Despite a lingering funk in many portions of the motorcycle business, it seems that the top hog is thriving. Harley-Davidson, Inc. recently reported that its earnings and dealer new motorcycle sales rose sharply in the third quarter of 2013, compared to a year ago at this same time.
The Motor Company reported that its earnings per share increased 23.7%, mainly on strong operating results in the motorcycles segment, including higher motorcycle shipments and gains in plant operating efficiencies.
Worldwide retail sales of new Harley-Davidson motorcycles increased 15.5% in the quarter, including a 20.1% increase in the U.S., compared to last year's third quarter.
"Harley-Davidson had a great third quarter, with strong financial performance and retail sales growth," said Keith Wandell, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Harley-Davidson, Inc.
"Rider response to the 2014 motorcycles we introduced August 18 was extremely positive. Initial retail sales of the new Project Rushmore motorcycles sparked the largest year-over-year new model year sales increase in two decades. We also capped our year-long 110th Anniversary celebration in late August in Milwaukee for a huge three-day party like only Harley-Davidson can throw," Wandell said.
Dealers worldwide sold 70,517 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the third quarter of 2013, while in the U.S., dealers sold 48,529 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles, up 20.1%, compared to sales a year ago. Internationally, dealers sold 6.5% more motorcycles compared to the year-ago period, with unit sales up 10.0% in the Asia Pacific region.
Retail sales were driven by strong double-digit growth in the sale of touring motorcycles following the third-quarter launch of the Company's Project Rushmore line of revamped motorcycles.