Harley-Davidson Inc. cut its annual forecast for motorcycle shipments and said sales may fall sharply to start the second half of the year, as U.S. consumers crimp on new bike purchases.
Full-year shipments may decline as much as 8%, a deterioration from the flat to down modestly projection given previously, the Milwaukee-based manufacturer said in a statement Tuesday. Harley said third-quarter deliveries could plunge as much as 20%.
Harley is caught “in the throes of secular erosion” in the U.S., with younger consumers riding motorcycles at much lower rates than previous generations, Bernstein analyst David Beckel wrote in a report downgrading the company earlier this month. Chief Executive Officer Matt Levatich called conditions in the market challenging and said in the statement the company needed to balance supply with demand to protect its brand.
Shares of Harley plunged 10% to $46.65 as of 7:40 a.m. in New York, before the start of regular trading. The stock had dropped 11% this year through Monday’s close.
By Jamie Butters