The company’s worldwide retail motorcycle sales were down -6.7 percent in 2017 compared to 2016, with domestic U.S. retail sales down -8.5 percent while international retail sales fared better at down -3.9 percent.
“Our actions to address the current environment through disciplined supply and cost management position us well as we drive to achieve our long-term objectives to build the next generation of Harley-Davidson riders globally,” said Matt Levatich, president and chief executive officer, Harley-Davidson, Inc.
“We finished 2017 with over 32,000 more Harley-Davidson riders in the U.S. than one year ago, and we delivered another year of strong cash generation and cash returns to our shareholders.”
Harley’s release went on to say that “as the company executed against its long-term objective to build the next generation of Harley-Davidson riders globally, 57 new international dealer points were added in 2017, and U.S. dealers trained more than 62,000 riders through the Harley-Davidson Riding Academy. The company also maintained its number one 601+cc motorcycle market share position in countries including the U.S., Canada, Japan, Australia and India for 2017.” When asked, the company was unable to say how many of these new riders had bought a Harley-Davidson motorcycle as a result of their Rider Academy training.
Harley’s statement went on to say that the company “remains fully committed to investing in product development to inspire new riders through redefining its product in traditional spaces and expanding into new spaces. The company is on target to launch its first electric motorcycle