Harley-Davidson is turning 110, sales are up and this week, and eight new 2014 models are being introduced to dealers. Some are pointing to the recovery of this all-American company as an excellent sign the recession really is ending, MSN said
The company, after years of waiting lists to purchase its motorcycles, began to struggle in 2007 as the economy turned upside down. Now, at a special invitation-only event in Denver, analysts are gathered to talk about the new models and changes in the company’s manufacturing and product development, the Denver Business Journal reported
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Since the closed event left Harley lovers waiting to find out about the new “Project Rushmore” motorcycles, the company posted information on the new bikes on its website
as soon as the bikes were unveiled at the meeting.
From job cuts and closing dealerships in the 2008-2009 time period, Harley Davidson saw motorcycle shipments increase 6.2 percent from 2011 to 2012, MSN said.
Such good news prompted Fitch Ratings to move its outlook projections on Harley from stable to positive in July, the Wall Street Journal said
. The company cited high demand for HD motorcycles and a first-quarter profit up 30 percent as the reason for the change.
A New York Times blog reported that the 2014 motorcycle models
offer a “new level of sophistication.”
“It’s the largest scale new-model launch in the company’s 110-year history,” NYT quoted company CEO Keith E. Wandell as saying, explaining that the company revamped its motorcycles down to the “nuts and bolts level.”
Considerations were better ergonomics for more comfortable riding and new styling, the NYT said.
The LA Times reported that the new models
“pass faster, stop quicker, and see farther at night.”
The paper said there’s a new entertainment package, too, that offers riders voice recognition and touch screens for various operations, like music and navigation.
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