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Harley-Davidson (HOG) Q2 2019 Earnings Call Transcript

By Motley Fool Transcribing - Jul 23, 2019 at 9:24PM

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HOG earnings call for the period ending June 30, 2019.

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Harley-Davidson ( HOG -2.33% )
Q2 2019 Earnings Call
Jul 23, 2019, 9:00 a.m. ET


  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:


Good morning. My name is Lisa, and I'll be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the 2019 second-quarter earnings conference call. [Operator instructions] Thank you.

I would now like to turn the call over to Mr. Shannon Burns, director of investor relations. You may begin your conference.

Shannon Burns -- Director of Investor Relations

Good morning, everyone. You can access the slides supporting this call at Click the earnings materials box in the center of the page. Our comments will include forward-looking statements that are subject to risks that could cause actual results to be materially different.

Those risks include, among others, matters we have noticed in our latest earnings release, and filings with the SEC. Harley-Davidson disclaims any obligation to update information in this call. Joining me this morning are President and CEO Matt Levatich; and CFO John Olin. Matt, let's get started.

Matt Levatich -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Shannon, and good morning, everyone. Last quarter, I discussed how we're facing the evolving market conditions with the grit that has defined Harley-Davidson throughout our history. Today, I'll comment on the noteworthy advancements this organization, our determined employees, and dealers, drove during the quarter. In June, we successfully completed key milestones of our manufacturing optimization initiative, including growth, and expansion of our York, Pennsylvania, plant.

We added two new lines and hired over 400 U.S. workers. York is bigger, more efficient, and ready to supply model year 2020 motorcycles around the world, including our first electric motorcycle, LiveWire, which is in production now. Our manufacturing optimization initiative was a significant undertaking, and is tracking on time to deliver cash savings this year that will accumulate to $65 million to $75 million annually by the end of 2020.

On the cost side of our business, we continue to scrutinize and optimize all spending to drive value and growth near, and long term. By example, over the past four years, we've increased our investment in marketing, and product development by 43% while we've driven overall SG&A down by 4%. We're challenging ourselves to appropriately address today's market while we invest in our future, our future with more riders enjoying a broader array of Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Our team has been working intensely to minimize the impact of tariffs on our business in a highly uncertain environment.

It was just over a year ago when the European Union imposed significant incremental tariffs on Harley-Davidson motorcycles made in the U.S., and exported to the EU, driving tariffs from 6% to 31%, tariffs that are scheduled to increase to 56% in 2021. We acted decisively, and established our primary path to leverage our Thailand operations, still under construction at that point, to get tariffs back to 6% as soon as possible. During the quarter, we obtained regulatory approvals to import from Thailand all softail, and sportster motorcycles, the majority of our EU volume, at the 6% tariff rate. The approval process took longer than we expected, and delayed our ability to achieve expected savings this year, and activating contingencies drove higher costs as well.

The net impact, further pressured by lower-than-expected sales in Europe in the first half of the year, necessitates that we adjust full year volume, and operating margin expectations for 2019. However, in the U.S., retail sales were on plan, and we continue to see some tempering of declines in the U.S. industry. We're seeing some light.

The key developed markets remain troubled, and that requires even more of us. Our approach in the U.S., and all of our markets is to maximize value while we continue to invest in future strength, and growth. We're walking this line in all we do with keen awareness, and focus. At the start of the selling season, we leveraged increasing strength from our broader access, and stronger dealers initiatives, and augmented that with increased marketing, and sales incentives.

In Q2, we pulled back significantly on incentives in favor of increased value-driving equity marketing, and further improving capabilities across our dealer network. We continue to test effectiveness of various concepts regionally, expanding what works, and scaling back less effective efforts. One example was a campaign emphasizing affordable monthly payments for sportsters that drove a significant lift in sales without offering incentives or promotional financing rates. Combined efforts in the quarter resulted in a 20% increase in web traffic, and 475 million media impressions, a 54% increase compared to last year.

More is needed, of course, and our resolve and capability are only deepening. Together, our marketing, and more road efforts are aimed at supporting sustainable growth, and protecting the strong foundation of value that defines our brand, and our company. The strength of the Harley-Davidson brand endures as our share of new sales remains incredibly strong and our combined share of new and used sales continues to underscore the incredible appeal of our bikes, and brand among U.S. riders.

In the U.S., quarter-to-quarter market share fluctuations in this highly competitive market have not unsettled the nearly 50% share we've held for many years. We're committed to market leadership and growth. You've heard me talk about our mindset shift from we build bikes to we build riders. Ridership is a holistic idea focused on inspiring and providing access to new riders, and keeping existing riders engaged, riding and purchasing great new Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

As we embrace this approach and work our strategy, we are building the next generation of Harley-Davidson riders. Harley-Davidson ridership has increased every year since 2001, and we ended 2018 with an all-time high of over 3 million Harley-Davidson riders in the U.S., and overall industry ridership was up for the first time since the recession. People of all ages are riding. And as I stated last quarter, in the U.S., of the total mix of new Harley-Davidson riders in 2018, 18 to 34-year olds, women and or ethnically diverse riders comprised over 50%.

