Tuesday 1st September 2015
The headline news in Harley-Davidson's 2016 model year announcement is of updated Sportster 883 'Iron' and XL1200 'FortyEight' designs, two quasi-new limited edition cruiser models with the 'S-series' Softail Slim and FatBoy 110 inchers, the return of a model that should never have been retired in the first place (an updated specification Road Glide Ultra), power hop-ups and new paint jobs - especially black.
The updated Iron 883cc and 1200 cc Forty-Eight Sportster models "assert Harley-Davidson's Dark Custom leadership with motorcycles inspired by the rebellious spirit of the past, updated with modern design and new suspensions that put a little extra smooth in the Harley-Davidson soul."
The 'S-series' limited edition cruisers feature "big power and cutting-edge style." The Fat Boy S and Softail Slim S "combine rich finishes with the impressive Screamin' Eagle Twin Cam 110 engine to deliver head-turning style and performance."
Tuesday 7th July 2015
THE third annual AIMExpo (American International Motorcycle Expo) at Orlando, Florida, (October 15 - 18) is headed for further growth this year and now includes added v-twin aftermarket features.
The event continues to differentiate itself from prior 'mainstream' trade show formulas in the United States and delivers on former MIC Chairman Larry Little's vision of bringing a European style Milan or Cologne Show motorcycle industry experience to the North American motorcycle market.
Bob Kay, v-twin industry event director, says that AIMExpo has "created a new paradigm for motorcycling. A way to come together at one place, at one time, at the right time adjacent to an existing major rally - Biketoberfest - in a grand celebration of the riding lifestyle and business.
Friday 3rd July 2015
THE new motorcycle registrations data for Europe so far this year confirms the fragility of the recovery that last year's market statistics started to show.
While some 65 percent of Europe's motorcycle registrations remain based on just seven markets (Italy, France, Germany, Spain, UK, Switzerland and Austria) the variables within those individual national markets have international significance - for motorcycle manufacturers and for parts, accessory, performance, and apparel product manufacturers and brand owners.
It can be no coincidence that macro-economic factors and motorcycle regulatory issues are at their most challenging in the one of the 'Big Seven' where there is still very little sign of growth yet - France.
Tuesday 30th June 2015
FOR about nine months now I've been writing about the Motor Company's softening sales profile, its fiscal position, the impact both have been having on their share price, and the possible implications on their independence.
I have been writing-up reports on Harley-Davidson's quarterly results since September 1993, so I guess in that time I have gotten pretty well attuned to the nuances of their reporting.
After a while you become pretty familiar with what can be gleaned between the lines - not so much between the lines of their press release text, as that is pretty meaningless BS at the best of times anyway, but between the lines of the numbers they release.
Friday 26th June 2015
For the first quarter of its new (January - December 2015) financial year, Yamaha's global net sales income from motorcycles was up by +8 percent (243.5 billion yen, up 18.0 billion yen) compared with the same period of the previous fiscal year; operating income was 10 billion yen, an increase of 6.2 billion yen (+164.2%).
Yamaha's total global unit sales for the first quarter of 2015 were actually down by nearly -14 percent (193,000 units) at 1,196,000 from 1,389,000 in the first quarter of 2014.
Thursday 25th June 2015
For their financial year from April 2014 to March 31st 2015, net sales in Suzuki's motorcycle business decreased by ¥16.1 billion (6.0%) to ¥250.5 billion - mainly due to reduced sales in Asia, according to the company.
Motorcycle operating income of ¥0.1 billion in the previous fiscal year became an operating loss of ¥0.7 billion.
Suzuki's total worldwide production of motorcycles and ATVs was down by -11.2 percent at 1,799,000 units (from 2,033,000 in 2013/2014). Domestic Japanese production was 154,000 units (-14.7 percent) with exports of those machines -17.6 percent at 105,000 units from 127,000 in 2013/2014.
Total unit sales (including 22,000 ATVs) are reported -12.8 percent for 2014/2015 at 1,763,000 from 2,022,000 in 2013/2014.
Wednesday 24th June 2015
The latest data released by ACEM, the Brussels based international motorcycle industry trade association, says that motorcycle registrations grew by +4.9% during the first four months of 2015 on a year-on-year basis. A total of 295,760 motorcycles were registered between January and April 2015, against 281,950 during the same period of 2014.
Year-on-year motorcycle registrations increased in key European markets including Spain (36,025 units, +17.4%), the UK (33,690 units, +13.8%), Germany (62,210 units, +3.8%) and Italy (57,425 units, +1.3%). Registrations were down in France (52,265 units, -2.7%).
Total Powered Two-Wheeler (PTW) registrations were up by +0.2 percent for the first four months of the year (January - April 2015).