Harley-Davidson Inc.‘s 10.1% decline in U.S. retail sales was “disappointing” but in line with fourth-quarter 2018 expectations, said Chief Financial Officer John Olin on the company’s earnings call.
The OEM sold 20,849 vehicles in the U.S. in the fourth quarter, down from 23,195 vehicles in the year-prior period. The slowdown was driven by “significant declines in the U. S. industry and slight marketshare declines,” Olin said.
“While we expect our business to remain under pressure in 2019 driven by continuing challenges in the U.S. motorcycle industry, we intend to introduce exciting new products and add innovation that customers value in our new motorcycles,” he said. “We also expect to aggressively manage supply and execute marketing efforts to encourage trial and increased conversion to sale.”
For More Harley News: HDFS Originations Climb 8% Amid Record Income Growth
Worldwide sales in the fourth quarter fell below expectation, Olin added. Worldwide sales dropped 6.7% to 39,311 vehicles.
For the full year, U.S. sales declined 10.2% to 132,868 in 2018. Despite sales growth in Europe and Latin America, worldwide sales declined 6% to 228,051 year over year.
Through 2022, Harley-Davidson seeks to improve the industry with its More Roads to Harley-Davidson plan. The plan is meant to add more Harley riders to the industry, introduce new products such as the electric LiveWire, and strengthen its dealer network.