Harley-Davidson plans to discontinue its Buell product line and divest its MV Agusta unit.
The move, approved Oct. 14 by Harley-Davidson's Board of Directors, is part of the OEM's new business strategy to drive growth through "a single-minded focus of efforts and resources."
Translation: Even though Buells are better motorcycles than Harley-Davidsons ever thought of being, the clowns that want H-Ds aren't buying them, and the guys who want cutting-edge sport and adventure bikes aren't either.
Also, an awful lot of H-Ds were bought by guys who cashed out during the housing bubble and that's over. Their bikes are expensive and they're hurtin' for customers.
MV Agusta apparently hasn't worked out too good for 'em either, probably for about the same reasons. I remember the last time H-D went with an Italian motorcycle company, Aermacchi, who brought us the H-D Sprint and other models that were eventually bulldozed, quite literally, into the dustbin of history. Duck, here it comes again!
Harley-Davidson, Inc. purchased 100 percent of MV Agusta Group shares for about $108 million in August 2008. At the time, MV was retailing 5,800-some bikes through a worldwide network of about 500 dealers.
H-D says it will immediately commence efforts to sell the business, which is based in Varese, Italy.
See a video from Erik Buell at www.Buell.com.
The guy looks like he just had his world jerked out from under him. He has.
Too bad, but that's the way the cookie crumbles. On the flip side, it looks like Mrs. G's got a classic.