Harley-Davidson has reported a positive start to 2021 with the first quarter results of the calendar year showing good results in the crucial home market of North America. Sales in North America grew 30 per cent although year-on-year sales in Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA) as well as Latin America took a beating. Sales in Asia Pacific remained flat, and from all indications, CEO Jochen Zeitz's Hardwire strategy to focus on the strengths of the brand, and cut down operations in certain geographies seems to have benefited the Bar & Shield brand.
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"I am very pleased with the pace of recovery that we have seen across our business, as demonstrated by the strong financial results this quarter. The actions we have taken to reshape the business are having a positive impact on our results, especially for our most important North American region," said Zeitz, who is the Chairman, President and CEO of Harley-Davidson.
"We can see the initial signs of consumer excitement and optimism returning and I am confident Harley-Davidson in 2021 is a significantly leaner, faster, and more efficient organization which is ready to win and successfully deliver on our 5-year Hardwire strategy, as the most desirable motorcycle brand in the world," added Zeitz.
Despite global motorcycle sales being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Harley-Davidson sold 44,200 units between January and March 2021, a 9 per cent increase on the 40,400 units sold in the same period a year ago. North America (32,800 units) remains Harley-Davidson's strongest market in 2021, followed by Asia Pacific (5,850 units), EMEA (4,900 units) and Latin America (700 units). Revenue for the first quarter in 2021 is reported at $1,423 million, a 10 per cent increase over the same period a year ago, while net income is at $259 million, an increase of 272 per cent over just $70 million in the same period a year ago.