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Screen Shot 2016-08-10 at 11.42.14 AMI’m a bit late getting this information out, but you can read the company press release HERE.

From my experience you know it’s going to be a long day when the financial perspective includes statements about how we’re in challenging times…  “Political, economic and cultural forces working against the confidence and security for people everywhere in the world” — whoa, roll the eerie and scary sound effects!

Here is a quick synopsis:

The Bad:

  • Worldwide sales for the quarter were down due to significant declines in the U.S. industry which was a surprise and far weaker than expected. Worldwide retail sales of new Harley-Davidson motorcycles in Q2 were down 1.9%.  U.S. retail sales were lower than expected on surprisingly weak industry results.  Q2 retail sales in the U.S. were down 5.2% versus prior year, behind weak U.S. industry sales.
  • U.S. retail inventory was up at the end of the second quarter.
  • Manufacturing expenses were higher than expected, driven by startup costs related to the implementation of a new ERP system in Kansas City, and costs associated with plant retooling.  In addition, plant efficiencies were lower than expected due to lower production given soft sales in Q2.  This is an overly simple statement because in reality it’s complex planning and execution, including numerous down days, inventory bridges and careful new model ramp plans.
  • The motor company stated they are taking steps to lower expected 2016 shipments which is largely due to continued pressure on industry growth in the U.S.  Third quarter shipments are expected to be approximately flat to down 9% versus 2015 third quarter.

The Good:

  • Revenue was up slightly.  Net income was $280.4 million on consolidated revenue of $1.86 billion compared to net income of $299.8 million on consolidated revenue of $1.82 billion in last year’s second quarter.
  • Q2 market share of 49.5% in the U.S., was up a strong 2.0 percentage points. The gains came in all segments, Touring, Cruisers and the Street/Sportster segment size of motorcycles. And it came from all seven sales regions in the U.S. The market share gains were over double the nearest competitor and came largely at the expense of Japanese competitors.
  • Retail sales in international markets were up in Q2 in all regions except Latin America (Brazil).
  • The company added six new international dealerships in the second quarter and has a goal to add 150+ international dealers over the next 4 years.

Given this current environment one could wonder if Harley-Davidson is positioned appropriately for the flat/declining industry which seemed to surprise them in Q2 — management states they are prepared.

Full Disclosure:  I have NO personal stock holdings in HOG or plans to procure any.

Some parts of the above text are attributable to the Seeking Alpha transcript on July 28, 2016.  Photo courtesy of Harley-Davidson.

All Rights Reserved (C) Northwest Harley Blog
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I’ve heard this stated many times before… “When the revolution comes, they’ll not only want to know what side you’re on, but what side you’ve been on.”

I’m reading about the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) and watching the “Occupy Portland” protests skeptically. The protesters in Portland (estimated by police to be about 5000) gathered in Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland yesterday after marching from the city’s waterfront.  With so few news outlets in the northwest, we’re not quite sure what these protesters want.  Some say they want Obama re-elected, but claim to hate “Wall Street.”  You know the same Wall Street that gave its largest campaign donation in history to Obama, who in turn, bailed out the banks and made Goldman Sachs what seems like the 4th branch of the government!

99%

The one thing we do know is they’re angry, that 1% have all the money and they’ve got next to nothing and believe they are the 99%.

People are hurting. This is not a one party issue. This is a human issue. This is a fight over the future of America.  I’m not saying you can’t be rich, but you’ve got to pay your taxes.  How much should they be?   Let’s start the debate.  However, when people are losing their homes, their jobs, everything they’ve saved, and you don’t exhibit compassion, you don’t reach down to help them, then you’re on the wrong side.

We all know friends or have family members who have worked really hard all their life only to lose their home and get no support from the banks.  The banks are on the wrong side.  Greedy real estate bankers loaned money to anyone who could “fog a mirror” which then cratered the housing market and is now helping bankrupt the country.  Then they demanded taxpayers bail them out, a demand that complicit, corrupt politicians (yes, of both parties) were only too happy to oblige.

Occupy Portland

And, like most of the protestors I’m fed up with the political gridlock in Washington.  Both sides stand in the way of change.  At this point I don’t see any difference between George Bush than when Obama was elected.  The middle-class is worse off.  The gap between rich and poor is alarming. Because it stifles ambition. Why make the effort if you can’t get ahead?  And if you think the American Dream still exists, you probably live in Europe, the odds of going from the bottom to the top are much more difficult.

