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Twin Power Launches Expanded Line of Crankshaft Position Sensors

By General Posts

Twin Power Launches Expanded Line of Crankshaft Position Sensors for Harley-Davidson Motorcycles

Fort Worth TX — May 17, 2022 – TwinPower today announced a new line of Crankshaft Position Sensors (CPS) including seven-part numbers with fitments for Harley-Davidson models dating from the 1999 model year through current models using the Milwaukee 8 engine. TwinPower was the first aftermarket company to create a line of these OEM-quality sensors and today’s launch is a significant expansion of the company’s CPS offering.

The Crankshaft Position Sensor is a critical part of a Harley’s engine management system. It delivers crankshaft position data to the bike’s electronic control module, which in turn determines engine timing and fuel delivery. A motorcycle with a faulty Crankshaft Position Sensor will typically have inconsistent performance and difficulty starting.

“When a crankshaft position sensor goes bad, your bike isn’t going anywhere,” said James Simonelli, Brand Manager for Twin Power. “We’ve created these products to be an affordable solution to a common problem. That’s why they are in such high demand from DIY motorcycle owners and motorcycle repair shops seeking a replacement part that will generate profits for their business.”

Twin Power’s new lineup is 100% tested in the U.S. to meet OEM specifications and has been endurance tested to 60,000 miles to ensure sensor longevity. The units use OEM-style connectors for an exact fit and are designed using encapsulated circuitry, along with vibration and heat resistant polymers to stand up to the harsh operating environment of a motorcycle’s engine.

The line includes nine-part numbers, each with a different fitment covering the million+ Harley-Davidson motorcycles made between 1999 and today.

Part number and fitment information is available at TwinPower-USA.com. All of the TwinPower CPS models retail for $52.95.

About Twin Power: Since 1982, Twin Power has been designing and producing quality parts and accessories for the American V-Twin enthusiast. Driven by the same passion that fuels the American V-Twin scene, Twin Power is relentless in its pursuit of quality, functionality, and value. The Twin Power team will not offer a Twin Power product to its customers unless they are proud to sport it on one of their own rides. More information can be found at twinpower-usa.com.

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Harley-Davidson’s renewed focus on touring bikes drives upbeat forecast

By General Posts

by Reuters from https://www.investing.com

U.S. motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG) on Monday reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit and raised its full-year forecast for sales growth, as its focus on bigger and profitable touring bikes boost demand, sending its shares up more than 8%.

Since the middle of last year, the Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based company, which has struggled to grow sales for the past several years, shifted its focus to big bikes, traditional markets such as the United States and Europe, and older and wealthier customers.

In February, the motorcycle maker unveiled a new turnaround plan that targets low double-digit earnings growth through 2025.

The company said its retail sales, a measure of demand at its dealerships, surged 30% to 32,800 motorcycles in North America in its first quarter.

Retail sales in Europe, Harley’s second biggest market outside the United States, slumped 36% to 4,900 motorcycles, due to the company’s decision to stop selling its smaller and less profitable Street or Sportster motorcycles and shipping delays as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company said lower sales incentives and a cut in its selling, general and administrative expense lifted its motorcycle business operating margin by over 10 points to 18.5%.

It now expects motorcycles business revenue to grow in the range of 30% to 35% in 2021, up from its prior estimate of between 20% and 25%.

Harley’s net income jumped over threefold to $259 million in the quarter ended March 28, from $70 million a year earlier. On an adjusted basis, the company earned $1.68 per share, beating analysts’ average estimate of 88 cents per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The company’s revenue rose to $1.42 billion from about $1.30 billion.

Harley-Davidson Announces First Chief Electric Vehicle Officer

By General Posts

Harley-Davidson, Inc. today announces the appointment of Ryan Morrissey as Chief Electric Vehicle Officer (CEVO).

Effective April 1, Morrissey will join Harley-Davidson with over two decades of experience in disruptive technologies and the development of new business ventures. As a consultant at Bain & Company, he served most recently as a Senior Partner and head of the Automotive & Mobility practice in the Americas. In this role, he led the development of growth, adjacency and M&A strategies for OEMs, tech providers, and retailers specific to the long-range transition to electric vehicles and autonomous fleets. He has worked extensively with leading global OEMs in powersports, heavy equipment and automotive on developing digital channels, EV product strategy and software-based services. As part of Bain’s work with financial investors, he has advised many leading investment firms on acquisitions in mobility.

