Harley dealers idled in slow spring

Second quarter Harley-Davidson dealer sales have been slow so far because of a late spring, according to a report released by Milwaukee-based Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc. today.

However, things are picking up for the 51 dealers Baird surveyed as the weather improves, particularly for new bikes like the Project Rushmore line.

While the second quarter is flat from 2013 so far, Baird predicts a strong finish in June, helped along by Harley’s Street models. The Street bikes are used in the Riding Academy training fleets, so they will be recorded as retail sales right away, the firm said.

In addition, inventory is lean, and newer models are in high demand.
“Rushmore has been huge,” one dealer said of sales.

Sentiment among dealers surveyed is good, and the dealers expect retail growth of 5 percent for the year, which is in line with Baird’s forecast.

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