

With concerns over public health and travel restrictions, Harley-Davidson organized its 2020 annual shareholders meeting to be conducted virtually via a live audio webcast on May 21, 2020. The annual meeting will elect nine directors to the board, approve the compensation of the company’s executive officers, approve amendments to the company’s restated articles of incorporation, approve the company’s 2020 incentive stock plan and ratify the selection of Ernst & Young LLP as Harley-Davidson’s independent registered public accounting firm.

“As we embark on our next chapter and seek new leadership, we are steadfast in our belief that we have both much to be proud of and much to look forward to,” Zeitz said in his letter to shareholders.

On Feb. 28, Harley-Davidson announced former CEO Matt Levatich had stepped down and Zeitz would assume the role of acting president and CEO. The company is currently engaged in a search for new CEO.

In his letter to shareholders, Zeitz shared some of the company’s accomplishments in 2019. While U.S. motorcycle sales continue to decline over consecutive quarters, Zeitz noted that in 2019 the rate of decline significantly tempered.

“After four years of accelerating declines, such improvement was supported by our More Roads actions, notably in how we’re Amplifying our Brand and delivering on our New Products catalysts for growth,” Zeitz said in the letter.
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Some other company milestones included the launch of the first Harley-Davidson electric motorcycle, the LiveWire, the introduction of Reflex Defensive Rider System, the acquisition of StaCyc and the launch of the company’s IRONe two-wheelers for children.

In its efforts to continue to grow new riders, Zeitz noted that in 2019, 75% of people who purchased Harley-Davidson products on Amazon were new to the company. Harley-Davidson dealerships that participated in company consulting engagements also saw a nearly 6% increase in motorcycle retail sales compared with dealers not in the program, Zeitz said. Internationally, Harley-Davidson also added 27 new dealerships.

“In 2019, we also continued to manage our business to address current market conditions across the globe. We expanded our Thailand plant to serve the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) markets and increase customer access with more competitive prices, and we continued our work to mitigate the bulk of the impact of recent EU and China tariffs,” Zeitz said.

Zeitz said the company now expects the impact of tariffs to be significantly less in 2020 compared with 2019. According to its annual report filed in February, Harley-Davidson expects the impact of recent EU and China tariffs to be approximately $35 million, which is down significantly from the 2019 impact of $97.9 million.

Zeitz also stated that in 2019, Harley-Davidson finished with 3.1 million riders in the U.S., 55,000 more total riders than 2018. Throughout 2019, the company saw 527,000 new people join the brand.

“The number of people who continue to join Harley-Davidson each year is a testament to the power of our brand and our strengthened capabilities. We are becoming a company that excels at and exists to not only build great bikes, but to build riders,” Zeitz said in the letter.

Zeitz said that in 2020, the company will expand its focus from heavyweight motorcycle shipments to revenue from motorcycles and related products.

“This measure best reflects our comprehensive efforts to expand into new product segments and foster a customer-creation culture,” he said, “one that is laser-focused on our riders and fans who are passionate about our great brand.”

The Cure Bikernet Weekly News for March 26, 2020

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We Can Party Once More, Hopefully

We will continue to party until the end, whether they like it or not.

The Bikernet Weekly News is sponsored in part by companies who also dig Freedom including: Cycle Source Magazine, the MRF, Las Vegas Bikefest, Iron Trader News, ChopperTown, BorntoRide.com and the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum. Most recently Quick Throttle Magazine came on board.

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Ducati sells over 53,000 bikes in 2019

By General Posts

by Express Drives Desk from https://www.financialexpress.com

Panigale, Multistrada biggest contributors to growth

The Panigale and the Multistrada are said to have played an instrumental role in helping Ducati sell more than 53,000 motorcycles worldwide in 2019.

Ducati Motor Holding has announced that in 2019, the brand sold 53,186 motorcycles. Recoding a margin growth of 0.3% when assessing against 53,004 units sold in 2018. For the fifth consecutive year, Ducati has sold more than 50,000 units within a calendar year. Globally, the 500cc above segment for motorcycles has seen a growth of 1.4%.

