Feb 8, 2022 - Economy & Business

Harley-Davidson posts strongest earnings in 5 years

Photo illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Photo: Harley-Davidson

Harley-Davidson is on the comeback trail.

Driving the news: The long-beleaguered American motorcycle maker delivered a surprise fourth-quarter profit and surging sales as the company’s turnaround strategy takes hold and its electric motorcycle strategy begins to unfold.

  • Context: The company has been grappling for years with sales declines as millennials were said to be uninterested in the "hog" lifestyle.

Investors like what they see as the company’s stock surged 16% on Tuesday following its best earnings in five years.

Details: A corporate makeover launched in 2020 is breathing new life into Harley, which has since:

  • Reduced its dealership network and cut the number of motorcycles it sells while introducing popular models.
  • Debuted a new merchandising campaign designed to extend the Harley brand beyond bikes.
  • Mapped out plans for a majority-owned standalone electric motorcycle spinoff called Livewire.

Yes, but: Supply chain issues have held the company back.

  • "This is a question of supply and not a question of demand," CEO Jochen Zeitz told investors Tuesday.
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