Harley-Davidson releases Q2 financial report

Photo: Harley-Davidson

Harley-Davidson’s Q2 numbers are in, and the company’s finances and sales are a weird roller-coaster as it undergoes a transformation under its new CEO.

The good news is, Harley-Davidson saw growth in revenue and North American sales in the first two quarters of 2021, when compared to both 2020’s numbers, and 2019’s numbers. You’d certainly hope for improvement over the dismal first half of 2020, which was basically wiped out by COVID-19. However, growth over 2019 (the last “normal” year of moto sales) is especially positive to see, even if the numbers aren’t spectacular.

North American sales rose 6 percent over 2021’s Q1 and Q2, when compared to 2019. Total company revenue rose 12 percent over 2021’s Q1 and Q2, when compared to 2019. Remember, North American sales are the biggest chunk of H-D’s income.

The bad news is, overseas sales slumped. The Euro/Middle East/Africa sales zone saw a 42 percent drop, compared to 2019’s Q1/Q2 period. The Asia Pacific zone dropped 14 percent over the same time period. The Latin America zone dropped 67 percent.

Harley-Davidson says that’s partially because it axed the Street 500 and Street 750 series, which were big sellers in those overseas markets. No doubt continued COVID-19 fallout and European tariff woes also contributed. In fact, in an investors’ call after the financial results release, Harley-Davidson’s bigwigs specifically mentioned supply chain issues (a result of COVID-19) and Euro tariffs as both being problematic for the MoCo.

The question now is, what next? No doubt the new Pan America adventure bike will give Harley-Davidson a kick in the sales pants, and maybe the new Sportster S. The new used bike sales platform will also help. But, if Harley-Davidson really is serious about growing its overseas sales, it’s going to have to come up with a replacement for the Street series, you’d think. Maybe that made-in-China Harley project is still in the works?

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