Start of the turnaround? Harley-Davidson sales bounce back in Q2

Strong sales in North America help push Harley-Davidson into the black for the first half of 2021... though it's not all good news for the Milwaukee firm

Pan America

Harley-Davidson has posted an encouraging sales growth for the most recent quarter as it felt the effects of introducing the new Pan America to its range.

The embattled American company has spent several years trying to reverse a negative trend in both sales and revenue, leading to a boardroom overhaul in 2020 that brought Jochen Zeitz in as its new CEO.

For Q2 - April to the end of June - Harley-Davidson posted an 24% increase in sales compared with the same period as 2020, with sales up 18% for the first six months of the year.

However, the figures do need to be viewed with some degree of caution. Of course, the first half of 2020 was defined by lockdown measures around the world, though in North America - H-D’s largest market - this was enforced with varying degrees at state level.

Moreover, the growth has been driven almost entirely by a bounce back in Harley-Davidson’s local market with sales soaring 43% in Q2 and 38% for the first six month. By contrast, sales were actually down in every other market of Europe, Middle East and Africa (7%), Asia-Pacific (13%), Latin America (47%) and EMEA (19%).

Harley-Davidson justified these downward figures as being the result of taking its Street and Sportster models off sale because they didn’t meet increasingly tough emissions standards.

As such, it is expecting more positive results in Q3 when customers will be getting their hands on the eagerly anticipated Pan America, while the brand-new Sportster S will be arriving in the coming weeks too.

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