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More E-H Bad News

5749 Views 16 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  LimeSqueezr
Do we really need another $19,000 cruiser? I thought Harley had that end of

the market! Way too much money! Who bank rolled these guys?
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I think they need to finish going bankrupt already. How many times have we heard that they're going to tank? By now it's inevitable. Anyone who still gives money to this company is crazy.

Starving Student
$19,000? There are people willing to pay a lot more than that for these type of motorcyles. Have you priced an American Ironhorse, or an Indian recently? The prices of these bikes makes my Ducati look like a veritable bargain!

I think that any American motorcycle manufacturer would be good for competition. I understnad that the Hanlons were misguided, but I know my TC88B FatBoy is as good as it is because of all the competition Harley has been facing...foreign and domestic. I wish the Hanlons could have had a better head for business.
Hmm, what happened to that huge thread of comments started with the "European" slamming Americans?

Did MO delete this? I guess this wasn't quality feedback, even though the posters weren't anonymous squids.
Sorry my mistake, must have been one of those afternoons, that posting was on the story titled "One Man's Support of E-H".

A thousand apologies. I will hold back my next 10 flames on MO as punishment.
Market Barometer?

This is a little off topic, but not much if you think about the state of expensive cruisers in America. Has anyone noticed more and more Harley Davidsons on the showroom floors at their local dealers? I visit several area Harley dealers regularly just to look and I have noticed inventories slowly building up over the past year, especially this winter and spring so far. Are the economic worries affecting cruiser sales? I think so. Titan and EH failing appear to be the first victims of the slowdown. Will Harley Davidson soon be offering dealer incentives like most other bike manufacturers in order to speed up inventory movement? It will be interesting to see over the next few months. Just my $0.02.
Re: Market Barometer?

I think you are probably seeing a true reflection of market forces at work. All of our local H-D shops are still sold out and have a backlog, so we haven't seen this as yet. All of our local shops sell at MSRP as well so the incentive to buy is stronger. I love my Harley, so it would be great to see various models on the showroom floor to choose from and some price incentives.
Re: Market Barometer?


The bikes you’ve seen on the sales floor are they new models or used? The local dealerships in Eastern PA only have used bikes on the floor, which are priced even higher than you could get new one for. The company is in great shape.

HD is still breaking sales records. Their advertising is top notch, when was the last time you saw someone with a McDonalds tattoo? For years people have been saying that HD’s lock on the Cruiser market will end. Yet every year more and more models are sold, and often at prices way over MSRP (which is the dealers doing).

Until the U.S. consumers wake up from the HD dream nothing will change.
It might happen but it not yet...

IF youv'e seen many new bikes on the floor lately IAL that's because lately it's been the middle of the nastiest winter in years for much of the country. That in itself causes some people economic worries and certainly dampens their enthusiasm about buying a motorcycle. It no doubt has allowed some people to pick up Harleys that are a (relatively speaking!) bargain in situations where a dealer or individual was badly needing to generate some cash flow. But all indications are that this spring there will be the usual shortage though maybe not quite as bad since Harley has declared its intent to get production up to a level where nobody will have to wait "more than a year" and some models e.g. Sportsters can already be had at or near MSRP with only a few months wait at most.

Now, if we were to get into a truly lugubrious recession which we're not in yet by any stretch of the imagination, I'm sure all motorcycle sales including Harleys would be affected and yes you would see the kind of deals Harley hasn't had to do since the early 80's.
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Re: Market Barometer?

With due consideration to the winter season, mild fear of an economic dip/recession, and recent bankruptcy news, there does seem to be a regional buildup of unsold (new) bikes in some HD dealerships. It is most evident in areas plagued by dealers who routinely market at over MSRP. This is somewhat predictable as more and more customers are willing to travel to purchase a bike at (or near) MSRP. However, I think a more telling indicator is the resale prices (as relfected in actual consumated sales - not the advertised sale pricing) of the "formerly owned" HD motorcycles. These "real world" numbers will bear watching as spring begets summer... and the used Harley market sinks further. If one is in the market for an older evo HD, bargains will be prevalent. It would not surprise me to see many late model Twin-cam models for sale (with the owner assuring all potential buyres the the inherent "bearing issue" has been addressed..). It will likely be sporadic at first - not all areas will be initially impacted; but It may indeed be that HD's magnificent marketing machine cannot overcome the growing dissatisfaction and attrition of its presumed market base. Customer profiling and target group sampling will not compensate for mediocrity of product. Any viable manufacturer must competitively improve or suffer diminished sales - brilliant "lifestyle marketing" notwithstanding.

This is just one man's observations and subsequent expectations... but it is perhaps worthy of contemplation.
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Re: Market Barometer?

The scalpers who slap a big "vaseline tax" on top of MSRP have *always* had plenty of bikes --if they ever have to turn away a sucker with money burning his hand because they don't have something on the floor, then they figure they're not slapping on enough. Most offensive are the car dealers who buy them up every year from certain authorized Harley shops who allow it, and whom I suspect are in cahoots with them.
In reading the Star Tribune article linked to this news item, one detail stood out. This is so outrageous, it didn't even register the first time I read it:

"Butch Donahue, an Excelsior-Henderson dealer in Delano and a former board member of the motorcycle company, said he's lost $150,000 to $200,000 on repairs his shop made under warranties that were not reimbursed by the new owners."

How many E-H's did this guy work on?!?! ALL OF THEM?! What could possibly cost 150 to 200 grand?!
Ha! Good point. Talk about not standing behind your product!.

As to those that believe that their HD's will never lose any resale value, I too, have noted that several of the local dealer here in the SF Bay Area have increasing numbers of new bikes on the floor and available for sale. Not many, usually. And granted,there are still few 1998 models on floor of some the other makes. Of course, California is by far the largest market for HD's, and fortunately for HD, Californians are not fickle.
I'm sure he's talking about what COULD have been billed...

to customers at regular repair prices (except for the fact they weren't obliged to pay it) rather than what those repairs cost out of his own pocket. IF it amounts to that much in that short a time at just one dealership then I think that's a BIG clue who's REALLY going to get "screwed" once EH is totally out of business and the warranties are good for wrapping used cat litter!
Repair Woes

Yeah, I understand your point about what could have been billed vs. what the actual loss was.

However, the numbers are still staggering! Just think about it:

These are warranty repairs, we shouldn't be talking about overhauls (though, who knows!) & we certainly aren't talking about repairing/replacing parts due to crash damage &/or abuse.

Even if the shop charges $80 an hour for labor, lets just assume that the average repair takes 2 hours & uses a part that costs $200. Yeah, I know it's not scientific, I'm just trying to get some perspective here.

That taken into account, the average repair should be valued at $360.00 (less tax of course). Using these numbers, that shop would have had to make anywhere from 417 to 556 repairs! In a year & a half!! At ONE dealership!!!

Again, know my figures have no scientific basis...but DAMN!!!
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I agree it does seem like a lot...

but I don't know how many units that number was spread over. I'm pretty sure that, especially if translated to retail rates nobody gets for warranty work, there are some large multi-brand dealerships doing more than that annually in repairs. However, I have no idea if any EH dealer ever attained that sort of volume. I doubt it. As Dirksen said "there are lies, there are damn lies, and then there are statistics..." so I'm sure the numbers have been cooked in a way that makes him look like a good guy who's really hurting for his customers (to soften 'em for when he has to say "tough s**t").
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