However, while sales volume saw marginal growth, Ducati’s revenue saw further positive growth. The company’s turnover at the end of 2019 stood at €716 million (~Rs 57.7 billion) with an operating profit of € 52 million which is higher than € 49 million it secured in 2018. Ducati says that it recorded a turnover per bike figure which with about € 13,500 / motorcycle shows the highest value in the history of the company.

The Italian superbike manufacturer claims that the Panigale superbike and the Multistrada adventure tourer motorcycles were instrumental in helping Ducati achieve these numbers. The Panigale has been the best selling super sports bike in the world for the second consecutive year and currently holds a massive market share of 25%. The Multistrada 950S and the 1260 Enduro being added to the range, the ADV family saw its best sales performance till date since it was first introduced back in 2003.

Currently, there are 1,655 employees that work directly under Ducati Motor Holding. The Italian superbike maker has its presence in over 90 countries one of which is in India. Ducati India sells multiple variations of the Panigale, Supersports, Multistrada, Monster, Diavel, Scrambler and the Hypermotard motorcycles.

NCOM Biker Newsbytes Feb 2020

By General Posts

National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)
Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish

The National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) is a nationwide motorcyclists rights organization serving over 2,000 NCOM Member Groups throughout the United States, with all services fully-funded through Aid to Injured Motorcyclist (AIM) Attorneys available in each state who donate a portion of their legal fees from motorcycle accidents back into the NCOM Network of Biker Services (www.ON-A-BIKE.com / 800-ON-A-BIKE).

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Wild Adventure Bikernet Weekly News for February 13th 2020

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I now have a new morning workout. I shovel and sweep snow for an hour to clear the historic sidewalk in front of our house on Jackson Street. I discovered yesterday that Jason, who owned Deadwood Custom Cycles lives on Taylor, less than a block away.

I met with a contractor yesterday, Paul. He said this region is all cowboys and bikers. Sounds good to me. We need to watch out.

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Will 2020 mark a turnaround for motorcycle powerhouse Harley-Davidson?

By General Posts

Matt Levatich is CEO of Harley-Davidson.

by Margaret Naczek from https://www.bizjournals.com

For 117 years Harley-Davidson Inc. has led the market in motorcycles and continues to hold a dominant market share in the U.S. heavyweight motorcycle market.

Despite its dominance in motorcycles, fewer people are buying bikes, and the number of U.S. riders are growing at a slow pace. For several consecutive quarters, the company faced declining sales, lower revenue and flat stock prices.

With falling sales numbers, 2020 is becoming a pivotal year for the company founded in 1903. Harley has plans to grow riders to 4 million by 2027, from 3.1 million now, and invest in new markets with its More Roads to Harley-Davidson initiative, which launched in 2018. Some analysts, however, are uncertain of Harley’s ability to achieve such goals.

“We are becoming a company that excels and exists to not only build great bikes, but to build riders,” Harley-Davidson CEO Matt Levatich said in the company’s fourth-quarter conference call.

During the call, Levatich listed four target areas that the Harley plans to hit in 2020 to retain early riders, a category segment that the manufacturer has struggled with. The company plans using riders to recruit and coach new riders, allow early riders to experience riding opportunities on their own turn and on their own terms and solidifying rider commitment through experimental opportunities like overnight rides.

New motorcycles such as Harley’s first electric motorcycle LiveWire, released in September 2019, or the new Pan America adventure touring bike and Bronx Streetfighter bike, which are expected to release late in 2020, are also part of the company’s efforts to turn U.S. motorcycle sales around and build a strong ridership base.

At least one dealer is hopeful about the strategy.

“It’s brave if you think about it,” said Goran Zadrima, regional manager at Milwaukee and West Bend Harley-Davidson. “A lot of companies in the past have attempted to go after the Harley touring market, and everybody fell on their face trying to take Harley in the touring market. The fact that Harley is getting into the adventure and the streetfighter market, that’s a huge market. There’s a lot of good brands out there, but the one thing that Harley has that nobody has anywhere is the dealer network.”

