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Old 02-20-2001, 03:37 PM   #11
ironmike
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Default Re: Market Barometer?

With due consideration to the winter season, mild fear of an economic dip/recession, and recent bankruptcy news, there does seem to be a regional buildup of unsold (new) bikes in some HD dealerships. It is most evident in areas plagued by dealers who routinely market at over MSRP. This is somewhat predictable as more and more customers are willing to travel to purchase a bike at (or near) MSRP. However, I think a more telling indicator is the resale prices (as relfected in actual consumated sales - not the advertised sale pricing) of the "formerly owned" HD motorcycles. These "real world" numbers will bear watching as spring begets summer... and the used Harley market sinks further. If one is in the market for an older evo HD, bargains will be prevalent. It would not surprise me to see many late model Twin-cam models for sale (with the owner assuring all potential buyres the the inherent "bearing issue" has been addressed..). It will likely be sporadic at first - not all areas will be initially impacted; but It may indeed be that HD's magnificent marketing machine cannot overcome the growing dissatisfaction and attrition of its presumed market base. Customer profiling and target group sampling will not compensate for mediocrity of product. Any viable manufacturer must competitively improve or suffer diminished sales - brilliant "lifestyle marketing" notwithstanding.



This is just one man's observations and subsequent expectations... but it is perhaps worthy of contemplation.
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Old 02-21-2001, 01:38 AM   #12
LimeSqueezr
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Default Re: Market Barometer?

The scalpers who slap a big "vaseline tax" on top of MSRP have *always* had plenty of bikes --if they ever have to turn away a sucker with money burning his hand because they don't have something on the floor, then they figure they're not slapping on enough. Most offensive are the car dealers who buy them up every year from certain authorized Harley shops who allow it, and whom I suspect are in cahoots with them.
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Old 02-21-2001, 04:07 AM   #13
Wolvie
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Default Re: More E-H Bad News

In reading the Star Tribune article linked to this news item, one detail stood out. This is so outrageous, it didn't even register the first time I read it:



"Butch Donahue, an Excelsior-Henderson dealer in Delano and a former board member of the motorcycle company, said he's lost $150,000 to $200,000 on repairs his shop made under warranties that were not reimbursed by the new owners."



How many E-H's did this guy work on?!?! ALL OF THEM?! What could possibly cost 150 to 200 grand?!
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Old 02-21-2001, 04:56 AM   #14
moonline
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Default Re: More E-H Bad News

Ha! Good point. Talk about not standing behind your product!.



As to those that believe that their HD's will never lose any resale value, I too, have noted that several of the local dealer here in the SF Bay Area have increasing numbers of new bikes on the floor and available for sale. Not many, usually. And granted,there are still few 1998 models on floor of some the other makes. Of course, California is by far the largest market for HD's, and fortunately for HD, Californians are not fickle.
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Old 02-21-2001, 05:23 AM   #15
LimeSqueezr
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Default I'm sure he's talking about what COULD have been billed...

to customers at regular repair prices (except for the fact they weren't obliged to pay it) rather than what those repairs cost out of his own pocket. IF it amounts to that much in that short a time at just one dealership then I think that's a BIG clue who's REALLY going to get "screwed" once EH is totally out of business and the warranties are good for wrapping used cat litter!
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Old 02-21-2001, 05:46 AM   #16
Wolvie
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Default Repair Woes

Yeah, I understand your point about what could have been billed vs. what the actual loss was.



However, the numbers are still staggering! Just think about it:



These are warranty repairs, we shouldn't be talking about overhauls (though, who knows!) & we certainly aren't talking about repairing/replacing parts due to crash damage &/or abuse.



Even if the shop charges $80 an hour for labor, lets just assume that the average repair takes 2 hours & uses a part that costs $200. Yeah, I know it's not scientific, I'm just trying to get some perspective here.



That taken into account, the average repair should be valued at $360.00 (less tax of course). Using these numbers, that shop would have had to make anywhere from 417 to 556 repairs! In a year & a half!! At ONE dealership!!!



Again, know my figures have no scientific basis...but DAMN!!!

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Old 02-21-2001, 07:38 AM   #17
LimeSqueezr
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Default I agree it does seem like a lot...

but I don't know how many units that number was spread over. I'm pretty sure that, especially if translated to retail rates nobody gets for warranty work, there are some large multi-brand dealerships doing more than that annually in repairs. However, I have no idea if any EH dealer ever attained that sort of volume. I doubt it. As Dirksen said "there are lies, there are damn lies, and then there are statistics..." so I'm sure the numbers have been cooked in a way that makes him look like a good guy who's really hurting for his customers (to soften 'em for when he has to say "tough s**t").
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