We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn more ›
If the motorcycle industry is supposed to be dying, why is Indian doing remarkably well? That’s the question begged by the new report in the Milwaukee Business Journal showing a 16 percent sales increase for Indian in the third quarter of 2017. That’s in sharp contrast with Harley-Davidson’s 8.1 percent decline in U.S. sales in the same time period.
While Indian grows and Harley struggles, the market share gap is starting to narrow between the two iconic American brands. Harley-Davidson still sells way more bikes than Indian, but Indian’s market share is now in the double digits in the 900cc and bigger motorcycle market with Harley still at a comfortable lead of 53.1 percent for motorcycles 601cc and bigger.
That might not sound like a huge win for Indian, but it is when you consider the fact that the Polaris subsidiary only had a market share of three percent just one year ago according to investment firm Baird. This significant growth is thanks to new products like the Chieftain Elite and Limited models and the Roadmaster Classic. Not to mention the stupendous Indian Scout, Scout Bobber, and Scout Sixty entry-level cruisers that are defining the segment.
Another factor that makes Indian’s growth so impressive is the 9.2 percent decline of the U.S. motorcycle industry overall. Americans are buying motorcycles at a slow rate, but Indian is standing out as an exception to the rule. The brand’s masterful blend of heritage, modern engineering, and sincere attempt to appeal to women and younger riders is paying off big time.