And suddenly all of this is a hot issue?!  Huh?

Some politicians and members of the media have chastised the protesters suggesting that they should stop protesting and go get a job or should instead start companies so they can help form a less self-involved, more gregarious and forward-thinking American capitalism.  Yeah, that’s the ticket.  Slam the folks trying to shed some light.

These people aren’t against the system. Most are not lazy people sitting around looking for a handout.  They don’t want to bring down America. They just want some sense of fairness restored to the system as it is, and they want a chance to participate and be heard. Instead, they’ve been marginalized by corporate money and ripped off by their banks and financial institutions.  They’ve been promised that hard work and a good education are what it takes to succeed, then slammed by a lack of opportunities, then told by sneering political candidates that if you’re poor, well it’s they’re own fault. It’s not really surprising that things have reached a boiling point.

This isn’t about protests; it’s about how banks, corporations and corrupt government policies are disenfranchising and bankrupting everyday Americans.  The protests are about taking proactive steps towards rectifying — or at least shedding light on — that situation.

Since the Vietnam War, I’ve never seen anything like this as a form of political protest. It’s wrenching, honest and true.  Personally, I can’t stop thinking about this guy,

Photos courtesy of AP (Map), Oregonlive (Pioneer Place) and We Are The 99 Percent.

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Yesterday, President Obama returned to Portland, OR to try and fire up the Democrats or rekindle some political magic.  There was an enthusiastic crowd estimated near 10,000 which packed the convention center and listened as the president stumped for John Kitzhaber, who is locked in a tight race for his old job as governor.

Sadly, the visit occurred in the middle of rush-hour traffic and triggered an accident on I-84 when eastbound traffic slowed to watch Obama’s motorcade traveling west from the Portland Air National Guard Base.

At about 6pm, a northeast Portland man (Peter Kendall Gunderson, age 59) was eastbound when he may have failed to see traffic ahead of him was slowing as police were closing down the westbound lanes for the upcoming presidential motorcade to travel in.  Gunderson lost control as he braked for the slowing eastbound traffic.  The motorcycle skidded then fell onto its side, sliding uncontrolled in the left eastbound lane until it hit underneath a stopped 2010 Chevrolet Camaro. The motorcycle came to rest near the center concrete barrier and quickly caught fire.  Some witnesses pulled Mr. Gunderson away from the burning motorcycle to the far right eastbound lane.  Mr. Gunderson was transported by AMR ambulance to Legacy Emanuel Hospital with critical injuries, but died this morning.  The full OSP report is HERE.  It’s unclear if police had enough lead time to plan a safer route in Portland.

Peter Gunderson Accident

I did a quick search and it turns out that there are many deaths across the U.S. just so the president or a dignitary doesn’t need to sit in traffic. Many are motorcycle officers, but some are similar to Mr. Gunderson being caught up in the police route.

For example, in 2006, a Honolulu officer died when he and two other motorcycle officers crashed while part of a presidential motorcade. In 2007, a police officer died after crashing his motorcycle while riding in a motorcade with President Bush.  In 2008, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s only campaign swing through North Texas was cut short after a police officer in her motorcade died in a crash on the way to a rally.  Also in 2008, an Albuquerque, N.M., police officer in President Bush’s motorcade died in a motorcycle crash.

I’m not blaming Obama – just pointing out that presidential motorcades aren’t safe for everyone!  My condolences to Mr. Gunderson’s family.

No word if President Obama or anyone in his administration has tried to reach out to Mr. Gunderson’s family.

Photo courtesy of Oregonian and OSP.

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NO thanks!  It’s a reference to Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski and the rift between the average Joe and state legislators which is now as wide as the Grand Canyon.

I woke up this morning disappointed, even a little discouraged and a whole butt load of resentment.

Why?  Well you see Multnomah county determined the future of the entire state by overtly influencing the outcome of Measure 66 and 67 which increases Oregon’s personal income tax rate and corporate taxes.  Sure the passage effects only the so-called  “high income” earners… it really should have been called the lets tax the “other guy” campaign.  But does anyone truly think for a second legislators will stop there?  NO! It will be only minutes before they start to whine about the next tax increase and the need to “save the children” and then it will be about going after the “kicker” law that rebates revenue surpluses.  And if you’re a betting person, there is money to be made if you bet on legislators who will silently work to LOWER the income bar on Measure 66 until all of us working at McD’s is considered to be a “high earner.”

