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Discussion Starter #1
i wonder what the motorcycle landscape is going to look like after all this. motorcycle sales across the board in the US have already been declining for years and this could be a fatal blow to some brands. Harley was already in big trouble before corona and just recently lost their CEO and just last week announced cut or reduced salaries for pretty much everyone. Norton Motorcycles just sold to some India motorcycle company named TVS. motorcycle sales in Asia have reported a 40-50% drop in sales in the last quarter which includes the start of the pandemic.

motorcycles in the US are much more of a luxury or recreational item than it is in Asia and there's hardly anyone buying non-essential things right now, even if any of these dealerships are still open at the moment. and this whole thing hit right at the beginning of riding season when it's the height of motorcycle demand.
 

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Good question
Harley Davidson sales have been in decline for a number of years now but I don't think they are in dire circumstances like some profess. I don't see them going away anytime soon.
Wall street and greedy investors expect every corporation to produce them lots of money every single year and when they don't they bad mouth these companies in the press and try to shame them.
HD is selling fewer motorcycles but I would bet their apparel and accessories sales ( shirts, jackets, helmets, boots) are still strong and probably the most profitable segment of their business.
Luckily for HD there are too many people out there that will still spend $60.00 for a T shirt that says HD on it.

Companies like Yamaha and Honda sales will definitely be down since Asia is their bread and butter. They are old and established companies that will still be around.

In the end I think most businesses will be hurt by this pandemic but the ones that are well run will survive. This pandemic may bring some new changes. It will be interesting to see what the new "normal" will be.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
historically right now is the worst time of the year to purchase a bike because it's heading right into the prime of riding season. so given the current change in circumstances, would now be potentially the best time ever to buy a bike? how desperate are dealerships to sell something right now?
 

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I'm on an email list of most local dealers for specials and deals. I normally get one a month from each dealer. Right now I'm getting alerts daily. My local Yamaha dealer had a new 2018 SVTC for $14,999. The local HD dealers are having about the same discounts. So I say, yes, it's a great time to buy a bike. On a similar topic, I bought my wife a new 2020 Ford Edge this past Monday. We weren't really in the market but the deals are too good to pass up. We made the decision years ago we would always have one car note and when right side up on the loan, she gets a new one. We got it for 20% less than low target price listed by all online pricing guides and zero interest. The monthly payment went down on a 36 month loan when we usually do a 48 month loan. If I could justify a new bike I might consider it, but I'm extremely happy with mine, it's still very low miles and paid for.
 

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This could be an interesting time. Economy could make sales from private owners improve especially since many have been forced into unemployment and may be forced to unload their bikes to make ends meet. From a dealer perspective I am sure they are weighing the fact that many have been closed or sales reduced due to all the Covid stuff but...there is a lot of gov money in the system now with tax refunds and stimulus money so prices will most likely increase or stay steady. If I was looking to buy a bike..being in the mid west I would look at private owners first for deals then just wait until fall or winter to pick up a decent deal. Storage of bikes and Christmas become buying opportunities.
 

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Just bought a new vehicle last year,
The one before I bought in 2009 at the height of the Great Recession.
With the cash for clunkers deal the government was offering I got about $1000.00 more for my trade than it was worth and also negotiated a sweet deal with cash back incentives.

If a person is in a good financial situation, economic downturns are always a good time to buy.
 

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The used prices locally are dropping fast. The new I would expect to start soon as the dealers are only selling online and don't want to hold stock.
 

