topbanner ad

Wednesday 24 June 2020

News Briefs

H-D has dropped out of Wall Street's S&P 500 - considered to be the most prestigious U.S. stock listing. The S&P is a composite index of the best performers, and at under $4bn Harley's market capitalization has fallen below the level currently required to the kind of trigger share price performance and returns required to secure a place in the index. Returning upper quartile S&P 500 share holder value had been a touchstone of former CEO Matt Levatich's business plan and a key pillar of his much vaunted and now discredited 'More Roads' strategic plan. Harley will now be listed in the S&P MidCap 400 class of investment opportunity.

As has been widely reported, and especially compared to European markets, new motorcycle sales have seen less decline in USA during the first four months of 2020 than elsewhere. Indeed, MIC data puts off-road machine sales at +30% for the year to April 30, with dual sport vehicles down only -5%, street bikes -23% and scooters - 24%. Overall PTW sales were down -9% YTD.

Comoto, owner of J&P Cycles, RevZilla and Cycle Gear, got off lightly in CARB (California Air Resources Board) penalty terms with some $1,937,500 payable to settle a slew of P&A sales infractions by its trading subsidiaries between 2015 and 2018. The total could have been way, way higher. Net of payments to environmental impact mitigation programs in California, $968,750 will be paid directly to CARB as a fine. The infractions revolve around some 7,000 plus instances of non-exempted parts being offered for sale without appropriate consumer use advisories (A&R).

Following a competitive bid process, Polaris Government and Defense has been awarded a seven-year contract to build U.S. Special Operations' newest vehicle - the Polaris MRZR Alpha will be assembled in its Minnesota manufacturing facility. The contract has a value of up to $109m. Polaris says it is the largest ultralight tactical vehicle provider for the U.S. military, with the MRZR Alpha being Polaris' 11th military vehicle produced in 12 years.


The MCIA, the UK motorcycle industry trade association, has cancelled its 2020 'Motorcycle Live' show at the country's NEC, Birmingham, in November. The largest motorcycle show in the UK, it usually attracts some 100,000 visitors and can trace its roots back to the 1920s. "MCIA looks forward to welcoming exhibitors and visitors to 'Motorcycle Live' 2021 between 20th - 28th November 2021".

Former H-D and Indian Motorcycle executive Chris Bernauer has been named President of Harris Pontoons, a division of Brunswick Corp. Bernauer joins Brunswick from Harley where he has been the General Manager of Global Sales Operations & Dealer Development. He also held senior positions at McKinsey, Indian Motorcycle and Toyota.

Polaris has donated more than $110,000 to US off-road and all-terrain vehicles (ATV) organizations as part of its ongoing T.R.A.I.L.S Grant Program. The 12 nonprofit organizations that were awarded a Spring 2020 T.R.A.I.L.S grant received awards ranging from $3,500 to $10,000. "The grants will support the development, improvement and expansion of trails, and help educate riders on safe and responsible riding practices."

Even before the COVID-19 crisis, motorcycle and scooter sales in India had been soft (BS-6 emissions standards, rising prices and insurance rates etc). One result has seen Indonesia take over as Honda's number one PTW market. Indonesia's sales figures haven't increased over the past year, but a slower rate of decline has seen Honda sell 4.7 million units in India in 2019/2020 and 4.85 million units in Indonesia.

Sources: AMD, IDN, FT, Reuters, PSB, MPN, B&B, BDN, MCN, AP, Bloomberg, MSNW, Electrek,