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Wednesday, 14 June 2017

News Briefs

Polaris is reported to be looking for a partner with whom to start assembly of complete Indian motorcycles in India for the first time as it continues to grow its dealer network there.
Rumors abound about the 2018 MY announcement due at Harley’s Dealer Convention in Los Angeles (August 21-25) with variations on the theme including adios to the Softail and Dyna lines as we know them (and maybe even the brands themselves? Surely not …); they are being cleared for new frames and M8 models? Apparently search parties have been dispatched to find the search parties that were sent into the long grass to find the Project Overlord V4 and long rumored Cafe Racer.

According to their January annual reports, Polaris Industries incurred in the region of $132m in recall related warranty costs in 2016, and have made an additional $194m allowance for future 2016 warranty liabilities.

Headquartered in Milwaukee, Royal Enfield’s U.S. subsidiary (presided over by former Harley man Rod Copes) is stepping up its ambitions of one day being able to breathe the same air as Harley-Davidson and Indian Motorcycle with a new convincingly and traditionally 750cc twin cylinder engined Continental GT model rumored for launch at any time. The oil and air cooled normally aspirated engine is expected to produce between 45 – 50 bhp and go head-to-head with Harley’s 47bhp Street 750 for domestic US and international budget v-twin sales.

Along with increased credit defaults in certain regions of the United States (especially in oil industry dependent areas), the continued decline in used motorcycle values has been cited as one of the reasons for increased losses at Harley’s wholly owned consumer finance subsidiary. “The recovery value is always a function of the used bike price and as used bike prices have fallen, credit losses have gone up,” according to Harley CFO John Olin. Olin made $4.8m in “compensations” out of Harley-Davidson last year, this in addition to other earnings that include being a Director at battery maker Exide, where former Harley CEO Keith Wandell is Chairman.

Harley took 4th place in overall PTW market share terms and first place in Road Bikes and Tourers for the first quarter in Australia with 2,261 units sold in the first three months of the year. Their top seller was the FXSB Softail Breakout (352 units) followed by the XG500 ‘Street’ (322 units) and Australia’s third highest selling motorcycle overall in Q1. Its best selling Tourer was the FLHXS.