For the full year, wholesale shipments of Harley-Davidson motorcycles were 303,479 units, an 8.2% decrease compared to 330,619 units in 2007.
In the first quarter of 2009, the company plans to ship between 74,000 and 78,000 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles, a 3.0% to 8.5% increase versus the first quarter of 2008. However, for the full year the company plans to ship between 264,000 and 273,000 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles, a 10% to 13% reduction from last year.
"We reduced our production levels prudently in 2008, helping our dealers achieve lower inventory levels," said Jim Ziemer, Chief Executive Officer, Harley-Davidson Inc, in a release. "And we're going to show similar discipline in 2009. That's not only critical for the health of our business, but for our dealers' businesses, as well."
He said the company will seek to invest in the Harley- Davidson brand, change its cost-structure right, and obtain funding for H-D Financial Services.--Karl Greenberg