Retail Apocalypse Watch: Spotting The Early Warning Signs With Harley-Davidson

Between the competition heating up and President Trump talking “fair and reciprocal trade”, Harley-Davidson may not be able to catch the break it needs…

The retail apocalypse is a common theme here because we are documenting the economic collapse in real time. Most of the time we cover the end stage of the collapse, but this time, it seems appropriate to see what it looks like in the beginning stages.

This is not to say that Harley-Davidson will suffer the fate of Sears of Toys-R-Us, but, when taken into consideration the pressure from competition and the unknown variables of President Trump’s trade policies, the iconic motorcycle company could be thrust into the retail apocalypse faster than most people can say “what ever happened to Pontiac or Oldsmobile?

Thinking it could never happen to such an iconic brand is understandable. Harley-Davidson has An American as apple pie feel to it like few brands do.

But when the next recession hits, second cars, and for that matter, first motorcycles, may have to go to either raise some extra cash or tighten the belt. Or they may not be purchased if it was a person one was on the fence about.

So presented in today’s Retail Apocalypse Watch is Harley-Davidson.

If the motorcycle company is to go down, it will be a sad day for America, but it would be fitting for what has been lost in the name of “security” at the cost of Freedom and Liberty anyway.

The stock price of Harley-Davidson has fallen for a couple of years now:

In fact, on November 8th of this month the stock price of the iconic motorcycle brand hit a new cycle low.

And now, the motorcycle company can’t catch a break.

Royal Enfield bike is turning up the heat to directly compete with Harley-Davidson. Here’s Rich Duprey:

Earlier this month, Royal Enfield introduced in India its first big twin-engine motorcycle — two of them, actually — the Interceptor INT 650 and the Continental GT 650, bikes that will compete head-to-head with Harley’s Street 750.

Right now, India only accounts for around 2% of Harley-Davidson’s total sales, but it owns 60% of the big bike market there and a local player with a vastly larger distribution network could create problems.

GT 650

Battle on two fronts

Soon, Royal Enfield may also make a play for the U.S. market. The dealer situation here is the reverse, with Harley-Davidson having around 700 dealerships and Enfield having just a few dozen in the U.S. and Canada. That said, Enfield’s bikes could strike a chord with the emerging domestic motorcycle buyer.

It’s a well-publicized fact Harley-Davidson’s core customer has become something of a dying breed. The middle-aged male just isn’t buying the same number of bikes as he used to. Instead, young, urban riders, many of whom are women, are the key demographic to motorcycle growth. Although the Street 750 (and the 500) are targeted toward this new rider, Enfield’s strength here is in the 500cc bike and at an attractive price point. Now it is introducing its new Himalayan 410cc bike aimed at those who want to ride trails and dirt tracks.

Royal Enfield Himalayan

Harley-Davidson has said it wants to cultivate young riders, and it wants to bring 2 million new riders to the Harley brand, but now with Royal Enfield entering the market, it seems to make it more imperative that the iconic bike maker move soon.

The U.S. heavyweight motorcycle market has been declining for several years now. As the industry leader, Harley-Davidson has felt the impact most. With the Indian market set to explode even further over the next few years, Harley may have a committed competitor in more places than just at home.

A quick comparison shows the Street 750 MSRP over $7,500:

Whereas the Royal Enfield, according to the report, having a price of $300,000 Indian Rupee, when converting to dollars, would be priced around $4,600:

And if the increase in competition wasn’t bad enough, what happens when we find out the meaning and actions coming from all the “fair and reciprocal trade” stuff President Trump is talking about?

Will Harley-Davidson be able to survive the retail apocalypse?

We will soon find out.

Stack accordingly…

– Half Dollar


About the Author

U.S. Army Iraq War Combat Veteran Paul “Half Dollar” Eberhart has an AS in Information Systems and Security from Western Technical College and a BA in Spanish from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Paul dived into gold & silver in 2009 as a natural progression from the prepper community. He is self-studied in the field of economics, an active amateur trader, and a Silver Bug at heart.

Paul’s free book Gold & Silver 2.0: Tales from the Crypto can be found in the usual places like Amazon, Apple iBooks & Google Play, or online at Paul’s Twitter is @Paul_Eberhart.