Wisconsin Public Radio

Harley 2nd Quarter Earnings Down 19%

Motorcycle maker says it expects $100 million in tariff costs for entire year.

By , Wisconsin Public Radio - Jul 24th, 2019 10:36 am
Harley Riders at Labor Day Parade 2018. Photo by Jack Fennimore.

Harley Riders at Labor Day Parade 2018. Photo by Jack Fennimore.

Harley-Davidson says sales fell in the second quarter of 2019. The Milwaukee-based motorcycle maker reported second-quarter earnings of $195.6 million dollars, down 19 percent from the same quarter last year.

The company said sales in the United States and developed international markets were down year to year.

Executives said in a Tuesday morning conference call that they had expected 2019 to be challenging, but that the company is looking to address current concerns while also building toward future growth.

CEO Matt Levatich said the company had been focused on attracting more riders, especially younger ones, through its ongoing marketing campaign.

He said the all-electric LiveWire motorcycle, which is now in production, is part of a strategy to offer “more accessible products from a physical power performance perspective as well as a price perspective, to continue to leverage EV (electric vehicles) as a pathway into the sport.”

Harley-Davidson officials also expect to see fewer costs related to tariffs next year.

Chief Financial Officer John Olin said Harley-Davidson expects to see $100 million in tariff costs for this year, from the European Union and China.

But he said the tariff picture will be different next year, after the company received approval from European authorities to sell motorcycles shipped from its facilities in Thailand to Europe.

“We will start realizing the tariff benefits in Europe, which is certainly the lion’s share of the $100 million, probably $90 (million) of the $100 million, will start being realized in the second quarter,” he said. “Overall, the vast majority of the $100 million will be reduced in 2020.”

Harley-Davidson Reports Q2 Sales Drop, Increasing Ridership was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.

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