Looking just at young people, in 2018, there were 24% more 18 to 34-year-old riders than in 2002. Growth among younger riders continued into 2019. Of total U.S. new retail sales, the year-over-year mix of 18 to 34-year olds was up 2.6 points in Q1, and 2.7 points in Q2.

We believe our more roads initiatives will continue this momentum as we enter into the largest and fastest-growing segments with strong no-excuses products that are priced right, and feature all the specs and dynamic capabilities people are looking for. Segments, including adventure touring, streetfighter, and electric motorcycle that span the entire range of powered two-wheel passion from stacyc and Iron e to pedal-assist electric bicycles to mid-power and high-power motorcycles like LiveWire. The more roads initiatives, stronger dealers work in particular, is helping to build riders today and prepare us and our dealers to welcome the next generation of riders. In the U.S., significant programs have been implemented.

And in 2019, our new retail marketing and dealer operations consulting teams have completed 59 on-site dealer visits, and more than 160 dealer business operations have been evaluated so we can help dealers assess their operations, and provide the tools and process support they need to take their business to the next level. Dealers who engaged in in-dealership marketing -- retail marketing consulting experienced an average improvement of 17 percentage points in new vehicle sales in the three months after the workshop. We are scaling the positive results and learnings from our U.S. stronger dealers work to continuously improve effectiveness and more broadly implement best practices in international markets as well.

Other notable more roads progress occurred during the quarter, specifically with broadening access into Asia. Thailand operations implemented primarily to serve key Asian markets, enabled lower tariffs for more affordable product, positioning Harley-Davidson to reach more people, driving sales up 77% in ASEAN markets in Q2. We also announced a collaboration that joins our motorcycle leadership with Qianjiang Motorcycle Co. to launch a smaller displacement motorcycle planned for China by next year with other Asia markets to follow.

This collaboration will significantly expand access to Harley-Davidson for even more riders, and drive incremental sales both for this new bike, and for traditional Harley-Davidson products currently offered in Asia. Through the quarter, we and our dealers continued preparations for the September arrival of LiveWire, our first electric motorcycle. We're training dealer master technicians and sales professionals together, a first, because we know customers' interest in LiveWire will desire and benefit from a deep understanding of the many innovations featured on this breakthrough motorcycle. We're also committed to doing our part to drive a strong global charging network and charging flexibility that suits the need of our riders.

All Harley-Davidson LiveWire dealers will offer a public charge point DC fast charging station, and we're working with global partners to support charging infrastructure development. In the U.S., we're collaborating with electrify america, whose DC fast charge stations are expected to be at most 70 miles apart by the end of the year. LiveWire is powering up. Production is under way, and two weeks ago, I participated in the first wave of the LiveWire global media launch.

Seeing how this extraordinary motorcycle inspired the experienced motor journalists demonstrated how there's no better way to inspire the next generation of riders than with our electric motorcycles. And we're seeing an unprecedented level of positive feedback across more media outlets than ever before. Development continues full force on our other electric products right alongside our class-leading combustion engine products launching in the coming years. In fact, our middleweight motorcycle are in active testing now, and are on track for the first models to be launched next year.

We're synthesizing our learnings and insights from concept development to deliver products that inspire the next generation of riders with cool bikes that cause people to sit up and take notice, products and experiences reinforced by strengthening Harley-Davidson dealers that will make riding, and Harley-Davidson matter more to more people. Our efforts are also triggering new thinking about Harley-Davidson. During the quarter, we were invited to speak at the annual Code Conference that features companies who are leading in innovation, and addressing evolving consumer and business needs. The emphasis was on the progress and promise of EV that is emerging today, and on the near horizon, and how Harley-Davidson's participation and leadership makes so much sense.

We're all about inspired mobility. Since our founders put power to two wheels back in 1903, we've evolved with consumers, technology and the ever-changing transportation landscape. Our products are for riders who want to move, be moved, and live for real. Harley-Davidson is engaging new riders, more riders than ever before, as we more fully engage the power of the brand and the company to achieve our long-term objectives.

With the added leadership of our brand president, Neil Grimmer, our team will continue our deliberate shift to show up in unexpected places, and show up powerfully and differently as a brand. We'll amplify smart investments, and make decisions based on what is working. We'll do more with the Harley-Davidson brand to drive relevance, inspire ridership and make riding matter to more people. We're determined to work today's challenges and invest in our future with the vision, and resolve required to advance our leadership, grow our business, drive the industry, and create more riders.

And now, I'll turn it over to John to discuss the financial results of the quarter. John?

John Olin -- Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Matt. Our second-quarter financial results generally finished as expected. However, retail sales were challenged by weakness in our developed international markets. During the quarter, the EU tariff relief that Matt noted came later than expected, and is a key factor to the reduction in our expectations for full year shipments and operating margin.

We look forward to putting the burden and uncertainty of the European incremental tariffs behind us, and we look forward to restoring roughly $100 million of annualized margin, which we expect to begin early in the second quarter of 2020. The summary of our Q2 results is on Slide 10. In the second quarter, motorcycles segment operating income was impacted by lower shipments, incremental tariffs and unfavorable mix partially offset by lower year-over-year SG&A, and lower restructuring charges. Financial Services operating income was down 6.2%.