Morrissey began his career at Lutron Electronics, as the U.S. sales lead for their first generation of software-based control systems for energy management. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Lafayette College and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

“Ryan has extensive experience with leading OEMs, working on building businesses to develop, commercialize and support electric vehicles. I’m excited to have him join the team to help us lead in electric,” said Jochen Zeitz, chairman, president and CEO, Harley-Davidson. “As we announced in February as part of The Hardwire, we’ll be talking more about our electric strategy later in the year.”

Harley-Davidson recently unveiled The Hardwire, its 2021-2025 strategic plan, with a dedicated focus on electric, targeting long-term profitable growth and shareholder value and aiming to enhance its position as the most desirable motorcycle brand in the world.

Harley borrows Detroit’s used-car playbook to pursue younger riders

By General Posts

from https://www.channelnewsasia.com

Harley-Davidson has decided the best way to get younger customers to buy a new motorcycle is to sell them a used one first.

The Milwaukee-based company plans to roll out a certified pre-owned bike program, known as H-D Certified, adapting a strategy carmakers have been following for years to position well-tended used vehicles as a substitute for low-margin, “entry-level” new models.

Harley’s embrace of used bikes is part of a new five-year turnaround strategy under Chief Executive Jochen Zeitz, and is the latest effort to expand the brand’s appeal beyond middle-aged and affluent riders.

The 118-year-old American brand has been steadily losing US market share amid declining retail sales for six years.

But the demand for used Harleys, which are less expensive, has remained strong. Some dealers told Reuters that pre-owned bikes last year outsold new ones by three-to-one.

Melissa Walters, owner of a Harley dealership in Fresno, California, says the coronavirus pandemic has led to an increased demand for outdoor recreational activity, but dealers are hard-pressed to find bikes to sell to customers.

“People are tired of staying home,” she said. “They want to go out and do something.”

That sentiment was echoed by over a dozen dealers in six states.

Data from industry consultant JD Power shows Harley was the most sought-after brand in the used big bikes market last year, boosting bets the certified program will draw in new customers.

For Harley, it offers a way to build brand loyalty and attract new customers without engineering and manufacturing new lower-cost bikes, which tend to have lower profit margins.

“We believe this program will drive Harley-Davidson desirability, increase sales and margins, and enhance the overall customer experience while supporting growth,” Zeitz told Reuters.

Under the pre-owned bike program, which was revealed last month, Harley will certify motorcycles up to five years old with up to 40,234km. Certified bikes will be inspected and backed by a 12-month limited warranty, and can be financed by Harley’s financial arm, distinguishing them from other used Harleys.

While the heavyweight motorcycle maker has a similar program in the United Kingdom, this is the first time it is entering the used marketplace in the United States – its biggest market.

The program will be launched in late April and over 300 dealers have expressed interest in participating so far, Harley told Reuters.

“It’s going to draw new riders … and will give them entry into the Harley-Davidson world,” said Brad Conn, marketing coordinator at an Indiana-based dealership that plans to sign up for the program.

A POTENTIAL REVENUE STREAM

In the auto industry, according to JD Power, similar programs offer higher profit to dealers with faster inventory turnover. JD Power’s data also shows the programs are more effective in cultivating brand loyalty and tend to generate more business for the financial arms of automakers, which fund the vehicle purchases.

James Hardiman, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, said the secondary motorcycle market has become a big business over the last decade and could be a “significant” revenue stream for Harley.

In 2017, online retailer for pre-owned vehicles RumbleOn pegged the value of the used motorcycle market in the United States at US$7.5 billion a year, with Harley bikes accounting for more than half of sales. The study also showed customers aged 18-34 were buying three used Hogs for every new one.

NEW VERSUS OLD

A booming demand for pre-owned Harleys until now has been a drag on the company’s US retail sales, which have declined by nearly 40 per cent since 2014.

As its motorcycles do not wear out or go out of fashion quickly, used Harleys tend to be more in demand vis-à-vis pricey new models.

