Are Millennials Hurting Harley Davidson Sales?
Edwardsmotorcyclelaw.com says Harley Davidson is "struggling" and they're blaming the millennials.
The article says fewer 18 - 35-year-olds are buying Harleys because they were raised during a recession which affected their spending habits. I don't buy that so, I asked an expert, Mark Barnett, of Barnett Harley - Davidson. He doesn't see it that way either.
While it's true Harley sales may be off a tad, Mark doesn't blame Millennials. He says; "Millennials are younger folks who normally start their motorcycling career on other brands: Hondas, Yamahas, Kawasakis, etc." So, what is to blame? Mark says:
- 45- to 55-year-olds ... in the center of Harley’s customer distribution ... seeing uncertain, negative political and economic discussions on TV are freezing up spending on "fun".
- Victory went out of business this year and dumped thousands of new, over 600cc, bikes on the market, at very low prices which depressed Harley’s market share.
- Harley introduced a great new motor this year that's smoother, more powerful and has a better exhaust sound but, many people are giving it a year to make sure there are no bugs in it. (Which there haven’t been.) Next year, when that engine is spread throughout what will be an entirely new line up, sales will pick back up.
- Motorcycle sales take a little hit when gas prices go down, everyone goes out and buys an F150. We’ll see [them] again when gas creeps up towards $3 / gallon.
Bottom line - 18-35's are not hurting HD and there are some very cool new Harleys coming!