Harley-Davidson has been experiencing a tumultuous year so far, with the shakeup in top management, its announcement of pulling out of the Indian market, and then subsequently announcing its return through Hero MotoCorp. The bar and shield motorcycle brand has been on a rollercoaster ride throughout the year. However, the Milwaukee-based motorcycle manufacturer has just posted its most encouraging quarter for a couple of years that showed a growth in income, and only a modest dip in revenue.
With all things considered, Harley-Davidson’s income rose in the third quarter (July-August-September) while European sales of Harley-Davidson motorcycles ascended. However, revenue was still down at $1.17B versus $1.27B in 2019. In the USA, Harley-Davidson sales were off by 8%.
The sudden dip in revenue should not be taken as merely loose change. With Jochen Zeitz’s initiated Hardwire strategy and sales slump caused by the global pandemic and lockdowns that occurred earlier this year, the dip in revenue could be considered a stir in the right direction, especially for the ailing brand. Details of Zeitz’s Hardwire strategy still remains unclear up to now, but drastic actions have already taken place within the company under his leadership. This includes the decision to pull out of the Indian market, and instead enter into a distributorship agreement Hero Motocorp. To add, the brand also decided to drop an entirely new model into the back burner for now leaving eager fans of the Bronx quite disappointed.
That being said, Harley-Davidson’s fortunes are still fairly in line with the rest of the motorcycle market as most were deeply affected by the aforementioned lockdowns, before then benefiting from the upsurge of demand for two-wheel mobility resulting in more sales in the following months. It seems though that the market looks quite favorably and quiet confidence over its upcoming adventure tourer, the Pan-America. As Harley-Davidson joins in the fray of adventure tourers that has been quite a favorite in Europe, especially with BMW’s best-selling motorcycle, the R 1250 GS Adventure. As the brand starts to focus on its core cruiser business in America, it still shouldn’t lose sight of the potential success the European market can bring, especially in the adventure-touring segment.
The same goes for the Asian markets, where smaller displacement motorcycles thrive, particularly in Southeast Asian countries like Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines. That being said, we should also watch out for any new developments with its upcoming baby Harley, the 338R.