Consolidated net income was down versus prior year due to lower operating income. Earnings per share for the quarter was $1.23. When excluding restructuring planned costs and the impact of incremental tariffs, adjusted EPS was $1.46. In the face of ongoing retail sales headwinds, we remained focused and disciplined on tightening retail inventory, aggressively managing costs, generating cash from operations and delivering strong shareholder returns over the long term.

On Slide 11, worldwide retail sales of new Harley-Davidson motorcycles in Q2 were down 8.4% versus prior year. Our second-quarter retail sales rate was lower than the improved rate of decline, which we experienced in the first quarter. In the U.S., Q2 retail sales were down 8% versus prior year. Through the first six months, U.S.

retail sales were down 6.5%, which was an improvement over last year's rate of decline and was in line with our expectations. International markets in the second quarter were down 8.9% driven by weakness in our developed markets. Through the first six months, international markets were down 6.6%, which was short of our plan. We expected 2019 to be a difficult year, and it is unfolding as such, especially in our developed international markets.

In the near term, we are addressing the softness in our U.S. and developed international markets by continuing to aggressively manage inventory levels and increasing marketing investments to encourage trial, and increase conversion to sale, and our exciting new 2020 model year motorcycles are just weeks away from launching. We also continue to invest in our strategy to build the next generation of Harley-Davidson riders. Through 2022, our more roads to Harley-Davidson plan is aimed at stabilizing our core business in the U.S.

as we grow more riders globally. We believe more roads is building the proper foundation and driving the fundamentals to help steer the U.S. industry back to growth and drive significant growth over our -- across our international markets. Let's take a closer look at the U.S.

on Slide 12. Retail sales were down versus the prior-year quarter as a result of continued headwinds within the U.S. industry, and due to lower H-D market share. U.S.

industry was down 4.9% in the quarter, an improvement over last year's Q2 rate and sequentially in line with Q1's improved rate of decline. While we are encouraged by the tempering of the industry decline over the last two quarters, we believe the U.S. industry for new bikes continues to be challenged by soft used bike prices. We also continue to see shifting new bike demand toward other style of motorcycles, including the smaller-displacement bikes.

Second-quarter market share for new bike registrations was 46.6%, down 1.8 percentage points driven by stronger performance in segments which we do not currently compete, but we will enter these segments starting next year as part of our more roads plan. In the segments where we do participate, the touring and cruiser segments, which represent approximately 70% of the 601+cc market, our market share was up 2.0 percentage points for the quarter. During the first quarter, our retail sales were positively impacted by increased sales incentives, and the execution of our stronger dealer growth initiatives and as we moved to jump start a very slow start to the selling season. In the second quarter, we increased the execution of our longer-term focused stronger dealer efforts and increased equity marketing while dialing back shorter-term focused sales incentives.

We believe our Q1 incentives were effective, and will play a role as we move forward but expect our focus to be on more strategic and sustainable investments. Looking at used bikes. Second-quarter prices of Harley-Davidson used bikes in our dealer network rose for the eighth consecutive quarter. While we were encouraged by the firming of used bike prices over the past several quarters, used bike prices remain at low levels compared to new.

We tightly managed shipments of new bikes into the dealer network in the quarter. This resulted in quarter end U.S. retail inventory decreasing approximately 1,350 motorcycles versus the prior year. We were pleased with the dealer inventory at the end of the quarter, and believe inventory is in a good place as we cut over to the new model year.

On Slide 13, second-quarter international retail sales were down 8.9% versus prior year, and as I noted, below our expectations. International sales were down as a result of lower sales in developed markets partially offset by higher emerging market sales, which were up 7.6%. Retail sales increases in emerging markets were driven by double-digit growth in various markets, including China and our ASEAN markets. However, Q2 retail sales in developed international markets were down 13.6%.

Retail sales were down across markets in Western Europe as we lapped strong initial sales of our new softail motorcycles. Weakness in Japan and Australia continued behind contracting industry sales, and competitive new product introductions in segments outside of touring and cruising. We are expanding our stronger dealer efforts internationally, and will continue to support our dealers in these markets with programs, and a strong focus on test ride campaigns. Our year-to-date market share in Europe was 8.8%, down 1.6 percentage points versus the prior year, adversely impacted by lapping last year's strong softail results, and by lower sales of our street motorcycles due to the impact of implementing the street recall.

As a detail on our more roads plan reinforces, we remain confident in, and committed to the great potential that international markets offer to Harley-Davidson. On Slide 14, wholesale motorcycle shipments in Q2 were down 5.3% and roughly at the midpoint of our guidance. Overall, family mix shifted slightly to Touring versus last year's second quarter. On Slide 15, revenue for the Motorcycles segment was down 6% in the second quarter behind a 5.3% decrease in year-over-year motorcycle shipments.

Revenue during the quarter was adversely impacted by a $144 decrease in the average motorcycle revenue per bike. This decrease was largely driven by unfavorable currency exchange, which adversely impacted Q2 revenue by 1.6%, partially offset by higher year-over-year pricing, and decreased sales support. Both P&A and general merchandise sales outperformed retail motorcycle sales growth in the second quarter. On Slide 16, gross margin in Q2 was down as a result of lower shipments, higher manufacturing expense, and unfavorable mix partially offset by higher pricing.