Clearly the thing we will never hear from Salem is how they are making budget cuts like the rest of us in the state who are trying to survive salary reductions, layoffs and the recession.  It’s their ego and ARROGANCE which fuels my resentment.  These “tax and spend” legislators know only how to spend or make commitments to raise taxes.  Now they believe they’ve been given a mandate to raise taxes everywhere with Measure 66 passing.  They are ecstatic and will stop at nothing to satisfy their uncontrollable spending desires.

And if the lack of humility and blind arrogance wasn’t enough – the most egregious action by the people we put in office to represent us — our legislators — was making the Measure 66 tax increase retroactive to January 2009.  SURPRISE — A lot of people woke up this morning delinquent and owing back taxes to the state!  Get your check book ready.  In a state where 1-in-5 people can’t find work.  A state where 650,000 people are on food stamps.  Where there is record school-aged poverty and record mortgage defaults.  Yep, it takes a big EGO to submit tax increase legislation for all small businesses who create the jobs and increase the tax on the people who will invest in the state and then believe you are immune to any ramifications.

I previously posted that this tax increase will be the tipping point and likely shutter several motorcycle shops in the area. I hope I’m wrong.  All I can say is hang on.  For me?  In a word — Vancouver, WA. — it will likely be where my next home is located.

For the legislators?  I plan to set up the Taxation Addicts Anonymous outreach program.  Because after the next round of elections I anticipate there will be a large number of recovering addicts.

Photo courtesy of Ian Bradshaw

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Meetings.  Talking.  Meetings.

We’re always being reminded that political leaders, policymakers and industry leaders are “gathering” to hash out ideas on how to get the mojo back and what the key is to unlocking innovations and jobs of the future.  We’re suppose to feel good, but from my vantage there is little visible in the way of action.

The White House has made a quiet but extensive effort to reach out to corporate executives in a series of dinners and lunches at the White House with President Barack Obama.  Attendees have largely been kept secret or at minimum very quiet… until now!

Politico.com states Keith Wandell (Harley-Davidson CEO) had dinner with Obama’s chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and other top White House officials.  Another comprehensive list is available HERE.  It’s not clear if it was at an off-site local restaurant or something more elegant in the White House.  Given the state-of-the-states, I seriously doubt the motor company will be creating any new jobs soon. In fact, the recent ratified agreement calls for a drawdown of nearly 50% of the employee’s base at the York, PA operations.  Asia or India look like expansion alternatives and I suspect it won’t be long before we hear about plants being set up there.  So, what did Mr. Wandell share w/ the White House chief of staff?  Would H-D coming to the government to offer ideas on how they can help be a startling conversation changer?  Does H-D have eyes and ears on future trends that they can grab and then be able to exploit?

I’m not sure, but do you think the U.S. is still the world’s center for innovation, or is it falling behind countries such as India and China?  Fueling the debate is a new poll on innovation published by Newsweek. One interesting finding: while 82% of Chinese citizens believe the U.S. remains a technologically innovative country, only 74% of Americans feel the same way.

At any rate,  the other industry officials who joined Mr. Wandell at the June 16, Rahm Emanuel dinner were:

Penny Pritzker, CEO, Pritzker Realty
Mark Gallogly of Centerbridge Partners
Mike Fascitelli, CEO, Vornado Realty Trust
Klaus Kleinfeld, CEO, Alcoa
Dave O’Reilly, CEO, Chevron
Richard Smith, CEO, Realogy
Mike Ullman, CEO, J.C. Penney
Keith Wandell, CEO, Harley Davidson

I’m not attacking or implying that only favor-curriers are “sitting at the presidents table” but I’m not reading a lot about how the voice of the average lower and middle class American are being heard.  As the White House National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers has recently urged attendees at these dinners to “think about what your institution should be called on to do, not in its own interest, but in the broader national interest.”

Photo courtesy of Presidential inauguration.

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inauguration_hdAs you likely know the presidential inauguration is coming up on Tuesday, January 20th.    