Zeitz has tried to address the problem in the past year by tightening the supplies of new bikes. Leaner new inventory together with the increased demand for outdoor sports have driven up the prices of pre-owned bikes.

Still, the company estimates there are 3 million unsold used Harleys in the United States, far more than the approximately 80,000 new bikes it shipped last year.

“The biggest competition for a new Harley-Davidson bike is not an Indian bike or a Honda, or a Suzuki bike, but is a used Harley-Davidson bike,” said Hardiman.

Faced with a similar situation in the 1990s, automakers launched certified programs to resell thousands of returned leased vehicles to first-time and budget-minded buyers.

The programs allowed them to scrap less-expensive entry-level models, which had razor-thin profit margins, freeing up resources for more profitable products.

Harley is pursuing similar goals. It has done away with some of the cheaper entry-level models and will ramp up investment in touring, large cruiser and trike bike segments that drive company profit.

It is also looking to increase sales of ancillary products such as accessories, general merchandise and financial services by leveraging the certified bike program.

Michael Uhlarik, founder and lead consultant at Motorcycle Global, reckons the certified program is aimed at replacing lost motorcycle revenue from falling shipments.

Harley’s bike shipments to dealers in the United States have dropped more than 60 per cent from the 206,000 units in 2008.

“It will never be a 200,000 vehicle-a-year company,” said Uhlarik. “They have to replace that lost revenue somewhere.”

Harley-Davidson to Begin Selling Used Motorcycles Next Month
by Rich Duprey from https://www.fool.com

Riders will be able to buy a used Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG) motorcycle from dealers beginning in April under a program called H-D Certified as a means of introducing new riders to the Harley-Davidson brand and developing new revenue opportunities.

CEO Jochen Zeitz announced the new initiative during last month’s earnings conference call as part of The Hardwire five-year strategic plan, telling analysts, “There are two distinct parts to this market: new bikes and used bikes, both of which present opportunities which we will pursue.”

Amid declining industry sales, Harley-Davidson has been hit especially hard. U.S. sales fell 15% last quarter, hitting levels not seen in decades.

One problem that has plagued Harley has been used-motorcycle prices; because used bikes have been substantially cheaper, it has made selling new ones more difficult. Gone are the days when demand for Harleys was so high that there were shortages of new bikes, and used bikes could be sold for close to what they cost new.

Zeitz pointed out there are approximately 3 million used Harleys on the road, a million of which are seven years old or more. It wants to focus on those that are five years old or newer, with no more than 25,000 miles.

He says that’s the sweet spot of the market, offering “the highest potential to also get them engaged in new motorcycles in the future.”

While used-bike prices have been rising, Harley is looking to capitalize on the opportunity to bring new riders into dealerships by giving them an option on what they want to buy. It’s also a chance to get a customer in the door, since the program will be completely run at the dealer level.

The used bikes will be professionally inspected, verified as mechanically sound, and backed by a 12-month limited warranty.

Harley-Davidson Unveils 2021-2025 Strategic Plan; Targets Increased Profitability

By General Posts

from https://www.rttnews.com

Harley-Davidson, Inc. (HOG) on Tuesday unveiled ‘The Hardwire’, its 2021-2025 strategic plan that targets long-term profitable growth and shareholder value, and also aims to enhance its position in the strongest motorcycle segments.

The motorcycle maker targets increased profitability and low double-digit earnings per share growth through 2025. It also projects single-digit revenue growth in the Motorcycles segment, with solid growth expectations across all businesses.

Harley-Davidson said it will invest in the core segments of Touring, large Cruiser and Trike to strengthen and grow its position. The company will expand into Adventure Touring and increase profitability within the Cruiser segment to unlock untapped volume and margin.

The company noted that Pan America, its first Adventure Touring motorcycle, is an example of the company’s selective expansion into a high-potential segment that has untapped potential in the U.S.

As part of expanding its Financial Services offerings, the company will launch Harley-Davidson Certified, a pre-owned motorcycle program supporting growth expected across all complementary businesses.

The company said it will strengthen its commitment to electric motorcycles with the creation of a dedicated division focused exclusively on leading the future of electric motorcycles, following the success of its LiveWire motorcycle.

