Bill Davidson, vice president of Harley-Davidson Museum and great-grandson of company co-founder William A. Davidson, talks with employees about the 2014
Bill Davidson, vice president of Harley-Davidson Museum and great-grandson of company co-founder William A. Davidson, talks with employees about the 2014 Street Glide Special outside the York plant when the motorcycle was unveiled in 2013 to celebrate the company's 110th anniversary. (FILE PHOTO)

Motorcycles made in York delivered strong first-quarter results for Harley-Davidson and its shareholders.

Demand for the Project Rushmore bikes — made at the manufacturer's Springettsbury Township plant — led to a 22 percent increase in earnings per share and an 18 percent increase in net income.

"Our Project Rushmore motorcycles were in high demand in the quarter, and we began shipping the Harley-Davidson Street 750 and 500 into select markets," said CEO Keith Wandell.

The line of eight new bikes was unveiled in August and has been a hit not only at Harley's annual open house at the Eden Road factory but also in the marketplace.

"They've been huge not only for the company, but they're also really innovative motorcycles," said Harley spokeswoman Maripat Blankenheim.

Features: Project Rushmore bikes include in-dash GPS units, cooler engines, improved braking systems, increased power and a smoother ride.

The eight new models made in York are CVO Road King, CVO Ultra Limited, Electra Glide Ultra Classic, Electra Glide Ultra Limited, Road King, Street Glide, Street Glide Special and Tri Glide Ultra Trike. Those bikes were among the 57,415 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles sold during the fourth quarter — nearly a 6 percent increase from the 54,254 sold during the same quarter a year earlier.


Advertisement

Operating income from motorcycle sales grew about 26 percent to nearly $348 million, compared to about $277 million during the first quarter 2013.

Overall revenue climbed 10 percent from $1.57 billion during the first quarter 2013 to $1.73 billion in the first quarter this year.

It was especially exciting to see retail growth during the first quarter "in the midst of a long, cold winter," Wandell said.

"We're also excited to be entering the heart of the retail selling season in the U.S.," he said.

Harley expects to ship 92,000 to 97,000 motorcycles during the second quarter — a 9 to 14 percent increase compared to the same quarter last year.

Throughout the year, the company expects to ship 270,000 to 284,000 motorcycles to dealers and distributors worldwide this year — a 7 to 9 percent increase from 2013.

— Reach Candy Woodall at cwoodall@yorkdispatch.com.