Harley-Davidson Inc. (Milwaukee) says sluggish sales have prompted the company to leave the sport-bike market and focus on its core lineup of heavyweight bikes.
As part of the restructuring, the company will discontinue its Buell motorcycle line and sell its recently acquired MV Agusta brand. Already this year, Harley-Davidson has cut production and jobs and recently announced it may relocate a Pennsylvania motorcycle factory in another effort to cut costs.
The Milwaukee-based company recently reported third-quarter sales dropped 21 percent to $1.12 billion. However, its retail motorcycle sales decline of 21.3 percent was not as steep as the previous quarter's decline. Harley-Davidson earned $26.5 million, or 11 cents per share, for the period ended Sept. 27, down from $166.5 million, or 71 cents per share, a year earlier.
The company’s lending unit has also taken a toll with the credit crunch and posted an operating loss of $31.5 million for the quarter. Chief financial officer John Olin told the Associated Press that he expects the unit to lose money in the next several quarters until riding season begins next spring.