Harley-Davidson has released its first-quarter results of 2019, and worldwide sales of motorcycles seem to have taken a hit, with the Bar & Shield brand reporting a 3.8 per cent decrease in global sales. While Harley says international sales were down 3.3 per cent, domestic US sales were down 4.2 per cent. According to Harley, these decreases were driven by "continued weak industry sales that were down 4.7 per cent." Net income in the first quarter declined by 26.8 per cent as a result of declining worldwide sales. The company's first quarter net income was reported as $ 127.9 million, down from $ 174.8 million in the same period of 2018, while the consolidated revenue was $ 1.38 billion in the first quarter of this year, compared to $ 1.54 billion in the first quarter of 2018.
Struggling with falling sales and demand for motorcycles, Harley-Davidson has launched a campaign to build the next generation of riders with its "More Roads to Harley-Davidson" accelerated growth plan. The company's strategic objectives through 2027 are to build as many as 2 million new riders in the US alone, grow international business to 50 per cent of annual volume, launch 100 new high impact motorcycles, and do so profitably and sustainably.
"We are acting with agility and discipline to take full advantage of rapidly evolving global markets," said Matt Levatich, president and chief executive officer, Harley-Davidson, Inc. "Harley-Davidson's U.S. market share growth and retail sales performance in the first quarter are further evidence of the effects we are having as we continue to implement and dial-in our More Roads efforts.
"We are driven by our un-paralleled rider focus and deep analytics that are guiding our efforts today and into the future. We, along with our dealers, are determined to lead and stimulate global industry growth."
Harley-Davidson said it has made some progress on the More Roads plan and appointed its first-ever brand president, to fully engage the power of the brand as a catalyst to achieve its strategy and long-term objectives. Harley has also expanded its electric portfolio with the acquisition of StaCyc, a maker of electric two-wheelers for children. There are also continued preparations to launch the LiveWire, Harley-Davidson's first electric motorcycle later this year.
For the second quarter of 2019, Harley-Davidson expects to ship approximately 65,000 to 70,500 motorcycles, with overall motorcycle shipments in 2019 estimated to be in the region of 2,17,000 to 2,22,000 motorcycles.