In this episode, I'm joined by Lurch, and we discuss the fact that Harley-Davidson sales dropped by 16% in the 3rd quarter of 2023. We give you the numbers and break them down. We provide you with Harley-Davidson's response to the numbers. We also give our thoughts on the topic. 2023 has been so far so good for Harley-Davidson fanatics. The year started with the reveal of a few new big cruisers, followed by H-D’s new breed of sub-500cc offerings in Asia. Then came the headline-making 2023 CVO duo, which started a new chapter of modernity for the company. However, the story seems different behind the scenes, i.e. in terms of the MoCo’s financials.
As a reminder, Harley-Davidson’s reporting format segments the company into three parts: Harley-Davidson Motor Company (all motorcycles except LiveWire), Harley-Davidson Financial Services, and LiveWire. This structure has been the way the Motor Company has handled its financial reporting since it transformed LiveWire into its own company in 2022.
Harley-Davidson reported that retail sales of all its motorcycles (excluding LiveWire) declined in all geographic regions in the third quarter of 2023. Overall, worldwide sales were down 16% on the previous year. In North America, the Motor Company saw a 15% drop in sales in the third quarter of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022. In Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (which count as one region, called EMEA for short), sales fell by 13%. For Asia-Pacific, sales fell by 24%. Finally, in Latin America, sales fell by 11% in the third quarter of 2023.
So what is Harley-Davidson saying? “Against a challenging macro and consumer backdrop, we have been able to achieve a result that preserves profitability at an industry-leading level. In addition, we successfully launched our pinnacle CVO motorcycles, with CVO retail sales up 25%,” said Jochen Zeitz, Chairman, President and CEO of Harley-Davidson. “Harley-Davidson remains committed to its Hardwire strategy with a focus on both desirability and profitability, and we will do everything possible to achieve our goals while being realistic that current market conditions are complex. We are gearing up for '24 and will ensure that we are fully aligned and ready as we close out the year with Q4.”
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