The fourth-quarter loss was attributed to a planned reduction in production and $167.1 million in restructuring costs including the discontinuing of Buell. Revenue was down 40.2% from the $1.28 billion reported in fourth quarter 2008.
“Our full-year 2009 results were affected by the difficult economy, as well as the planned actions we took that resulted in restructuring charges of $224 million. We believe these actions are critical to restoring greater profitability and long-term growth to Harley-Davidson,” says Keith Wandell, Harley-Davidson, Inc. president and chief executive officer. “We are confident we have made the right decisions for our future, and we are executing our strategy with focused intensity.”
On the year, Harley-Davidson reports $4.29 billion in revenue, a 23.1% drop from the $5.58 billion reported in 2008. Income was reported at $70.6 million, down 89.7% from the 2008 figure of $684.2 million.
Harley-Davidson is also continuing its search for a buyer for MV Agusta. The brand is being classified a “discontinued operation”, for accounting purposes. Harley-Davidson reports a loss of $125.8 million from discontinued operation.
Wandell says 2010 will be another challenging year for Harley-Davidson. The Motor Company is planning to ship between 201,000 to 212,000 units to dealers worldwide, a 5%-10% drop from 2009 shipments. Between 52,000 and 57,000 will be shipped in the first quarter of 2010.
“Focusing our investment behind the uniquely strong Harley-Davidson brand provides the most attractive path to sustained, long-term growth,” says Wandell. “We also expect to achieve substantial gains in the efficiency of our operations through continuous improvement.”
Harley-Davidson will also continue restructuring its operations at its York, Pa. facility. The company reached a seven-year agreement with the plant’s union in December that would keep operations in York while sacrificing nearly half the workforce.
"When the restructuring is completed, we will have completely changed the face of how we build motorcycles in York and we expect significantly greater manufacturing flexibility and significant annual cost savings from a more efficient operation,” says Wandell. “It is a tribute to our employees at York that they understood we could not continue on the course we were on, and they worked with us to find a better way.”