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Dealer survey points to reduced Harley-Davidson sales

May 29, 2009
Filed under Features

Harley-Davidson motorcycle sales fell after a recent Sportster promotion ended, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. The report is based on an analysis by Craig Kennison for Robert W. Baird & Co.

Baird surveyed 75 Harley dealers and found that new bike sales were down 20-25 percent from a year ago. Used motorcycle sales fell 5-10 percent.

New motorcycle sales dropped after a recent promotion in which Harley guaranteed the value of a Sportster when traded for one of the company’s more expensive bikes. Riders could get a new or recently purchased Sportster’s original MSRP value when they traded up to a Big Twin or VRSC motorcycle through March 31.

The report showed 63 percent of the Harley dealerships surveyed in late April and May were selling bikes below MSRP. That compared with just 36 percent in the same period a year ago.

To stimulate sales, dealers said they wanted Harley-Davidson to launch more promotions, the Journal Sentinel reported. A current promotion allowing customers to test ride a Harley has seen mixed dealer reaction.

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