HDFS Focuses on New Riders With First-Time Buyer Program

Harley-Davidson Financial Services will continue to support Harley-Davidson Inc.’s first-time buyers program in an effort to help new and millennial riders qualify for financing, according to a published report.

As worldwide sales slip for the manufacturer — down 6.7% year over year in the second quarter — Harley-Davidson has been focused on bringing new riders into the buying cycle.

“As we look ahead, we continue to invest to deliver business results by attracting new riders igniting the passions of our loyal customers, realizing our international potential, and managing through whatever near-term challenges come our way,” Harley Chief Executive and President Matthew Levatich said on the second-quarter earnings call. “We will manage our business with focus and discipline and take the prudent and sometimes difficult steps to compete to win for the long-term benefit of our riders, our dealers, our brand, our company, and you, our shareholders.”

Harley-Davidson’s first-time buyers program is for customers financing a Harley motorcycle through Eaglemark Savings Bank for the first time with “limited credit,” according to the OEM’s website. The program provides “competitive options” for new and used motorcycles as well as additional rate breaks for consumers with larger down payments.

Additionally, Harley-Davidson Inc. is focused on encouraging more dealers to participate in the national rental program the OEM secured with EagleRider in May. “Every dealer should be in this program,” the motorcycle maker’s Vice President and Managing Director Mike Kennedy said at its annual dealer meeting in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

Harley executives at the meeting said the company is refocusing its efforts on dealer profitability, and that it plans to increase marketing and sales resources for dealers, according to the report.

Also at the meeting, Harley-Davidson unveiled eight new Softails for 2018 and five new touring bikes, marking the largest product development project in company history.

Harley-Davidson told dealers that its goal is to generate 2 million new riders in the U.S., and that dealers can expect “new and different thinking from Harley-Davidson” to accomplish this, according to the report.

Check out the video of the new Softail lineup below:

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