Harley-Davidson also said it will extend employee ownership to all employees by offering an equity grant to about 4,500 employees, aligning with its new approach to Inclusive Stakeholder Management.

from https://www.bennetts.co.uk

Harley-Davidson outlines vision for the future

Back in July 2018 Harley-Davidson unveiled an incredibly ambitious and detailed plan for its future – confirming 16 new water-cooled models from 500cc to 1250cc in an array of styles, a new small-capacity machine, huge electric bike expansion plans and a reinvented shopping experience. It was a multi-year, multi-pronged onslaught that was intended to expand the firm’s reach away from its cruiser comfort zone and bring huge new opportunities.

Now virtually all those ideas have been dropped with the unveiling of Harley-Davidson’s new ‘Hardwire’ strategy, which replaces the previous ideas of bold expansion into uncharted territories with a renewed focus on the firm’s core touring, cruiser and trike segments and established, wealthy markets.

The change isn’t unexpected. Harley CEO Jochen Zeitz has been taking the firm in this direction with his interim ‘Rewire’ strategy since last year when he replaced Matt Levatich at the firm’s helm. The ambitious 2018 strategy, which had been dubbed ‘More Roads to Harley-Davidson’ and intended to see the firm through to at least 2022, was Levatich’s brainchild and Zeitz immediately reversed course on taking over.

Harley’s new plan isn’t as attention-grabbing as the ‘More Roads’ strategy but it’s a play-it-safe route that’s intended to bring the firm back to growth and sustained profitability after a few tough years culminating in the coronavirus pandemic that saw sales volumes and incomes slashed in 2020.

On the surface it’s easy to see the Hardwire as a step backwards. After all, in an ideal world the ‘More Roads’ plan, which would have brought Harley into completely new fields including adventure bikes, naked roadsters, even sports bikes, could have transformed the company’s image. However, that might be a rose-tinted view to take.

Sure, expansion is a good thing, but the risks were at least as big as the potential gains. After all, every one of the new markets that ‘More Roads’ proposed to enter was already populated by other manufacturers, all with years of experience and product development focussed on those fields. Just as firms like Honda or BMW have always struggled to get a foothold in Harley’s cruiser territory, the chances are that H-D would have hit rocks in its efforts to muscle in on markets dominated by others. Worse, the focus on new goals brought the risk of Harley taking its eye off the ball in the US cruiser market that it dominates, opening the door to rivals who’d be only too happy to take a slice of that pie.

So what are the ‘Hardwire’ ideas? According to the firm, the first priority is profit. Not something that customers might want to hear – after all, it’s their money that goes into those profits – but shareholders will no doubt be happy.

The route to more profit is, according to the plan, strengthening Harley’s position in the touring, large cruiser and trike segments. In other words, focussing on the bikes that the company already sells rather than putting all its hope into potential future products.

Next up comes ‘selective expansion’, with the focus on the headline model from 2018’s plan that has survived the cull – the Pan America adventure bike. Virtually every bike firm on the planet has looked on with envy as BMW romps from sales record to sales record with successive generations of the R1250GS, and it’s a market that Harley believes it can take a bite from. The bike’s full reveal will come later this month along with more news of another survivor of the ‘More Roads’ plan, the as-yet-nameless cruiser that bears the same water-cooled Revolution Max engine that debuts in the Pan America.

Electric bikes – a field that Harley has become an unlikely leader in after the development efforts that went into the LiveWire – will also play a part in the firm’s future. Harley is creating a separate division to focus on electric products, separating them from its main R&D efforts. During a conference call when the plans were announced, Zeitz suggested that the near-term future for electric motorcycles remained urban transport, perhaps a hint that the planned Harley electric scooter that’s been in development for a couple of years will be the next move in that direction.

Elsewhere, Harley wants to grow its non-motorcycle business, the parts and accessories, merchandise and financial services arms of the company that have long provided a reliable back-up income stream. As part of this, the firm plans to create a used bike resale scheme – Harley-Davidson Certified – for customers who want a factory-approved second-hand Harley.

