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Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by Secondset, May 11, 2018.
I was wondering myself Kevm,my dealer must have had 6 or 7 on display.
I know some dealers still treat em like the red-headed step-child (largely based on margin, they simply make more money off of BTs). But I've always seen them. Maybe it's been harder over the years to find Roadsters, XRs, CXs etc, but I always came across them too.
According to the public financial reports Harley still produced/delivered 54,409 Sportstsers/Streets to dealers in 2017 (sadly they don't separate those numbers). That represents 22.5% of the total 241,148 bikes they produced for the 2017 model year. About high side of average for the past 2 decades.
Now unless Street sales have suddenly taken off that means the Sporty is still an important part in their sales.
With touring models comprising a little more than 40% of their sales for at least the last few years, that means Dynas, Softails, and Vrods all combined for the remaining ~36%.
It will be interesting to see the final numbers for 2018 and eventually 2019 with the Vrods and Dynas gone, that number will eventually reflect only Softail sales (a number the public hasn't had officially maybe ever).
OK, I checked investor relations:
First quarter 2018
Total 63,944 bikes
Touring 30,857 or 48% (uptick in balance)
Custom (Softail only?): 21,554 or 34% (downtick)
Sportster/Street: 11,533 or 18% (downtick)
Still damn near 20% or 1/5 should = seeing them on the floor. Unless of course, what ones they produce/deliver are being sold.
Personally, I'm not sure I would approach the conversation from your position.
Let's be really honest here and not fool anyone. Hmmmm , the KC plant could still operate as a parts manufacturer for HD , lord knows they need parts. All this "economic sense" chatter is a direct replay of the 1990's.....that's what Mahogany row tried to feed employees at GE and other manufacturers; alot of GE jobs went to France.
"Tariffs keeping THEM out of the market" ; Japan and others were building better machines, and those machines cost alot less than HD.....unfortunately. So , Uncle sugar made $$$ deal with HD to assist.
Mahogany row needs to be affected so they can rethink the mind set of "net loss & that's business" . No one is blaming Thailand , your the one insinuating that.
Another cost cutting measure. It was transferred overseas probably : )
Mahogany row at lunch break.
Great post and good reading. Thanks. I've posted elsewhere that I'm not so much a HD fan as a Sportster fan. The new Roadster is my second over the years and there was a Buell XB12XT in the mix as well amongst a sea of Hondas and Kawasakis. They (Sportsters) just keep drawing me back. I've never glanced twice at anything else in the showroom, most of which I think are silly or outright ridiculous. I'm nobody but I represent three sales over the years that are never on the books without the basic Sportster architecture.
Why would HD repurpose the KC plant to make parts they are already producing elsewhere? That doesn't make any economic sense. I understand and believe that a company should be loyal to their employees, I don't discount that. If these changes were made in a market that wasn't shrinking and demand for their product hadn't dropped by 1/3 I might buy it, but that's not the case here.
And tariffs remain a very real thing, on both sides of the fence. The chicken tax remains the reason why we haven't been offered a myriad of small trucks from other markets. There's a reason so many foreign companies have assembly plants in the US too.
I'm not blaming Thailand or the Thai plant for global commerce. I do begrudge Brazil and India a little, but like I said it's not like our hands are spotless.
The way I always saw it was that Sportsters weren't about making money for HD. It was about getting new people into the brand. A practical gateway bike into overpriced motorcycles.
Kind of like how Ducati always gave good deals on their 620 Monster.
Which foreign companies have plants in the United States to get around our tariffs?
Arguably all base models will make lower margins for the dealers (and likely for the manufacturers too) than their premium (and usually halo) products. But that doesn't mean they're loss leaders. You don't sell 50-75k bikes per year AT A LOSS even if you're Harley at their peak a decade ago.
Isn't the question more like who hasn't?
Nice reference to price. It's a factor. A motorcycle has had a place in my life for 41 years now. They've taken me to 43 states. But... in there was university, career, relationships, marriage, homes that were bought and sold, cities and countries that were moved from, step children, coaching sports, going to... dance recitals FFS.
At the end of the day isn't it an unnecessary item? Of course it isn't. Cost is certainly a factor. My brother-in-law was a riding buddy and friend before he (horror of horrors) met my sister. For him it was down to new kitchen cabinets or much needed new bike. He's never ridden since but the "relationship" I gave 6 weeks is nearing 30 years.
My first Sportster was a price consideration but the Roadster wasn't. I could buy basically anything. It is likely to be my last motorcycle. I think it was meant to be this way. The day I picked up the Roadster I was in the dealer a while and looked at a touring bike all done up marked at $42,000. That's about twice what my parents paid for the house I grew up in.
Which foreign companies have plants in America to get around tariffs?
Read the link for examples they include most every foreign company who has ever produced a light truck for sale here.
Yes. FORD, GMC, CHEVY.... with manufacturing plants in Turkey, Mexico, Canada, China, etc. are then IMPORTING IN those trucks to America. So how do tariffs force companies to build plants domestically in order to be cost competitive?
Holy crap, are you bring deliberately obtuse?
Where should we start with your Straw Man argument or actual examples of FOREIGN companies who have built plants here and assembled here to avoid tarrifs such as the chicken I referred to earlier?
Actual examples include companies likelMercedes, Nissan, Toyota, etc. Pretty much anyone who has sold light trucks in the US.
US companies with plants in Canada and Mexico who sell their trucks here under NAFTA is another subject and not an example of what I mentioned.
AND please amuse is all with an example of a US based company that has built a car or truck in Turkey or China and imported it to the US?!?
Um... from your own link, the one you provided and obviously read top to bottom...
As an unintended consequence, several importers of light trucks have circumvented the tariff via loopholes. Ford (ostensibly a company that the tax was designed to protect), imported its first generation Transit Connect light trucks as "passenger vehicles" to the U.S. from Turkey, and immediately stripped and shreded portions of their interiors (e.g., installed rear seats, seatbelts) in a warehouse outside Baltimore. Mercedes imported complete vans built in Germany, "disassembled them and shipped the pieces to South Carolina, where American workers put them back together in a small kit assembly building." The resulting vehicles emerge as locally manufactured, free from the tariff.
He ha, you're right, I missed that one, though it's a good example of unintended consequences and why these things aftern black and white. Which I'll still take as illustrating my original point.
I'm not arguing the value or efficacy of tariffs, I'm pointing out examples where companies (foreign and domestic) make decisions because of them.
Pretty hard to hit a constantly moving target, eh?
Then it seems to me that tariffs DO work, at least in some capacity, since at least some of the jobs and tax base are forced to be domestic.
My point simply is this - we need to do what is right for AMERICA. And sending our jobs, our iconic brands, our technology and know-how to other countries, is not the right path for future prosperity. No matter what your taxpayer subsidized Educator tells us.