More Doom & gloom for H-D

Harley as you know last week closed a factory in Kansas and also here in Adelaide, with more to come and the announcement of electric motorcycle range by 2019, should just about see the nails in the coffin. The problem with “painting yourself into a corner” which has happened with Harley catering for baby boomers and the 1% “knuckle draggers” is the that customer base has and is getting older and smaller, its alright to carry on about Evolution but that means nothing to a gen X or Y and millennium customer they don’t care and brand names aren’t a big deal a Coke or a Pepsi its still a soft drink! Indian like Triumph cater for traditional owners but are not reliant on it, the killer now is the Trump administration (Make America great again) announcing today that all made in India motorcycles will be taxed at the same rate as that country charges the USA which at this point in time is 75% but will be soon 50%. So big deal you say a few thousand Royal Enfields will increase in price, err yes but the H-D 500 and 750 are re-imported back to USA from India and will be subject to this tax unlike the Scout which will be in comparison cheaper in that home market, two things to remember that Harley are no longer as “good as gold” as the advertisers were saying in the noughties you will not get back more than you paid for your H-D, they were “anchors” at Mecum’s Auctions in Las Vegas last month and good models were selling under $5,000, also Wille-G-Davidson said the break even point was 190,000 units per annum, they are 48,000 units from going bust again, and Indian sales are up 17% and growing annually thats got to hurt the Motor Co as every Indian sold is one potential Harley sale.

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