During the announcement of the Hardwire plan, Zeitz mentioned more than once that the firm is going to be staying quiet about upcoming models until their launches – a significant reversal from the ‘More Roads’ plan which set out a detailed roadmap of several years’ of planned model introductions and one that means in future the firm isn’t going to be in the uncomfortable position of cancelling bikes that it had previously announced. That’s exactly what happened with the Bronx streetfighter, which was pulled from the firm’s plans just months before it was due to go on sale, having again been part of the ‘More Roads’ expansion strategy.

It’s worth noting, however, that despite a renewed focus on the US market and established product areas, Harley’s extensive footnotes to its plan reveal it still intends to ‘develop and maintain’ a relationship with Chinese firm Qianjiang, which is developing the proposed Harley 338R small-capacity parallel twin, and a relationship with Hero MotoCorp in India, which will be distributing Harleys there and also using the brand’s name on Indian-developed products in the future.

The rest of Harley’s announcements today related to the firm’s financial performance in 2020, which was understandably deeply impacted by the COVID pandemic.

For the full year, the firm’s overall revenue was down 24%. In 2020 the firm shipped 145,246 bikes, down 32% on 2019’s total, with ‘touring’ and ‘cruiser’ models making up more than 76% of those machines, while the smaller ‘Street’ and ‘Sportster’ ranges combined added up to less than 24%.

Harley Davidson’s plan to take iconic motorcycle brand into transportation’s future

By General Posts

by Joe D’Allegro from https://www.cnbc.com

  • Harley-Davidson unveiled a new 2021 lineup featuring several advances in engineering, electronics and styling, and its first rival to BMW and Honda “adventure” bikes.
  • Hog motorcycle sales peaked 15 years ago and have dropped 40% since.
  • But as it cuts costs, total number of models and geographies under a new CEO, and looks to electric motorcycles and e-bikes, Harley could be in for a smoother stock market ride.

As a tradition-minded 118-year-old motorcycle manufacturer, Harley-Davidson may not seem ideally situated to prosper in a rapidly changing world where vehicles are increasingly electrified, self-driving, and shared. But the iconic company could be better positioned than many stock market investors betting on transportation suspect.

The company’s U.S. bike sales peaked at more than 260,000 way back in 2006, and have since dropped about 40%. Demographics are part of the story, and it is a well-charted one, in the stock price and broader narrative about Harley’s consumer market. In 1985, the year before Harley went public, the median motorcycle owner was only 27, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. By 2018, the median age had risen to 50. But the iconic “HOG” brand is turning itself around under the leadership of president and CEO Jochen Zeitz, who took the helm last year after drawing praise for a turnaround engineered at European consumer brand Puma.

Zeitz, and other new executives pushed the “Rewire” initiative, which has driven the manufacturer to exit international markets with low potential to focus on 36 high-growth-potential areas in North America, Europe and Asia. The company also laid off 700 employees to trim costs. It closed out 2020 by entering into a distribution agreement with Indian motorcycle maker Hero and spinning off its electric bicycle operations to a new firm where it holds a minority stake.

“We think they are on the right track,” noted Garrett Nelson, senior equity analyst at CFRA Research. He praised Harley’s late-October agreement with Hero as beneficial to both parties. “Harley gets access to Hero’s existing distribution network in India and Hero benefits from the sale of additional motorcycles at its dealerships,” he said. “It’s a trade-off. Harley surrenders some of the margin for access to the distribution network in the fast-growing market.”

He added that Harley should pursue similar opportunities with other established players to widen its exposure in faster-growing Asian markets.

Harley in a Tesla world

With the new financial strategy in place, Harley’s is now looking ahead. On February 2, it will introduce its plan for 2021 to 2025. Called Hardwire, the new plan is “grounded in desirability,” according to the company, though it has not released details.

Next month Harley also is unveiling the Pan America, a large adventure-style motorcycle meant to be at home both on- and off-road. It is the company’s first foray into the adventure bike market in which competitors like BMW and Honda already have a large presence. The recreational market has become a more intense focus for consumer brands as a result of shifts driven by the pandemic.

Nelson also was cautiously optimistic about the manufacturer’s prospects in an increasingly electrified future. The LiveWire, Harley’s sole current electric motorcycle, shows promise, but the company has been somewhat slow bringing it to market since its release in late 2019, he said.