Harley Davidson sells over 25,000 motorcycles in India

By General Posts

Harley Davidson Street 750 was the first large-capacity motorcycle in India to become BS-VI compliant in the 750cc and above category.

Premium motorcycle manufacturer Harley Davidson reported on Tuesday that it has sold more than 25,000 motorcycles since its inception in 2009.

The company also informed that with this development, it completed a decade of operations in India.

Commenting on this, Sajeev Rajasekharan, Managing Director, Harley-Davidson India, said, “When we first made inroads into India, our goal was to create a market for premium motorcycles, and we are proud to be the preferred choice for enthusiasts.”

He also said, “Harley-Davidson has been successful in securing its market share over the last decade, despite an unpredictable market. With 33 dealers across the country, we have the largest dealer network amongst premium motorcycle brands in India and will continue to go onward and upward.”

Rajasekharan further said, “We are thrilled about our journey over the last 10 years and are sure that the next decade will see more community building, innovations and launches from the H-D stable.”.

Harley-Davidson Street 750 became the first large-capacity motorcycle in India to be BS-VI compliant in the 750cc and above category, claimed the company.

Indian motorcycle sales surge 37% following rollout of Challenger

By General Posts

by Carrigan Miller and Mark Reilly from https://www.bizjournals.com

Polaris Inc. stock is up sharply Tuesday morning after the maker of ATVs, snowmobiles and motorcycles reported better-than-expected profits for the fourth quarter, driven in part by the rollout of a new Indian motorcycle.

The Medina, Minnesota-based manufacturer posted income of $98.9 million for the quarter, or $1.58 per share, up from $91.4 million, or $1.47 per share the year before. Adjusted earnings were $1.83 per share, ahead of Wall Street average estimates of $1.79.

Sales were $1.73 billion, up 7% from the year-ago period but at the low end of Wall Street estimates. Sales growth was led by the company’s Indian Motorcycle division, which saw revenue increase by 37% to $116 million as Indian debuted the Challenger, a heavyweight touring bike.

Indian is the vintage motorcycle brand that Polaris is marketing as an alternative to those sold by Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson Inc. The Challenger is indicative of how Polaris is positioning Indian. Upon the rollout of the Challenger in October, motorsports industry writers were comparing it to Harley-Davidson’s Road Glide, a big touring bike that represented a sizable portion of Harley’s sales mix back in 2013, when the iconic motorcycle manufacturer put Road Glide on a hiatus that lasted all of one year.

Indian unveils new Challenger lineup for 2020

As for Polaris, investors liked what they saw. Shares of Polaris closed up almost 6% Tuesday. The company may look particularly good in comparison to rival Harley-Davidson, which reported its lowest quarterly sales in years and missed Wall Street estimates by 6%, Barron’s reports. Shares of Harley (NYSE: HOG) closed down about 3% at $33.79.

Sales in off-road vehicles and snowmobiles, still the company’s biggest business, grew by 7% as the fortunes for ATVs and snowmobiles diverged. Sales of off-roading vehicles like the RZR and Ranger rose 13%, snowmobile sales were down 10 percent.

Boats, the company’s newest business unit that includes the recreational and sport boat brands of Marquis-Larson Boat Group of Pulaski, also saw a sales decline during the quarter, while clothing and aftermarket parts rose.

For the full year, Polaris posted earnings of $323 million, or $5.20 per diluted share, on sales of $6.8 billion.

“In 2019, we delivered strong operational performance across Polaris (NYSE: PII), especially productivity and delivery, and we expect further gains to create value for customers and shareholders in the year ahead,” Polaris CEO Scott Wine said in a statement.

Polaris said it projected growth between 2% and 4% in 2020, with earnings in the range of $6.80 to $7.05 per diluted share. “While the negative impact of tariffs remains a significant headwind on an annualized basis, the year-over-year impact is expected to be minimal,” the company said.