Harley-Davidson’s just released its financial numbers for 2019’s fourth quarter, and once again, the results aren’t positive.
With decreasing sales and revenue, even below analysts’ expectations, Harley-Davidson has now seen its fifth straight quarter of decline, although the rate of decline is said to be slowing.
First off, the sales: Harley-Davidson sold 38,754 motorcycles to customers in 2019’s Q4, dropping from 39,311 bikes sold in the same time period in 2018. That’s reflected in a significant drop in motorcycle-related revenue, which slid from $956 million in 2018’s fourth quarter to $874 million in 2019. Overall, fourth-quarter revenue was $1.15 billion in 2018 and $1.07 billion in 2019.
The year-end numbers are also in now, which aren’t much better. Domestic sales dropped 3.1 per cent for 2019 when compared to 2018, and year-end total sales went from $5.72 billion in 2018 to $5.36 billion in 2019.
Of course, it’s worth pointing out that five billion dollars’ worth of motorcycles is still a lot of bikes, and the whole US market is down right now, and has been down for the past 12 quarters. It’s not as if Harley-Davidson is the only manufacturer seeing bad results in the States, it’s just that the domestic market comprises a massive percentage of its sales.
On the other hand—Polaris also released its numbers for 2019’s Q4 today, and it saw an increase in Indian sales, although profit took a hit due to warranty work and the cost of running discount promotions.
If Harley-Davidson will see a turnaround in its fortunes, 2020 might be the best year for it. The company’s new made-in-China 350 will be in overseas showrooms later this year, and no doubt Harley-Davidson is also hoping for increased sales from its LiveWire electric motorcycle, as well as a boost as it potentially brings other platforms to market at year’s end.