Product mix was unfavorable by $14.3 million in the quarter driven by unfavorable model mix within families, and unfavorable P&A and general merchandise mix. In Q2, manufacturing was unfavorable versus prior year driven largely by $34.4 million of incremental EU and China tariff costs. Manufacturing was also adversely impacted by lower absorption on reduced production and shipments, and temporary inefficiencies related to our manufacturing optimization initiative. On Slide 17, operating margin as a percent of revenue for Q2 was lower compared to last year driven by lower gross margin partially offset by lower SG&A and restructuring expenses.

SG&A continued to benefit from aggressive expense management partially offset by higher marketing and increased more roads investment. Restructuring charges for manufacturing optimization totaled $10.4 million in the second quarter, down $1.9 million from prior year. Financial services segment second-quarter operating income, shown on Slide 18, was $75.5 million, down 6.2% compared to the prior year. Net interest income was up $7.7 million due to higher year-over-year receivables, and strong interest rate yields on the portfolio.

The provision for retail motorcycle loan losses was $6.9 million unfavorable in the quarter driven by higher credit losses. Operating expenses were up versus prior year as a result of a reporting change in which Harley-Davidson dealer systems business moved from the motorcycles segment to the financial services segment, and due to higher depreciation as a result of our investment in a new loan management system, which was implemented in January of 2019. HDFS' operational results are on Slide 19. Q2 retail originations were down 1.8% versus prior year driven by lower motorcycle sales partially offset by higher HDFS market share.

HDFS market share was 65.9%, up a strong 1.9 percentage points during the quarter. At the end of the quarter, there was $364.2 million of cash and cash equivalents at HDFS, and $1.93 billion of liquidity available through bank credit and conduit facilities. During Q2, HDFS paid dividends of $45 million to Harley-Davidson, Inc., and also completed two asset-backed securitization transactions totaling just over $1 billion. On Slide 20, both our 30-day plus delinquency and credit losses were adversely impacted by start-up inefficiencies resulting from the implementation of our new loan management system in the first quarter.

The operational issues are largely behind us. However, we will continue to work through higher delinquencies that occurred during the system implementation. We expect key metrics to be impacted through the third quarter. The 30-day delinquency rate for retail motorcycle loan receivables on our balance sheet in Q2 was 3.33% or 24-basis points higher than last year's Q2 rate but sequentially improved from Q1 2019, which was up 42 basis points.

The annualized retail credit loss rate for receivables on balance sheet was 1.82%. Q2's loss rate increase of 26 basis points was above Q1 2019, which was up 7 basis points as it takes times for the increased delinquent loans to roll through to credit losses. The remaining Harley-Davidson, Inc. financial results are summarized on Slide 21.

Our quarter end cash and cash equivalents balance was $924.6 million, slightly lower than last year. Year-to-date operating cash flow was $496.2 million, which was down versus last year driven by higher working capital and lower net income. Regarding liquidity, the company has and intends to continue to maintain a minimum of 12 months of projected liquidity needs in cash and or committed credit facilities. We believe the charts on Slide 22 demonstrate that we are a leader in ROIC at the motor company and ROE at HDFS, and we are a clear leader in our ability to generate, and return cash to our shareholders.

One of the five objectives guiding our business strategies and execution through 2027 is to deliver superior return on invested capital as measured by motor company ROIC in the top quartile of the S&P 500, and by best-in-class return on equity at HDFS. Slide 23 illustrates our recent history of returning cash to our shareholders. In the second quarter of 2019, we paid a quarterly dividend of $0.375 per share and repurchased $42.9 million of our stock. Driving superior value for all our stakeholders is a top priority.

After investing in our business, we intend to return excess cash to our shareholders in the form of increasing dividends, and share repurchases. Slide 24 is a summary of our multi-year manufacturing optimization initiative. Key milestones in this initiative were successfully completed in the second quarter. We continue to expect $25 million to $30 million in savings for 2019.

As Matt noted, annual ongoing cash savings are expected to be $65 million to $75 million after 2020. Manufacturing optimization costs were $14.4 million in Q2, and we expect costs of approximately $10 million in Q3. For the full year, we expect to incur $40 million to $50 million of operating expense, which is a $10 million reduction over our most recent guidance. We believe these investments have very attractive returns.

They simplify our manufacturing footprint, provide focus in our operational investments, and improve gross margin by roughly 1.25 percentage points. Moving on to 2019 guidance on Slide 25. As Matt discussed, we recently obtained favorable EU tariff treatment for our softail and sportster motorcycles produced at our Thailand facility, reducing tariffs on these bikes from 31% to 6%. We expect a similar approval for nontrite terrain motorcycles later this year.

We expect to begin production for EU market in Thailand in late October. After shipping and inventory flow through, we expect motorcycles at the lower tariff rates to each our European dealers in early Q2 2020. The approval process took considerably longer than we had anticipated, and the delay has had an adverse impact on our shipment and operating income guidance. With regards to our shipments, the original plan was for sales of low-tariff bikes to begin in the EU in early Q4 versus the revised timing of early Q2 2020.

