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Harley-Davidson sold more than half of America’s motorcycles last quarter, and that wasn’t nearly enough

Riders participate in a Harley-Davidson service event.
Rich-Joseph Facun/AP Images for Harley Davidson
Not enough.
By Melvin Backman
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

America’s most popular motorcycle maker reported a big miss in its third quarter earnings today (Oct. 20).

Quarterly sales of $1.1 billion fell short of Harley-Davidson’s own expectations, as well as those of Wall Street. Investors made their displeasure known.

Chief among the reasons the company gave for its poor performance was a loss of market share to price-slashing Asian competitors. It sold 52.4% of all motorcycles in the US last quarter, down from 56.3% just a year ago. Not only were cheaper rivals stealing away would-be buyers, but the recall of more than 185,000 late-model bikes over the summer made it harder to move new units as well.

“We fully recognize we have to raise our game,” CEO Matt Levatich said on Harley’s earnings call.

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