“More of a concrete strategy on the electric bike, the Livewire, will be necessary,” Citi analyst Shawn Collins said, but he added that EVs remain a longer-term rather than immediate financial priority. “EV cycles are a rounding error at the moment,” he said of the sales.

The LiveWire retails for nearly $30,000, making it one of Harley’s more expensive motorcycle offerings for the 2021 model year, which range from $9,500 to $49,000.

“Over time, we are bullish on the opportunity, given that we think lithium-ion battery costs are going to continue falling in the coming years and electric vehicles are going to be heavily subsidized by the new administration,” Nelson said. “We expect the cost of electric vehicles to reach parity with internal combustion engine vehicles by the middle of this decade, as battery costs continue to decline.”

Harley-Davidson’s share price is at a 52-week high — like many companies in this extended bull market — but remains well below its all-time peak.

The company’s iconic brand remains attractive, even as its financial fortunes have fluctuated.

“Harley-Davidson is the most valuable motorcycle brand on the planet,” wrote Craig Kennison, a senior research analyst and director of research operations at Baird, in a recent research note. Harley’s strong brand, scale, and loyal customers give it an advantage over competitors, in his view. Meanwhile, Harley’s new leadership has put in place operational changes that should drive growth in 2021, Kennison said, including streamlining its product portfolio, reducing dealer inventory 30%, and instituting ongoing annual costs savings of $115 million. “We increasingly like the investment case for Harley-Davidson,” he wrote.

There may be more cost-cutting to come, according to Nelson. He said Harley should look to further shrink its global footprint to focus on markets that are the most profitable with the greatest long-term growth potential. But shrinking the overall footprint does not mean less focus on overseas consumers.

Revving up profits

“Right now, they are spread too wide,” Nelson said. “Between 2006-2019, the company grew its non-U.S. exposure from 22% of total unit sales volumes to 42%. We think they need to continue growing this percentage out of necessity because we believe its North American market is in secular decline.”

Harley’s issue is about the top line, or revenue from motorcycle sales, and Citi’s Collins said into its earnings and February investor day how management talks about increasing the top line will be a key to continued investor confidence. “Lots of people have faith in Zeitz, but he has a high bar,” Collins said. “There is no simple answer. … The top line has been horrible.”

The biggest problem for Harley is well known: the brand has had trouble appealing to younger riders.

Younger consumers have shown an aversion to purchasing motorcycles for safety reasons, and vehicles in general due to the rise of ridesharing, as well as financial and urbanization trends, according to Nelson, and Harley’s domestic demand has been waning for well over a decade.

“Harley at one point was unstoppable, in the 80s and 90s and even through most of the 2000s,” Collins said.

The Citi analyst noted Harley competitor Indian Motorcycle, owned by Polaris, has had success bringing in a new audience, and Zeitz has shown his ability to work “marketing magic” when he oversaw the turnaround at Puma, which had lost consumers to Nike and Adidas. “His job is to try and insert the magic back into Harley so a younger person wants to buy one. That’s what he has his eye focused on for the next three year to five years,” Collins said.

“Harley-Davidson has known for a while that it needs to reach younger customers,” said Dennis Chung, the production editor at Motorcycle.com. “The problem is that demographic doesn’t necessarily want the same things in a motorcycle that Harley-Davidson’s older base values.”

A lot will hinge on the next generation of Harley-Davidson’s popular Sportster lineup of mid-sized cruisers, according to Chung. “There is definitely value in the classic Harley styling, but it needs to be balanced with modern design and modern technology,” he said.

The Sportster lineup has been in continuous production since 1957, and is one of Harley’s oldest model lines.

One way Harley-Davidson is responding to a more tricky consumer market is by shifting its focus from growing market share on an absolute basis to increasing brand exclusivity. The Rewire plan was an acknowledgment from management that blanketing the globe in a search for new sales wasn’t the way to go.

“Instead of trying to increase its sales volume, Harley-Davidson is now trying to earn more profit from each sale, even if it means selling fewer bikes,” Chung said.

Harley-Davidson recently reported a 39% increase in net income in the third quarter of 2020, compared to the same period in 2019, even though its global retail motorcycle sales in the third quarter of 2020 were down 8% compared to the prior year.

