TERMINAL DECLINE: As Goes Harley-Davidson, So Goes America

Looking for details of how, and why, Freedom & Liberty in the US are nearly dead, or why the US economy is near its death spiral? Then look right here…

In 2017, we put Harley-Davidson on the Retail Apocalypse Watch.

Not only has the motorcycle company faced increased competition from competitors, especially overseas competitors, but for very fundamental reasons, the outlook seems like it will only worsen.

Why?

Well, here’s one thing we said in 2017:

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.

Good thing the government and the Fed do not see any signs of an approaching recession, for well, like forever.

Then came the trade war woes for Harley as the struggling motorcycle company found itself in the cross-hairs of geo-politics In Mid-July, 2018, when we reported:

More troubling was the news that 2Q motorcycle shipments of 72,593 declined 11.3% in the quarter.

Fast-forward half a year, to January of 2019, and well, Harley’s problems seem to only be getting worse.

First, here’s Harley’s stock price:

Harley has been in a brutal bear market for the last couple of years, and that daily chart looks pretty nasty.

Harley’s monthly chart looks just as bad:

 

Will HOG be able to survive what looks like an upcoming double-bottom?

And why is Harley-Davidson back in the news today anyway?

HOG just reported earnings for the fourth quarter, and the stock is plummeting on the release:

The stock is plummeting because the news is pretty much all bad.

For Harley, it may not even be about catching a break anymore.

Harley-Davidson may in-fact be in a state of terminal decline.

Here’s some of the issues with Harley-Davidson, according to Bloomberg (bold added for emphasis):

  • Harley has more than tariffs to blame: U.S. retail sales tumbled 10 percent in the three months ended in December, the eighth consecutive quarterly drop. The company is having trouble attracting younger riders and is planning to offer cheaper bikes to reach new customers.
  • Retail demand dropped in Europe and Asia, sending worldwide sales down 6.7 percent. CEO Matt Levatich unveiled a turnaround plan in July that calls for 50 percent of sales to come from outside the U.S. by 2027.
  • Levatich is introducing as many as five electric models, including lightweight, urban bikes to target growth in Europe and India. Analysts think demand for Harley’s first electric motorcycle, called LiveWire, will be limited because of its $29,799 price tag.

Now here’s a point that is surely going to offend some people –

It’s hard to argue that Harley-Davidson is one of the few remaining “American as apple pie” companies. Not only that, but Harley has been one of the iconic symbols of Freedom and Liberty for decades.

So here’s the point, and I’ll ask it as a question: If America is actually getting any better at all, even just a little teeny-tiny bit better, then why is Harley-Davidson struggling so much?

That kind of goes against the whole MAGA narrative, does it not?

I mean, it’s not the broke millennials or the democratic socialists who ride Harleys.

So who is riding Harley-Davidson motorcycles?.

President Trump’s base.

That’s who.

And it’s like I’ve said before – Peak Trump is a very strong Kool-Aid. The effects of Peak Trump are both potent and lingering.

Regardless, in my opinion, the problems of Harley-Davidson are representative of the problems of America in general, and the problems are two-fold.

  1. Freedom and Liberty are nearly dead
  2. The economy is approaching its death-spiral

Of course, how much Freedom and Liberty we have lost is up to debate.

As is the rate of terminal decline for the US economy.

Of course, none of which is a problem.

Until all-of-the-sudden it is.

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 PaulEberhart.com. Paul’s Twitter is @Paul_Eberhart.

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