IEN Radio

Harley Shifts to Used Bikes

March 12, 2021 Eric Sorensen
IEN Radio
Harley Shifts to Used Bikes
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IEN Radio
Harley Shifts to Used Bikes
Mar 12, 2021
Eric Sorensen

Harley-Davidson has a problem, and it’s one many of us have: there’s something about Gen Z it just doesn't get. 

But for Harley, it’s more than just a disconnect with the TikTok generation: The last time Harley reported the average age of its customer, it was 48… which means Harley isn’t reaching Millennials either. And the results of this gap means America’s most notable bike brand is struggling big time to broaden its niche.

One of the problems Harley has encountered over the years is the shrinking market share for its big, pricy bikes as they compete against smaller and cheaper options. So Harley is taking a new approach, and when you hear some of the details in a recent Reuters report, you’ll wonder what took so long.

Reuters says Harley is embarking on a new certified pre-owned program where the company will push lightly used bikes with a 12-month warranty as well as offer financing. According to the report, some dealers have said that used bikes are outselling new ones at a margin of 3-to-1, and that the pandemic has actually increased demand for motorcycles -- just not new ones. In fact, the demand for pre-owned Harleys was described as “a drag on the company’s retail sales” which, by the way, have declined 40 percent since 2014.

Show Notes

Harley-Davidson has a problem, and it’s one many of us have: there’s something about Gen Z it just doesn't get. 

But for Harley, it’s more than just a disconnect with the TikTok generation: The last time Harley reported the average age of its customer, it was 48… which means Harley isn’t reaching Millennials either. And the results of this gap means America’s most notable bike brand is struggling big time to broaden its niche.

One of the problems Harley has encountered over the years is the shrinking market share for its big, pricy bikes as they compete against smaller and cheaper options. So Harley is taking a new approach, and when you hear some of the details in a recent Reuters report, you’ll wonder what took so long.

Reuters says Harley is embarking on a new certified pre-owned program where the company will push lightly used bikes with a 12-month warranty as well as offer financing. According to the report, some dealers have said that used bikes are outselling new ones at a margin of 3-to-1, and that the pandemic has actually increased demand for motorcycles -- just not new ones. In fact, the demand for pre-owned Harleys was described as “a drag on the company’s retail sales” which, by the way, have declined 40 percent since 2014.