Analyzing Harley-Davidson’s International Market Sales in Q1 2019

HOG’s international sales

In the first quarter, Harley-Davidson’s (HOG) international market retail sales fell 3.3% YoY (year-over-year) to 21,060 motorcycle units. During the company’s first-quarter earnings conference call, its vice president and CFO, John Olin, blamed the limited availability of street motorcycles for the fall in its first-quarter international market retail sales.

Harley’s first-quarter motorcycle shipments to the international market fell 3.0% YoY, still better than the drop of 11.1% in its home market shipments.

Analyzing Harley-Davidson’s International Market Sales in Q1 2019

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Strength in the European market

In the first quarter of 2019, Harley’s market share in the 601+cc segment in Europe fell sharply to 8.8% from 10.4% in the first quarter of 2018. This drop in European market share reflected the company’s struggle to revive its international market sales.

In the first quarter, Harley-Davidson reported a 0.6% YoY fall in its EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) segment’s retail sales. This EMEA sales figure was composed of a 2.1% YoY fall in its sales in Europe and a 12.5% rise in its sales in other EMEA regions.

Harley-Davidson continues to face tough competition from other Japanese and European motorcycle makers in the European market.

Latin America and Asia

In the first quarter, Harley’s retail sales in the Asia-Pacific region fell 4.0% YoY. Within the Asia-Pacific region, demand from Japan and Australia weakened further. On its first-quarter earnings conference call, Harley’s management said that despite sales declines, the company was continuing to support its dealers and focus on national test ride campaigns in the Asia-Pacific market.

To add to the pessimism, Harley-Davidson’s Latin American and Canadian market retail sales also fell sharply by 10.6% and 6.3% YoY, respectively, in the first quarter.

In the last few years, the sales of auto giants (IYK) such as Ford Motor Company (F), General Motors (GM), and Toyota Motor (TM) have also suffered in Latin America due to challenging economic conditions.