Our transition plan included a significant reduction in high-tariff inventory prior to the receipt of low-tariff replenishment, temporarily constraining supply in Q3 of 2019. The delayed start-up production shifts inventory deload of high tariff inventory to the end of the year. As a result, we expect to ship fewer bikes into Europe in Q4 than we originally planned. We expect the combination of company and dealer inventory in Europe to be down approximately 3,200 motorcycles due to the shift in timing of our approval.

With regards to our operating margin, our 2019 operating income will not benefit from lower tariff rates in 2019 as originally anticipated. In addition, we have experienced a cost of idle manufacturing capacity in Thailand as we awaited approval, as well as, increased cost resulting from a dual-path approach in the event of a denial. Consequently, with the delay of these approvals and softer-than-expected European retail sales as key drivers, we are lowering our 2019 full-year shipment guidance by 5,000 units to 212,000 to 217,000 units. In addition, we are reducing our 2019 full-year operating income margin guidance to 6% to 7% from the original guidance of 8% to 9%.

Full-year 2019 incremental tariff costs are expected to be approximately $100 million from our previous expectation of $100 million to $120 million. Tariff costs have been reduced behind lower expected European shipments as we deload high-tariff motorcycle inventory, and lower demand in Europe. Other expectations for full year 2019 are largely unchanged. In the third quarter, we expect to ship approximately 43,000 to 48,000 motorcycles.

We also expect third-quarter operating margin to be down approximately 3 percentage points versus last year driven by lower planned shipments, continuing impact of tariffs and higher SG&A behind increased marketing investment. We continue to make the right decisions and investments to drive long-term sustainable growth and to provide long-term value to our shareholders. We continue to proactively manage through various and often significant global market headwinds while continuing to invest in our future through our more roads plan. As we look forward, we're excited to put the uncertainty of the European incremental tariffs behind us, and look forward to restoring roughly $100 million of annualized margin.

We are prepared to face the challenges ahead and committed to driving long-term growth for the company and strong returns for our shareholders. Thank you, and now let's take your questions.

Questions & Answers:


[Operator instructions] And your first question comes from the line of Tim Conder from Wells Fargo. Your line is open.

Tim Conder -- Wells Fargo -- Analyst

Thank you and thank you for the color, gentlemen. Just John, basically on one of your last statements there, could you just refresh us now given the timing and what you described about the EU bikes ramping up in early Q2 of '20 now, what your margin improvement expectations are now for '20 versus '19 or however you want to frame that? It'll obviously limit some of those improvements in 2020. Just a broad update there, if you could.

John Olin -- Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Tim. As we talked about, right now, when we look at the base of 2019, we expect to have embedded in that $100 million of tariff costs this year, and that will be the entire year with tariffs from the EU and China. And as we move forward, the Europe -- Chinese tariffs will fall off at the end of this year. And so through inventory flow-through, we will be selling lower-tariff bikes at the beginning of first quarter in China in 2020.

However, again, because of the timing delay and inventory flow-through, we will start realizing the tariff benefit in Europe, which is certainly the lion's share of $100 million. Probably $90 million of the $100 million will start being realized in the second quarter. So overall, the vast majority of the $100 million will be reduced in 2020, Tim.

Tim Conder -- Wells Fargo -- Analyst

OK. Thank you.


Our next question comes from the line of Sharon Zackfia from William Blair. Your line is open.

Sharon Zackfia -- William Blair and Company -- Analyst

Hi, good mornin'. Hey, John, you went through some of those conversations about Europe pretty quickly in the prepared comments. So I guess just to clarify, the impact from the regulatory approval lasting longer, could you kind of explain that again? What the impact is on the back half for you going to curtail shipments until the regulatory approval was obtained, and that's why there's that 3,200-bike impact? And then I missed what the other 1,800 bikes were relative to the 5,000 revision to the guidance.

John Olin -- Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Sharon. The whole tariff situation has been complication from day one, this certainly further complicates it. So let me take you back to when we initially issued guidance. At the end of last year, we submitted an application, which we felt was a very strong application with the authorities in Europe.

And with that, we had planned to begin production in Thailand at the beginning of the second quarter of this year. And with that and kind of following through the flow is it would take two months on the water to get from Thailand to Europe. And then it hits our DC in Europe, and then it needs to flow through the dealer network. And there's typically about four months of inventory in Europe.

And so with that flow-through time, and us constraining some inventory, which I'll get back to in a second, we would expect about three months before we would start to realize those benefits. So the original plan had baked in benefits beginning -- at the beginning of the fourth quarter of this year. Now what happened is the delays began and the timing kind of got thrown off from where we would have expected. And with that, we had a plant ready to go.

We had a workforce ready for the beginning of the second quarter. We kept them at bay waiting for the decision to come. And at the same time, we spooled up a study to do what the next best location was and work our contingency plans. In any event, a couple of weeks ago, a few weeks ago, we received notice from the authorities that they approved it, which we couldn't be more excited about.