North American sales did grow in the third quarter for the first time in a long time, Collins noted, and there are broader trends in place that could benefit Harley. Sports and recreational vehicles sales are growing as a result of Covid and that tailwind could cross over to the motorcycle market as well.

“They do have the No. 1 brand in the market with 40% market share and the brand is unlike any other,” Collins said.

The European market, meanwhile, is growing and the new adventure bike Pan America should do well in that region.

The decision to reduce its product line by roughly 30% seems like a smart and necessary move because of overlap.

“A lot of Harley’s products are very similar. Eliminating some of the lower-performing products creates a more streamlined product portfolio, which helps reduce costs,” Chung said.

The company dropped a handful of models from its 2021 U.S. lineup – the FXDR 114, Low Rider, Breakout, Street Bob 107, Deluxe, Street 750, Street Rod, and Roadster.

As the company offers fewer models, it sells a range of accessories and customization options. This way, buyers can individualize their bikes in details such as paint, luggage, seats, stereo systems, brake upgrades, and other areas.

Collins said Zeitz understands the opportunity in bike parts and Harley lifestyle accessories, and while these are not strategies that can turn the business around at the top line level, they are important pieces in a more comprehensive plan to maximize revenue while keeping costs down and generating higher profits. He recently pegged as much as 15% upside in Harley’s stock ahead of next month’s earnings and investor day, writing in a note to investors that he continues to be encouraged by new management’s decision-making.

Even with a trimmed portfolio, the manufacturer still offers two dozen different motorcycles, mostly concentrated in the cruiser and touring market segments, as well as a trio of three-wheeled bikes.

“We believe Covid-19 has given Harley the opportunity to press the reset button on its strategy and refocus effort back on its core consumer, one which we believe holds the key to higher profit margins,” stated Morningstar senior equity analyst Jaime Katz in a November report. She praised the Rewire initiative as a means of balancing restoration of the firm’s core business and entry into new markets. Prioritizing profitability over scale should also refocus Harley on the success of high-margin parts and accessories and general merchandise segments.

“It’s okay to be in a shrinking market, if you’re improving the profitability of the products you sell,” Katz told CNBC.

Suzuki’s profit beats estimate, steps up dividend

By General Posts

from https://www.reuters.com

TOKYO (Reuters) – Suzuki Motor (7269.T) posted its lowest annual operating profit in four years on Tuesday as the coronavirus pandemic hit demand for its cars, but the earnings beat estimates and the Japanese automaker raised its dividend, sending its shares surging.

Profit came in at 215.1 billion yen ($1.99 billion) for the year to March, down 34% from a year ago and its lowest since the year ended in March 2016. But it was higher than an average estimate of 201 billion yen profit drawn from 15 analysts polled by Refinitiv.

Suzuki, the country’s No. 4 automaker, declined to give an earnings forecast for the current business year, citing uncertainties about the longer term impact of the coronavirus on its operations and sales.

It announced a year-end dividend of 48 yen per share, up from 37 yen a year ago, which included a special dividend to commemorate the centenary of the company’s foundation.

Suzuki shares soared as much as 9% on Tuesday.

The automaker sold 2.85 million vehicles globally in the year to March, down 14% from a year ago.

In India, where it sells roughly one in every two cars sold through its majority stake in Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MRTI.NS), the automaker sold 1.44 million units, down 18% on the year. India accounts for just over half of Suzuki’s global car sales.

Suzuki has largely resumed full production of cars and motorcycles in Japan this week, while Maruti, India’s top-selling car maker, has also restarted domestic output, after a drop in demand due to the coronavirus and orders to curb movements of people forced manufacturers to shut factories in March.

($1 = 107.8300 yen)

Harley-Davidson appoints Jochen Zeitz as President & CEO: New plan to redefine brand

By General Posts

by Rahul Kapoor from https://www.financialexpress.com

With Matt Levatich stepping down, Harley Davidson had appointed Jochen Zeitz to lead the brand in the interim. But Zeitz has now been appointed as the president and CEO for the Milwaukee based motorcycle manufacturer.

