Harley-Davidson has announced its overall profit for the last three months of 2015 was significantly lower than for the same period of the previous year. The company’s quarterly profit was reported as $42.2 million, down by 43% from $74.5 million for the final quarter of 2014. The result, however, was better than most Wall St analysts expected. “Unprecedented challenges” of the global economy and competitive pressures are being blamed for the decline. Company President and CEO Matt Levatich said that “Without a doubt, it’s been one of the most competitive environments we have seen in years, particularly in the United States”. “Much of it is driven by currency differences, and some of it by new products from competitors all around the world.” Total worldwide sales of Harley-Davidsons dropped by less than 1% in the quarter, but sales in the United States fell by 3.4%. The US is the manufacturer’s largest and traditionally strongest market. The company says sales in the US have declined as the economy slowed in some states, and foreign competitors cut prices of their bikes to attract customers. In other markets, growth has been strong. Sales grew by 12.3% in Canada and 8.2% in the Asia Pacific region, and Harley-Davidson is currently the biggest seller of road bikes in Australia. The company is optimistic it can improve sales in the coming year. By looking to other markets and rationalising its product line it is hoping to attract a younger and more diverse customer base, including more women, to the brand. It expects to ship between 269,000 and 274,000 motorcycles worldwide in 2016, an increase of approximately 1-3% on its 2015 shipments. To help achieve that, Harley-Davidson also recently announced a 65% increase in its marketing budget for the year.
Category: Motorcycle News
Swann Insurance and Insure My Ride have been named as Australia’s best value motorcycle insurers. Financial research and ratings organisation CANSTAR rated 11 providers in the first ever research of comprehensive motorcycle insurance in Australia. InsureMyRide and Swann Insurance were both awarded 5-star ratings on a National level for providing Outstanding Value Motorcycle Insurance. InsureMyRide achieved 5-star ratings in 23 categories and were found to have a very strong price offering for older riders. Through a strong offering of both price and extensive features, Swann Insurance managed to achieve 5-star ratings in 79 categories. Full results of the research are available on CANSTAR’s website, broken down by age, state and the engine capacity of the bike. “In collecting our insurance quotes we looked at the cost at four different ages,” said Canstar Research Manager, Mitchell Watson. Age was found to be the most significant factor affecting insurance premiums. “As an example, our research found an average annual premium for a 300cc bike of $1,869, that reduces to an average of $849 for a 24 year-old”, says Mitchell. “Comprehensive insurance for a 600cc bike is an average of $4,309 for a 20 year-old and $2,056 for a 24 year-old. A 30 year-old will pay just $1,209 on average for the same policy.” South Australia and Western Australia were also found to have lower premiums. “More traffic congestion increases the risk of minor accidents, for example. And a higher population also increases the risk of theft.” Consequently, New South Wales and the ACT have the highest premiums in the country. But Mr Watson was also quick to point out that price alone should not be the deciding factor for insurance. “There are standard insurance inclusions that all providers offer, but there are also some outstanding value-adds.” “Features such as covering the cost of a hire car, or a lifetime guarantee on repairs, or even just a really good online claims process can make a big difference to your claims experience.” Swann Insurance was also found to offer the best value on a state level in Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria. NRMA was awarded State Winner in New South Wales, while in Western Australia top honours went to SGIO Insurance. In 2015 there were over 807,000 motorcycles registered in Australia but until now there was no reliable comparison of comprehensive insurance to help owners decide how to insure their bikes.
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