Harley-Davidson sales down in U.S., up overall

David Weissman

Harley-Davidson's motorcycle sales were down slightly in the U.S., but strong numbers in international markets led to an increase in overall sales, according to the company's report of its first quarter 2016 results.

Harley-Davidson's Springettsbury Township plant is one of the stops on this year's Made in America Tours. Dawn J. Sagert photo

The Milwaukee-based company, with a major plant in Springettsbury Township, sold 0.5 percent fewer motorcycles in the U.S. during the first three months of 2016 compared to the first three months of 2015.

Harley sold 1.4 percent more motorcycles worldwide than during the first quarter of 2015, according to the report, with major increases in Canada and the Europe, Middle East, Africa region.

Worldwide retail sales were driven, in part, by increased investments in marketing and new product introductions, the release stated.

Harley released two new cruisers, the Low Rider S and CVO Pro Street Breakout, in March and introduced the new Harley Roadster on Monday.

The company also released its new "Live Your Legend" marketing campaign in March.

Harley experienced a 6.8 percent gain in revenue over last year's first quarter, but its operating income was down nearly 13 percent. The negative change was a result of a higher provision for retail credit loan losses, the company stated.

The company expects to ship 269,000 to 274,000 motorcycles during 2016, which would be a 1 percent to 3 percent increase over 2015.