And with that, we will start production at the beginning of -- or I'm sorry, at the end of October this year. So we'll start producing in Thailand. Again, Sharon, flowing through that, we've got two months on the water, which gets products there right at the end of the year, at the beginning of next year. And then you've got three to four-month flow-through of inventory, which puts us realizing the lower tariff rates at the beginning of the second quarter.

And so how this affects our guidance? Number one is on shipment guidance. As we always intended, we were going to constrain inventory as much as we can, and we believe that's about 3,200 units out of both company-owned inventory and dealer inventory. And with constraining that volume, we would save on the tariffs and save our shareholders about $7 million, which is about $2,200 per bike times 3,200 units. However, that would've happened intra-year.

It would've been happening right now as we would be compressing inventories on the original plan. With the delay, at this point, we're now switching over from high-tariffs bikes coming out of York, Pennsylvania, to low-tariff bikes coming out of Thailand right at the end of the year, and that's at the peak of our deload, and trying to take about a month of inventory out of -- taking inventory down about a month so that we can replenish it with low-tariffs bikes. So with that, again, is about 3,200 units. The other 1,800 -- or the other aspect of the 5,000 units coming down is the softness that we're seeing in Europe.

And when we look at the first half of our international business, we're down about 6.5%. And there's two things driving that, Sharon, which lead to the rest of the 5,000 units. First and foremost is our Street motorcycles. As you recall, we had a recall, and from an unusual standpoint, it had us out of commerce for the entire first quarter.

And with that, we lost about 2,100 units on a year-over-year basis. Most of those units, 1,700 of them, are in our international markets. And we were looking for a rebound we didn't get. However, the good news is that Street motorcycle sales picked up right where they left off before the recall.

So we don't think there's any lasting impact. However, we didn't get the rebound that we expected. And so that's a big piece of the call down is that we're just not going to get them. It's one time and they're out.

The other piece of it is that in Europe in particular, we had a very strong first year of softail motorcycles well into the double digits and over 20% increase a year ago. We're lapping that, and not quite getting to year-ago levels, and that's adding to a little bit of the softness. So with the call -- or the timing of tariffs and the softness that we're seeing in Europe, we're looking to bring down our overall shipment guidance by 5,000. Remember, most of that is going to come back as we ship back in, in the early part of next year to replenish those dealer inventories and get them back to normal levels.

It just happens to have -- happens to be that to do the right thing for our shareholders requires us to adjust our shipment guidance given the timing.

Sharon Zackfia -- William Blair and Company -- Analyst

That's very helpful. Thank you.


Our next question comes from the line of Joe Altobello from Raymond James. Your line is open.

Joe Altobello -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Thanks. Hey, guys. Good morning. I guess first question on the guide and particularly the new shipment guide.

Are you guys assuming that U.S. retail improves in the back half of this year?

John Olin -- Chief Financial Officer

I'm -- had trouble hearing that.

Joe Altobello -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Sorry. Are you guys assuming that U.S. retail improves in the second half of this year with the revised shipment guidance?

John Olin -- Chief Financial Officer

Yes. We would expect that U.S. retail will improve in the back half certainly behind two -- well, driven by two things, Joe. One is much easier comps in the back half than the first half of the year, and second and more importantly is what we've been talking about is our stronger dealer.

Matt mentioned it in the prepared remarks as gaining a fair amount of momentum, and we would expect that to continue to grow as more dealers are exposed to some of those efforts.

Joe Altobello -- Raymond James -- Analyst

OK. And then secondly on HDFS, the 30-day delinquencies, you know, rose last quarter. I think you guys attributed that to efficiencies -- or inefficiencies from the implementation of a new loan management system. That picked up again this quarter.

Is that now behind us? And should we start to see some improvement on the delinquency rate going forward?

John Olin -- Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. Actually, the delinquencies were up in the second quarter, but actually ticked down from the first quarter. So let me spend a quick minute on that. With regards to the LMS system, it is a massive system that powers most of HDFS anywhere from loan origination to collections to repossessions, and the accounting.

And like any big system implementation, there are start-up inefficiencies, and we had them at the beginning. And a lot of it was the learning curve of collectors, and with that, they fell behind on some of the collection calls. And we saw in the first quarter, delinquencies jumped, and they were up 42 basis points in the first quarter. And as they get over the learning curve and things get all bedded down, we are seeing them fall off.

And so they were up 24 basis points this quarter, so good improvement. We would expect them to still be a little bit elevated in the third quarter, and then no impact from the system implementation in the fourth quarter. Conversely, credit losses, and this maybe what you're referring to as rising, Joe, is credit losses are delayed from delinquencies. And so while we saw credit losses up a little bit in the first quarter, as those delinquent loans, some of them rolled through the credit losses, we've seen that jump in the second quarter.

And so delinquencies were up 26 basis points in the second quarter. We would expect in third quarter that they remain elevated as they roll through to loss. And then, again, in the fourth quarter, no impact. Otherwise, we feel very good about the business at HDFS.

Very strong revenue growth through the first half of five and a half percent. Their biggest driver of revenue is new motorcycle sales, which were down in the first half, and they've done it on gaining market share and financing used bikes. But we're very pleased with that, and this one time will roll through HDFS over the next quarter.


