How is Harley-Davidson Likely To Grow In The Next 2 Years?

by Trefis Team
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Harley-Davidson‘s (NYSE: HOG) sales have negatively been impacted by a weak motorcycle demand environment in the U.S. since the past 3 years and we expect this trend to continue until the company is able to capture a larger market share in its international markets. Thus, as a consequence of this, we expect Harley-Davidson’s top line to decline at a CAGR of 1% over the next two years.

Harley-Davidson’s U.S. division accounted for 61% of its total sales volume in 2017. Thus, with such substantial dependence on the U.S. market, a weak demand environment in the region has negatively been impacting the company’s sales volume. Demand for motorcycles was hit during the 2008 global recession, but Harley thrived to survive as the Harley bikes were highly popular with the Baby Boomer generation, which formed its biggest customer base. However, this base is now aging and Harley has found it difficult to replace its core customer base. This is primarily as the millennials are typically more price-conscious, especially after the recession, and are looking to hold off on making discretionary expenditures, which includes luxury heavyweight motorcycles.

To account for the decline in sales in its home market, the company has been attempting to increase its presence in the international markets. The motorcycle market, especially in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region has been growing substantially but it has been difficult for Harley to increase its presence in these markets. This is particularly because of the stronger presence of domestic brands in the regional markets and higher tariffs imposed by the government on imported luxury motorcycles, which makes Harley’s products highly uncompetitive in comparison to its domestic competitors. Harley’s sales volume in the APAC region in 2017 declined by almost 8% year-on-year (y-o-y) despite its efforts to increase its presence.

To counter this problem, Harley-Davidson has planned to initiate production in the local markets instead of exporting them from the U.S., in an effort to make them more competitive. The company’s latest move to establish a new plant in Thailand projects the company’s progress toward this. However, despite these efforts, Harley is likely to continue experiencing declining sales volume as it would take a significant amount of time for the company to substitute its declining volumes in the U.S. from its international markets. Therefore, in the near term, we expect the company’s top line to be largely supported by its premium pricing rather than its shipment volumes, as the company continues to protect its premium image despite the unfavorable market conditions.

Our estimates for Harley-Davidson’s two years’ projected growth are elaborated in our interactive platform. You can make changes to our assumptions to arrive at your own revenue estimate for the company.


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