Saturday, January 23, 2010

Harley Davidson Sings The Blues

Hit hard by the recession, Harley Davidson scored their first quarterly loss in 16 years. And motorcycles delivered to dealers fell off by 27% in 2009, down to 223,023 units. For 2010, Harley Davidson expects to witness sales falls of another 5-10%. This might place 2010 production figures around 201,000 to 212,000 units.

Tight credit for consumers for new higher end motorcycle purchases has really hurt the legendary American made brand. Increased competition from import brands from Japan, China and Italy continues to lure buyers to cheaper bikes who can't afford the higher priced models from Harley as well. In fact, all American brands such as Harley Davidson, Victory and Ridley fit into a higher priced market for heavier bikes. And in a down economy, even premium American brands like this suffer.

Harley reported a fourth quarter loss of $218.7 million dollars, which also translated into a 94 cents a share loss for the Harley stock. Last year, the company reported profits $77.8 million, and 34 cents a share.