Harley-Davidson is still dealing with organizational challenges, financial woes and tough sales figures, but there’s some good news, finally. Harley-Davidson just posted its best third quarter net income since 2015.
According to its latest financial report, Harley-Davidson saw its net income increase 39 percent for 2020’s Q3, compared to 2019’s numbers for the same quarter. Revenue was down 8 percent, though, from $1.27 billion in 2019 to $1.17 billion for 2020’s Q3. Still, the third quarter saw earnings per share up 40 percent, and the company’s shares grew 27 percent in value. Sales were down worldwide, except for Europe’s numbers, which rose 8 percent.
It’s a mixed bag of results, but the MoCo is surely encouraged to see some positive financial news, especially in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. Harley-Davidson’s factories had to shut down in spring, during the early days of the COVID-19 outbreak in the US, and many dealerships shut their doors as well. That meant Harley-Davidson wasn’t building bikes, and many dealers wouldn’t be able to sell them, even if they’d had the motorcycles. Even after re-opening, many dealerships didn’t see their bikes re-stocked. Once they sold what was in the showroom, that was it.
Harley-Davidson is also going through a transition period, as new CEO Jochen Zeitz implements an updated growth plan for the company, replacing the strategies laid out by outgoing big boss Matt Levatich. Levatich was focused on expansion, with lots of new models and aggressive growth in new markets. Zeitz seems to be doing just the opposite, paring down the lineup and apparently canceling some of the planned new models, and also greatly revising Harley-Davidson’s business plan in overseas markets like India.