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American Brands Issue Latest Sales Reports

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February 06, 2019 at 02:00PM

American Brands Issue Latest Sales Reports

Harley-Davidson and Indian motorcycle companies both issued their 2018 earnings statements last week, and their reports were a mixed bag. Harley’s statement showed sales down 10.2 percent in 2018 and down 6.1 percent worldwide, and their 4th-quarter profit was less than half a million dollars, compared to $8.3 million a year before.


Polaris, the owner of Indian Motorcycle, also posted 4th quarter sales drops in their motorcycle division to the tune of 15 percent, mostly due to the plummeting sales of their three-wheeled Slingshot roadster. Their Indian sales were a bit more encouraging, as sales “increased slightly” in the 4th quarter, gaining market share in the 900cc-up segment, even as overall sales of large cruisers/tourers were down by double digits.

Yet the outlook isn’t all “doom & gloom” for the big American brands.

Harley still owns the American cruiser/tourer segment, posting U.S. market share in street bikes over 600cc at 49.7 percent. Both brands have achieved sales gains among women riders, and both vow to expand their lineup with more approachable, affordable models than ever before. As a part of their “More Roads to Harley-Davidson” initiative, the brand is working hard on a full lineup of electric offerings, the LiveWire only being the first. Indian is seeing great interest in their soon-to-be-released, flat track-inspired FTR1200, as well as their expanding Scout model line.


The big American brands are constantly developing strategies to increase sales and brand loyalty among the younger gens, even as they face the fact that their current demographic is aging out of riding or downsizing to smaller bikes. Few people in their 30s-younger can afford premium, large-bore motorcycles, and tend to gravitate toward smaller, more budget-conscious bikes and used ones. With these factors in mind, Harley and Indian appear to be charting new and different courses toward the future, repositioning themselves for continued growth in the years to come. Here’s wishing them both the very best.

Rob Brooks
Born To Ride Motorcycle Media


*sources: Harley-Davidson Investor Relations, Polaris Investor Relations

*photos: https://h-dmediakit.com


Credit: Born To Ride Motorcycle Magazine – Motorcycle TV, Radio, Events, News and Motorcycle Blog.

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