2015 ends on disappointing note for Harley-Davidson.
Harley-Davidson has announced that its profits for the three months to the 31st December 2015 were significantly lower than for the same period last year.
The result, however, was better than most Wall St analysts expected.
The American motorcycle manufacturer reported its net income as $42.2 million for the quarter, 43% lower than for the same period the previous year.
While Harley-Davidson’s worldwide sales in the quarter dropped by less than 1%, they fell by 3.4% in the United States.
The US is the manufacturer’s largest and traditionally strongest market.
Sales in the US have slipped as the economy faltered in some states, and foreign competitors cut prices of their bikes to attract customers.
In other markets, growth has been strong. Sales grew by 12.3% in Canada and 8.2% in the Asia Pacific region.
In Australia, Harley-Davidson is currently the biggest seller of road bikes.
Company President and CEO Matt Levatich said that “Without a doubt, it’s been one of the most competitive environments we have seen in years, particularly in the United States”.
“Much of it is driven by currency (differences), and some of it by new products from competitors all around the world,” he added.
The company is optimistic that sales will improve in the coming year.
It expects to ship 269,000 to 274,000 motorcycles in 2016, an increase of approximately 1-3 % on its 2015 shipments.