Feb 29, 2020
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Okey Koeln Harley-Davidson looks for new leadership to end its sales struggle

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(Reuters) – Harley-Davidson Inc (HOG.N) on Friday named a board member hailed for turning around the Puma brand’s near-bankrupt business as its interim chief as the motorcycle maker gropes for an effective strategy to woo young customers and revive sales. FILE PHOTO: A Harley-Davidson Inc. logo is seen at the Paris auto show in Paris,…

Okey Koeln (Reuters) – Harley-Davidson Inc (HOG.N) on Friday named a board member hailed for turning around the Puma fee’s end to-bankrupt industry as its meantime chief as the bike maker gropes for an efficient technique to woo young customers and revive gross sales. FILE PHOTO: A Harley-Davidson Inc. fee is viewed on the Paris auto point to in Paris, France, October 4, 2018. REUTERS/Benoit TessierJochen Zeitz modified into asked to lift over after Chief Govt Officer Matthew Levatich stepped down following the Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based entirely firm’s worst gross sales efficiency in now not decrease than 16 years. Harley-Davidson talked about Zeitz will abet as meantime CEO except an exterior search agency helps obtain a new chief executive. Michael Uhlarik, founding father of consultancy Motorbike World, talked about Levatich’s exit modified into expected. He talked about Harley modified into at risk of give Zeitz a prolonged term as he has “confirmed turnaround” abilities. Zeitz is successfully identified for remodeling the loss-making Puma in the 1990s into one of the enviornment’s high three sports actions manufacturers. “It is now not in regards to the next quarter or earnings per share,” Uhlarik talked about. “They’ll favor to design a prolonged-period of time, multi-one year technique.” Harley has failed for years to lengthen gross sales in the US, its high market, which accounts for bigger than half of of its motorcycles sold. As its tattooed, small one-boomer consumer sinful ages, the Milwaukee-based entirely firm is finding it now not easy to entice new customers. Levatich, who took the firm’s reins in Also can merely 2015, wager on new launches, along with of battery-powered bikes, to flip around the firm’s fortunes in the home market. The results, alternatively, remained elusive. Harley’s 2019 U.S. bike gross sales were the bottom in now not decrease than 16 years. Falling gross sales in the past 12 quarters possess compelled the firm to limit manufacturing of its bikes to forestall sign carve fee force and give protection to earnings. In 2019, Harley’s bike shipment volume in the US modified into the bottom in now not decrease than two a protracted time. World shipments were the bottom since 2010. With out a gross sales revival in ogle, merchants were turning into restless. Since Levatich took the helm, Harley’s shares possess fallen 46%. By comparison, the S&P 500 Index .SPX has received 40%. Falling gross sales possess had made Wall Avenue speculate whether the firm, which symbolized the counterculture motion of the 1960s, would seek refuge in a buyout or flip non-public to remodel its product lines and branding with out the force from shareholders to protect its earnings margins. Good month, Levatich tried to parry that quiz by expressing self perception in the present technique. But he furthermore acknowledged that the challenges facing Harley were “vital” as its heavy and pricey bikes were competing for “of us’s scarce time, of us’s scarce funding and dedication.” Levatich will aid with the transition through the tip of March, the firm talked about. On Friday, Harley’s shares closed down 2.2% at $30.47. Making improvements to by Diane Craft and Tom Brown
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