Harley-Davidson Says Goodbye to Profits Thanks to Trump Tariffs

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By Wade Thiel

Hard Knock Life for Harley-Davidson

Harley-Davidson’s earnings per share dried up due to the tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump. According to Bloomberg, the earnings per share were zero. Before factoring in tariff and restructuring costs, the company managed 17 cents per share in profits, which came in below analyst estimates of 29 cents.

In Harley’s regulatory filing, it said the following: “Operating margin as a percent of revenue decreased in the quarter due to restructuring charges, incremental tariffs and higher recall costs,” according to Markets Insider.

All this comes after President Trump quarreled with the company after it said it would move some of its manufacturing overseas due to Eurpeon tariffs, which were in response to Trump tariffs.

While the tariffs may not be working in Harley’s favor, the company struggles on other fronts, too. Right now it fails to attract new buyers. With the Baby Boomer generation getting too old to ride, Harley struggles to find younger buyers for its motorcycles. According to Bloomberg, the company has seen eight consecutive quarters of sales decreases, with a 10 percent decrease in the latest quarter.

Harley’s Rocky Path Ahead

Harley has taken some steps to modernize. It has new bikes on the horizon and a new electric motorcycle leading that charge (pun intended). However, the LiveWire hasn’t been very well received. It’s simply too expensive for the kind of performance the bike offers. Harley’s other new gas-powered motorcycles will likely be a little more pricey, too.

Unfortunately, younger buyers don’t have $30,000 to blow on an electric motorcycle. Most don’t even have tens of thousands to spend on a new internal combustion engine Harley. All this will likely lead to future difficult times for the company.

Image from Harley-Davidson

Even the CEO, Matt Levatich, seems to agree. He told Bloomberg that he expects 2019 “to …read more

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