Harley-Davidson growth engine sputters | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 20.10.2015
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Harley-Davidson growth engine sputters

The iconic US motorcycle maker has reported a slowdown in third-quarter sales. It's hoping a multi-million-dollar investment could lead to a turnaround. But costly severance deals loom large on the horizon.

Legendary US motorcycle company Harley-Davidson said Tuesday its third-quarter net income was $140.3 million (123.4 million euros) on consolidated revenue of $1.32 billion, down from bottom-line earnings of $150.1 million in the same period a year earlier.

Dealers worldwide sold 72,178 new motorcycles from the iconic Milwaukee-based firm, a 1.4-percent drop from the level reached in the third quarter of 2014.

New sales were down 2.5 percent in the US itself, while they picked up slightly internationally (+0.9 percent).

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"We expect a heightened competitive environment to continue for the foreseeable future, and now is the time for us to dial things up with significant additional investments in marketing and product development," CEO Matt Levatich said in a statement.

The company announced there would be a $70-million increase in investment in 2016 year-on-year to drive demand and accelerate the production of new models.

Harley-Davidson added it expected to incur one-time expenses of at east $30 million in the fourth quarter of 2015 primarily against the backdrop of "employee separation and reorganization," meaning employees should brace for possible layoffs.

hg/pad (AFP, dpa)

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