Harley-Davidson powers ahead
Stephen Foley is a former Associate Business Editor of The Independent, based in New York. He left in August 2012. In a decade at the paper, he covered personal finance, the UK stock market and the pharmaceuticals industry, and had also been the Business section's share tipster. Between arriving with three suitcases in Manhattan in January 2006 and his departure, he witnessed and reported on a great economic boom turning spectacularly to bust. In March 2009, he was named Business and Finance Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards.
Thursday 02 August 2012
A new generation of motorcycle enthusiasts are buying Harley-Davidsons, thanks to a concerted marketing push aimed at refreshing the company's image.
Cheaper, sleeker, customised machines are appealing to under-35s, and the company tours its "Jumpstart" experience round music festivals and other youth hangouts, so that people who have never ridden a motorcycle can try it out on a stationary bike.
Harley sales were up 14.6 per cent in the second quarter, to $1.73bn (£1.1bn), and profits came in above expectations at $247.3m, up 29.7 per cent. The company warned it was not immune to Europe's economic slowdown, though, and its cautious outlook sent shares down 3 per cent in morning trading in New York.
Keith Wandell, chief executive, said the company was "working hard every day to unleash the full potential of Harley-Davidson", and it was opening new dealerships internationally, including in the UK.
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