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The monthly payment went down on a 36 month loan when we usually do a 48 month loan.
I always get a loan term one year longer than I intend to payoff. Then make larger payments and payoff one year early.
It does wonders for your credit.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I always get a loan term one year longer than I intend to payoff. Then make larger payments and payoff one year early.
It does wonders for your credit.
i don't think that's right. i don't know much about finance, but the financial experts claim it does your credit score not much good to pay off a loan early because then your loan closes and you lose that line of credit. but the longer you keep it open means the longer you can maintain an improving credit/debt ratio which helps your credit much more. just google "does your credit improve when you pay off a car"
 

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You may be right. As screwed up as things are now, I could see that being the case.
In the past, if you worked at a business for twenty or 30 years and it shut down, and you had to look for a job, businesses would have been fighting to get you to come work for them.
Now folks in the HR dept. look at the same person and say " you haven't had much experience have you/"

I'm talking from experience a number of years back. After paying off a loan early, several times I received letters from the bank president thanking me for early payoff and offering to lend more money whenever I needed it.
But I'm sure things are different now. Financial institutions would like nothing better than to keep us in debt. I'm sure that makes them smile.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm talking from experience a number of years back. After paying off a loan early, several times I received letters from the bank president thanking me for early payoff and offering to lend more money whenever I needed it.
they wanted to keep your business. after you're no longer paying them, they are no longer getting money from you and earning profit off your interest. this has/had nothing to do with their concern for your credit score. i don't think the current state of the economy changes how loans/credit works at all. revolving credit lines, as far as i can tell, have pretty much always been more beneficial to your credit rating. the more credit you have and the lower amount of debt you owe against that total amount of credit, aka credit/debt ratio, is one of the biggest factors, if not THE biggest factor, that improves your credit rating.

the biggest impact i've seen with vehicle loans since this started is how much interest-free loans are being thrown out there. Les was smart to jump on this. i read some companies are offering up to 72-month interest-free financing on new vehicles. unbelievable. if car dealerships are starting to get desperate, i can only imagine the desperation coming from bike dealerships. not sure if i've mentioned it on this site recently but i'm planning on getting another bike next winter. but given the state of things, i might be moving up my timetable a lot sooner. it would behoove me to not miss out on whatever deals are going to be popping up soon than if i had waited months later when prices might go back up or level out. but since deals are usually to be made in the winter, i just can't see how all this works out and when the 'sweet spot' is going to occur. not looking for a 2020 model, but most likely 2019, possibly gently used. need to figure out when/how eager a dealership is to get last year's model off their property.

what would happen if dealerships start going out of business? typically you would expect surrounding dealerships to buy up much of their inventory at the discounted prices, but if every other dealership around is also hurting, who's going to be buying all their bikes? ultimately get a bunch repo'd by the banks?
 

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Bevo, the bikes in Houston are really being discounted real heavy. Make sure and search Houston when looking. I'll be happy to run and take a look at it and give you some honest feed back.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
well it's still waaay too early to tell, but countries are slowly coming out of quarantine and i've only seen stories of 2 bike dealerships fold up (both Harley) since this began. it's possible all of these dealerships will be able to float for several months on little revenue. and with the U.S. experiencing the largest number of unemployed since the Great Depression, these shops may have to find out how long they can hold out. so even though they may start opening back up as states slowly start ramping things back up, i don't see customers flooding into the dealerships to see how far they can stretch a $1200 stimulus check.

on a personal note, i haven't see any significant price drops yet. new models are still priced at their original MSRP and last year's models are still marked as they were several weeks ago.
 

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The used market seems good even borderline great right now but no, I haven't seen any real drop in MSRP yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #15

not sure what other companies are doing, but Harley's new strategy is to limit supply to try to increase demand including cutting some models and limiting customizable options. i guess it's the logical way to go. people aren't buying their bikes, and they stopped making them for a bit and can't make as much as they used to any way.

Product sales director Beth Truett says dealers should expect a 65 percent drop in new motorcycle stock by the end of the year and, as such, “should plan for an extremely tight year from an inventory perspective. Our strategy to limit motorcycle product in the showroom is purposefully designed to drive exclusivity,”
 

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This is second hand info (friend of a friend).
We three were to meet up Wed. morn for riding. F of F has a brand new HD Electra, picked up last weekend and rode approximately 3hrs . Wednesday he goes to start it to join us and gets nothing more than a "click". A HD tech comes out to look at it and takes it away in a trailer. (HD no less). Not the kind of exclusivity I'm looking for at the moment.
 
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