Europe and China More Interested in Harley-Davidson than Americans

Harley-Davidson’s sales continue to struggle affected by tariffs and what seems to be an obvious decline in interest in their motorcycles in the United States.

The sales for the past quarter we down 5% compared to the same period in 2018. The Milwaukee company delivered only around 69,000 motorcycles for the quarter. Overall sales are also declining, falling 6% to $1.4 billion.

Harley-Davidson has tried to reduce the costs by moving some of its manufacturing to Thailand, where they would be able to produce motorcycles at lower costs for customers in Europe and India who seem to be more interested in Harley-Davidson than folks from the United States. The company has been shipping bikes all over the world from the U.S.

The company also signed a deal in June to make small motorcycles is China. The Chinese market is a bright spot for Harley – sales in China have increased last year compared to the year before.

The “Affordable Harley” is already a big deal among Chinese riders.

The motorcycle makes recently received the necessary regulatory approvals to ship motorcycles built in Thailand to the European Union.

However, the process has taken far too longer than Harley had been expecting which reflected on their profit that’s down 19% from the same period last year.

They received another hit when the weaker-than-expected demand in Europe slashed their sales too, so the Milwaukee company had to lower the number of bikes they expect to ship overseas this year. 

The iconic motorcycle maker is experiencing a significant decline in interest among younger people, especially in the United States. In addition, when Harley announced their plans for opening a factory overseas in response to tariffs, President Donald Trump supported a boycott.

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The consistent decline in U.S. sales has resulted in Harley focusing on international sales and new bike models. Earlier this year, the company announced the production of two lightweight concepts that look like slimmed-down motorcycles, or even electric bikes with no pedals.

Harley’s CEO Levatich said a couple of months ago that Harley-Davidson is more about freedom and less about made in America and these statistics show he might be right.

Harley-Davidson’s stock fell over 4% in early trading this week.