Heavy motorcycles gained weight in the market last year with Harley-Davidson recording 4.4 percent global sales growth and Polaris (manufacturer of Victory and Indian motorcycles) earning a record US$356.29. Million, up 22 percent.
Polaris Industries had better-than-expected earnings and revenue for the fourth quarter, boosted by strong off-road vehicle sales and the relaunch of its Indian motorcycles.
The company's motorcycle sales rose 94 percent during the fourth quarter to US$64.32 million, helped by the debut of the new Indian Chief models. Off-road vehicles rose 16 percent to US$616 million, while sales of snowmobiles dropped 13 percent to US$125.28 million. Worldwide sales of Harley-Davidson motorcycles grew 5.7 percent in the fourth quarter and 4.4 percent for the full year to 260,839, recording a net income of US$686.21 million compared with US583.28 million in 2012.
Harley-Davidson chairman, Keith Wandell, says it was a big year for the company with its 110th anniversary celebrations, the Project Rushmore Touring bikes and the announcement of the new Indian made Street family of learner and mid-weight motorcycles.
This year should also be good for the iconic brand as the Harley-Davidson Street family starts rolling out of America and its new Indian manufacturing facilities. It's still unclear if Thailand will get the Harley-Davidson Street 750 or the Street 500. Meanwhile, Polaris expects a serious growth in earnings this year.