Our next question comes from the line of Craig Kennison from Baird. Your line is open.

Craig Kennison -- Robert W. Baird and Company -- Analyst

Hey, good morning. Thanks for taking my question. Hey, Matt, this is a longer-winded question on ridership and demographics, but your data is showing U.S. ridership is at a record level, over 3 million Harley-Davidson riders.

What's that data showing about the age profile of the rider base? Specifically, I'm wondering how ridership levels and new bike demand look over the next three to five years if you extrapolate trends among, I guess, your exiting baby boomers and your incoming millennials. And the question is, is there a point when those trends all converge to form some kind of demographic bottom, and ultimately provide you a lift from all the work you're doing on more roads?

Matt Levatich -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Craig. We -- this is obviously something that we are paying a tremendous amount of attention to and actually have been, even going back to the outreach work that we started around 2010. And if you remember, back then, our strategy was to really work to "fatten the tails" of that bell curve of age distribution. And in fact, that's what the profile today shows.

So the work that we've been doing has been effective in the sense that we have kept existing riders riding longer. And as I mentioned, there are 24% more young adults riding Harleys today than they were in 2002. So if you would -- if you can visualize that bell curve, the left and right tails of the bell curve have, in fact, lifted through our efforts. And what we are paying attention to and working on in direct correlation to your question is what's going on in the middle age demographic.

And where this gets particularly challenging is the whole shift in life-stage events that's driving consumer behavior, people getting married later, having children later. And we've historically seen a sweet spot, if you will, of reentry into motorcycling after people get through their family years sort of in the mid-40s age range. And we are seeing that shifting a little bit out as people emerge from their family years a little bit later. So it's a little bit hard to model that, to be honest, but we are very encouraged and we continue to focus on bringing new people into the sport, making sure that motorcycling is a vital consideration for young adults of today, and obviously, doing a lot with existing product and marketing, and so forth and reasons to ride for existing passionate, loyal customers who have more time and more money than any generation in the history of the planet.

So not a direct answer to your question, but just to give you a little bit of color into -- we absolutely get where you're going with that is when -- how do we model forward these trends and ensure that we don't have some disruption in our business but we continue to have buyers for the new and used motorcycles that exist in this marketplace, and continue to grow the number of riders so that we assure that's a healthy, balanced system. We will be -- we're working on an investor day, and we will be getting into this in a lot of detail as we roll forward, and start planning for deeper information for all of you on that dimension, so thanks.

Craig Kennison -- Robert W. Baird and Company -- Analyst

Thank you.


Our next question comes from the line of Felicia Hendrix from Barclays. Your line is open.

Felicia Hendrix -- Barclays -- Analyst

Hi, thanks. Matt, can we just talk about LiveWire for a moment? I was wondering if there's any plans down the road for a lower-ASP bike. And also, can you just help us understand how many dealers are opting to invest in the LiveWire infrastructure, and perhaps maybe how much it would cost a dealer and has that been trending up?

Matt Levatich -- President and Chief Executive Officer

OK. Thanks, Felicia. Yeah, we couldn't be more thrilled with the response. I mean, again, I mentioned it in my opening remarks.

I've seen a lot of motorcycle launches from all kinds of brands over my time in this industry, and quite honestly, I've never seen a response. And these are from very demanding journalists who aren't necessarily fans of the brand who got on this product with some sort of dubious suspicion about its capabilities, and were completely transformed. So we made a deliberate decision to launch a halo product to demonstrate what's possible in electric, a no-excuses electric Harley-Davidson, and we feel very good that we've done that. We've planted a stake in the ground for the industry to say this is what's possible with this technology, this is what's possible from Harley-Davidson.

And that builds and creates space for us to enter in that mid-powered segment that I mentioned in my remarks, and that's very much a part of our strategy to lead in the electrification. So more accessible products from a physical power performance perspective, as well as, a price perspective to continue to leverage EV as a pathway into the sport. One of the things that is commonly mentioned across the journalists is how effortless it is to ride, how there's no -- there's nothing interfering with the pleasure of riding, the complexity of riding disappears, it's twist-and-go simplicity. And we see that as not just being attractive to people that have never ridden before, but as a motor journalist attests, in and of itself, it is a different and fantastic riding experience for experienced riders as well.

So again, we couldn't be more happy. We have, as I mentioned, excellent uptake on our dealer network. We have about 150 dealers in the United States. The investment level varies, but it includes training, as I mentioned, equipment and tools and, obviously, the DC fast charge, which is the biggest part of the investment.

Some of that sometimes requires power feeds and sometimes it's a direct install to their existing infrastructure. So the dealers have made those investments eagerly. We expect over time, as the portfolio builds, we'll have more dealers investing in carrying our full electric portfolio. And we expect this business to grow and be very profitable for the dealers, as well as, for the company.

Yeah, and I mentioned the mid-power will be lower priced and also physically -- I mean LiveWire is a high-performance motorcycle, there's no doubt about it. So getting price and performance and ease of access is a goal as part of the midweight -- mid-power strategy with electric, so thanks.