Harley-Davidson of Frederick, MD has been busy working for months preparing 12 motorcycles that will lead the parade.  The motorcycles are part of the famous “Power V”, a v-formation that leads the inaugural parade through the streets of Washington, D.C. as folks from around the world watch.  The bikes are 2009 FLHTP Electra Glides with oversized 103 cu in motors and are the lead bikes in the 50 motorcycle inaugural parade.  The bikes are used exclusively for escort and security duty in the DC Metro Police department.

With auto sales on the skid and the ink on the General Motors bail-out loan check barely dry, President-elect Obama will be ridin’ in style with an all new 2009 armored Cadillac Presidential Limousine.  Fitted with an increased viewing area from the completely sealed interior (to ward off chemical attack), it has larger windows and better visibility for the new first family.  But I’ve digressed…

The Harley motorcycles arrived in Frederick last October as white motorcycles and white side crates.  The dealer then added sidecar, decals, lights, fans and a lot of labor to make it all work.  The price tag for the 12 motorcycles was about $26,000 for each vehicle.  They were built at Harley’s largest manufacturing facility – Springettsbury Township Plant – and customized by Frederick’s with unique radio brackets, wiring harnesses and flag brackets.  One unique data and selling point is that Harley is the only maker of police pursuit motorcycles that have sidecar attachments.

Nothing provides a symbol of Americana like a Harley-Davidson “V” formation parade.  Congrats.

Photo taken at Flamingo in Laughlin, NV.

 

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Are you ready?  You are not going to believe this.  You heard it first here on the Northwest Harley blog…Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (and Vice Presidential candidate) had a corn removed from her left foot.  Yes!  You heard correctly she was involved in a non-life threatening, non-surgical incident.  I can’t prove it with photo’s, but I’ve heard from the Rev Wright camp so, if you agree pass it along to 50 people.

So much “noise” being generated about Sarah Palin that the political landscape has become muddy murky with all types of reports being passed off as accurate.  I know we’re all stressed out about the damage of Hurricane Ike, but folks some of us are acting more stupid than others.

Palin SNL Spoof

Palin SNL Spoof

I saw a report about Palin being a motorcyclist.  Clearly a photo of her sitting on a Harley Street Glide would suggest her persona as an experienced rider extraordinaire…what about those safety patches and ABATE MSF training stickers?  Shall we then jump to a conclusion that she will seek to eliminate helmet laws, smog laws, and noise laws, just for us Harley riders?  Who knows. 

In April 2008 she did proclaim that May would be Motorcycle Awareness Month in this Alaska press release.  But the press even twisted that information!  ABATE is now Alaska Bikers Advocating Training and Education (ABATE)…and here I thought all this time it stood for A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments (ABATE).  This site in Indiana calls it American Bikers Aimed Toward Education so, it looks like certain regions are making adjustments to sound less subversive?  Here is the site in Oregon

Mary Peters Discusses Motorcycle Safety

Mary Peters Discusses Motorcycle Safety

It turns out that Photoshop is the application of choice for the “disinformation generators” and we’d be hard press to determine fact from invention.  Even the news outlets focus too much on the non-relevant “corn” stories vs. Palin having a life-long motorcycle philosophy or how having a motorcycle enthusiast in the White House would affect anything.  But wait!  Don’t we have a “motorcycle enthusiast” in the current administration…she’s called secretary of transportation, Mary Peters.  Yes, she is an actual Harley rider!  She’s made it her mission to get helmet laws enacted in all 50 states, but has cut training programs.  Not exactly the motorcycle rights advocate we might have been looking for, huh?   Ken Bingenheimer at the Passes and Canyons blog has done a great job writing about Peters.  Check it out if you want more information. 

My point is the political landscape has become so clouded with reports trying to be passed off as accurate in the main steam media that all I can say is good grief… readers beware

P.S. – Hey did you know that Palin was on SNL and now they are talking about how great of an actor she is…

P.S.S – Hey did you know it was being reported in the blogs over the weekend that when Palin was 5 years old, maybe it was 4½ she was seen playing in a mud puddle!  Now that’s not presidential and if you agree send this on to 22 more people, ASAP!

Palin photos courtesy of NBC and Xanga.

Peters photo courtesy of DOT.

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