HomeNewsHarley-Davidson Suspends Bike Shipments to Russia Amid Ukraine Conflict

Harley-Davidson Suspends Bike Shipments to Russia Amid Ukraine Conflict

by Clayton Edwards
(Photo by Mikhail TereshchenkoTASS via Getty Images)

As the conflict between Russia and Ukraine rages on, retailers and manufacturers are cutting Russia out of their businesses. Recently, several automakers halted shipments and business in the country. On Tuesday, Harley-Davidson announced that it would halt all operations in Russia. Additionally, the company will not be shipping any new motorcycles to the country at this time. This means that more Harleys will be available in other markets. Currently, the motorcycle manufacturer has not announced when or if it would resume any Russian shipments or operations.

At a Glance

  • Harley-Davidson announced that it would halt all operations in Russia.
  • Russia was a “high potential” market for the manufacturer.
  • HD can afford any lost revenue from cutting ties with Russia.
  • They are just one of many major companies to turn away from the country.

Harley-Davidson Pulls Out of Russia, Puts Principles Over Profit

According to Milwaukee Business Journal, Harley-Davidson released a short but decisive statement about its Russian operations. “In light of the crisis in Ukraine, Harley-Davidson has suspended its business in Russia and all shipments of its bikes to the country. Our thoughts continue for the safety of the people of Ukraine and those impacted by the crisis.”

Several news outlets have reached out for further comment. However, the company seems to have said all it plans to say on the matter.

In 2020, Harley-Davidson shifted its marketing strategy. It pulled out of several countries and regions with less potential for revenue. Russia was one of the 36 countries that Harley-Davidson deemed a “high potential” market. As a result, they stand to lose some revenue by exiting the country. However, it seems that those at the top are more concerned with principles than profit at this point.

It is unclear how many dealerships or other operations Harley-Davidson has in Russia. However, Europe is the manufacturer’s second-largest market after the United States. There are currently 369 Harley dealerships scattered across the continent. However, it is unclear how many of those are in Russia, according to a Reuters report.

Chris Hodson, senior analyst and partner at Edgewater research spoke to the outlet about Harley-Davidson’s dealings in Russia. “Russia is not that significant of a market, to begin with. Any units that have been earmarked for Russia can be diverted elsewhere,” he said. Those bikes will most likely land in other “high-potential” markets in Europe.

Harley Can Afford the Loss

Harley-Davidson obviously isn’t worried about the revenue they stand to lose by pulling out of Russia. Part of this is due to the fact that they rode into 2022 on strong fourth-quarter earnings. Last month, the motorcycle giant reported its highest quarterly earnings in five years. The company closed out 2021 with just over $1 billion in revenue, shocking experts and analysts alike.

Harley-Davidson Is One of Many Companies to Pull Out of Russia

Governments around the world have laid heavy sanctions on Russia after they invaded Ukraine. However, it didn’t stop there. Many manufacturers have halted operations in Russia, Harley-Davidson is just one of many. For instance, General Motors and Germany-based Daimler Truck also halted business in the country. Additionally, Ford halted all business in Russia and plans to send a sizable donation to the Global Giving Ukraine Relief Fund.

Automakers aren’t the only ones cutting ties with Russia, though. Apple also halted all sales to the country. Additionally, Exxon-Mobil and other multinational oil companies have cut ties with Russia since the country kicked off the biggest European conflict since WWII.

At the same time, many countries have stopped selling Russian products including vodka.

More and more private businesses and corporations move away from doing business with Russia every day as troops continue their assault on the people of Ukraine.