U.S. retail sales in the second quarter declined for Harley-Davidson, but the OEM expressed a positive outlook through yearend citing growth in millennial ridership, the company announced on its earnings call.
Specifically, new retail sales in the second quarter for riders between the ages of 18 and 34 increased by 2.7 percentage points. Harley credits the growth to initiatives for a stronger dealer base, having completed 59 onsite dealer visits and evaluated more than 160 dealer business operations in 2019, President and Chief Executive Matt Levatich said on the call.
The OEM expects that its upcoming electric, touring, and adventure models will further increase Harley riders in the U.S.
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Despite the growth in ridership, U.S. retail sales fell 8% to 42,768 motorcycles sold year over year. The sales decline was within expectations, and through June, U.S. retail sales were down 6.5%, “which was an improvement over last year’s rate of decline,” Chief Financial Officer John Olin said on the call.
Originations at Harley-Davidson Financial Services fell 1.8% year over year, to $1.04 billion. The decline was driven by lower motorcycle sales but partially offset by higher HDFS marketshare, Olin explained.