Harley-Davidson, the iconic American motorcycle brand has elevated interim President and CEO Jochen Zeitz as the new President and CEO of the company. Zeitz was appointed into the interim position after the former head of the brand Matt Levatich stepped down after a dismal sales performance of the brand that it witnessed in recent years. Zeitz who is currently the chairman of the board of Harley-Davidson brings his experience as the CEO of the sports apparel and goods brand Puma to the role. He also has plans to restructure the company and also redefine Harley Davidson.

In a press statement, Zeitz said “Over the next few months, we will re-wire the business and redefine a new 5-year strategic plan later this year. I will then oversee the implementation of these changes and re-ignite Harley-Davidson as one of the most revered and iconic brands in the world,”

Zeitz is working towards an all-new brand strategy called “The Rewire” that would allow Harley-Davidson to enter new markets and segments as well. The plan is said to develop further in the coming months which will incorporate key products, and initiatives from the current ongoing strategy for the brand, but with a key focus on markets and products that can help drive profits and growth.

Harley-Davidson has found the last few years to be difficult in terms of unit sales. This has been more prominent in its home market – the USA as the modern consumers have moved away from heavyweight cruisers to adventure touring models or ADVs. Zeitz has been on the board of directors of the Harley-Davidson since 2007 and has served as the chairman and CEO of Puma from 1993 to 2011, and CFO from 1993 to 2005.

Trump warms to Harley Davidson, says EU tariffs ‘unfair’

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WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump on Tuesday appeared to reverse course on Harley Davidson Inc, saying European tariffs facing the motorcycle manufacturer were “unfair” and vowing to reciprocate, after urging a boycott of the company last year amid a steel spat.

The Wisconsin-based company last year announced plans to move production of its motorcycles destined for the European Union to its overseas facilities from the United States to avoid EU tariffs imposed in response to Trump’s duties on steel and aluminum imports.

Trump retaliated by calling for higher taxes, threatening to lure foreign motorcycles to the United States, and backing a boycott of the iconic American motorcycle maker.

On Tuesday, Trump appeared more sympathetic, calling the EU tariffs “unfair” but giving no other details about any planned U.S. action in a tweet citing comments by a Fox Business Network host.

“So unfair to U.S. We will Reciprocate!” Trump wrote.

On Saturday, Trump is scheduled to travel to Wisconsin to hold a campaign rally as he seeks reelection in the 2020 presidential election.

Representatives for the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on any planned actions, as both the EU and the United States prepared to launch larger trade talks.

Representatives for Harley Davidson could not be immediately reached for comment on Trump’s tweet.

The company on Tuesday reported quarterly profit that surged past expectations and stuck to its full-year shipment forecasts amid concerns over falling U.S. sales and European import tariffs, sending its shares up 3 percent.

Harley-Davidson Acquires Company That Makes Electric Bikes for Kids

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Harley-Davidson is trying to attract a new generation of riders at a very young age. The iconic motorcycle company announced Tuesday that it was buying StaCyc, which makes two-wheel electric bikes for kids.

StaCyc has two models — the 12eDrive and 16eDrive — that the company describes as “the perfect choice for little rippers” between the ages of 3 and 7.

The bikes have a top speed of about 10 miles per hour and sell for a range of $649 to $699.

Harley-Davidson said in a statement that Harley-Davidson branded versions of StaCyc’s two models will be available at select Harley-Davidson dealers in the United States in the third quarter of 2019.

“The StaCyc team shares the same vision we have for building the next generation of riders globally and we believe that together, we will have a significant impact in bringing the fun and enjoyment of riding to kids everywhere,” said Heather Malenshek, Harley-Davidson senior vice president of marketing and brand, in the statement.

Harley-Davidson is increasing its bets on electric vehicles as sales of traditional bikes slow.

The company has already announced plans to launch the LiveWire premium electric motorcycle this fall. It is also developing other electric bikes that it plans to start selling in 2021.

Harley-Davidson needs new growth opportunities as the company struggles to deal with tariffs from the Trump administration that have hurt earnings.

Sales and profits are expected to fall this year and revenue is only expected to rebound slightly in 2020.

Shares of Harley-Davidson have rallied this year with the rest of the market, rising 10% so far in 2019. But the stock is trading nearly 20% below its 52-week high.