Felicia Hendrix -- Barclays -- Analyst

OK. Thank you.


Our next question comes from the line of Joseph Spak from RBC Capital Markets. Your line is open.

Joseph Spak -- RBC Capital Markets -- Analyst

Thanks. John, maybe first one just a housekeeping clarification. With the old operating margin guidance of 8% to 9%, you used to say ex restructuring and tariffs, that was flat year over year, which I think the year before was 11.1%. So with the new 6% to 7%, can you just update us on the, you know, ex all other costs target? And then just on HDFS, thinking out to the future, as you begin to target a younger demographic and use HDFS to drive sales a little bit more, should we expect that loss rate and delinquency will be higher in the future than it has been historically?

John Olin -- Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Joe. From an operating margin standpoint, so let's first talk about coming down from 8% to 9% to 6% to 7%, so that's about a two percentage point decline. As we talked about the tariff timing, that accounts for about 60% of that reduction, or 1.2 percentage points. And the reason being is -- one is the volume piece.

But again, when we put the original volume -- I'm sorry, the operating margin guidance together, we expected a quarter of tariff savings, and mitigation this year. And we're running at about $9 million a month in terms of tariff costs, so you look at that and it's about $30 million. Those increased costs that we talked about, and inefficiencies at the plant, and having a workforce ready to go, as well as, the spooling up another contingency plan, that's in the $7 million to $10 million cost range. And then you've got the absorption from the 3,200 units of fixed and SG&A absorption.

So overall, that's about 1.2 percentage points. Again, we would expect that to come back into the next year, and the timing, obviously, is the issue there. The other piece is with the lower volumes coming out of Europe largely due to the street -- I'm sorry, the street motorcycle. That represents about 40% of the overall two percentage points.

So getting back to your specific question, with regards to excluding restructuring and tariffs, on a year-over-year basis, we would expect this year's operating margin to be down in the range of a percentage point, and that's largely the piece of one times that's not going to come back, but about one percentage point, Joe. The second piece is as we look at HDFS, and you know, the younger demographic is we do not expect our underwriting standards to change from where they are today. And now having said that, our underwriting standards are very accommodating to young adults, and HDFS does a fantastic job of underwriting those folks, and folks within files or no credit, as well as, ones that have more of a credit history. So we are financing a lot of young adults today.

And again, we're doing that across the credit spectrum, including prime loans, as well as, subprime. So we don't expect a change in overall margins at HDFS due to the demographic shift.

Matt Levatich -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Next question.


Our next question comes from the line of Gerrick Johnson from BMO Capital Markets. Your line is open.

Gerrick Johnson -- BMO Capital Markets -- Analyst

Hey, good morning. I think I have three questions here. First, can you talk about preorders for LiveWire and how they're tracking, and tracking toward expectations? And then the international plans for LiveWire? And then also, can you talk about the economics of the deal with Qianjiang in China, and the expectation for you to sell there? And then I have one more after that. Thank you.

John Olin -- Chief Financial Officer

All right, Gerrick, this is John. With regards to the preorders, preorders are coming in as expected. And as we get closer to the overall launch, and especially with some of the press coming out, we had 10 days with the media in Portland. And the press has been absolutely fantastic.

We're seeing a ramp up in those. But everything is looking fine from a preorder standpoint. As you know, we don't provide that number, but we feel very good about where we're at and couldn't be more excited about that overall launch. The launch is going to be initially focused in the U.S.

and a quick, fast following on international dealers. So just a little bit of a delay, and that's partly the delay of getting motorcycles over there. But this will be a full launch over the next six months, both domestic and international dealerships. And then finally, with regards to QJ, our partner in China, first, let me say we couldn't be more excited to be partnered with such a high-quality large motorcycle manufacturer in China.

There is -- this is a relationship, more of a contractual relationship. There is no equity swapped out. And QJ will produce motorcycles and manufacture from us in China. We will design and work with them on what that motorcycle is.

It will be Harley-Davidson branded, and we will be in market by the end of next year, and couldn't be more excited. You know this will be the first entry and a small displacement for Harley-Davidson. And when we look at that segment that it'll participate in, it's going to be a 338 cc motorcycle, and it'll participate in the 150 to 400 segment in China, which has over 2 million sales a year. So again, very excited to bring Harley-Davidson in a big way to our Chinese market.

And we also look to take this motorcycle to other Asian markets.


Our next question comes from the line of James Hardiman from Wedbush Securities. Your line is open.

James Hardiman -- Wedbush Securities -- Analyst

Hi, good morning. Wanted to maybe talk a little bit about the outlook for Europe. Now that the street recall issues are behind us, do we expect that to moderate? Do we expect that to get better? I didn't hear a whole lot of conversation about the macro conditions in Europe, which aren't great. And then, I mean, I guess, one of the issues that we previously put to bed was just maybe brand issues surrounding the trade war and whether or not that was having an impact on you guys.

And then, I guess, lastly with respect to Europe, have you done consumer studies to get comfortable with the notion that European customers aren't going to have an issue with their bikes being made in Asia rather than the U.S.? Thanks.

Matt Levatich -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, James. This is Matt. I'll -- I'll take that. First of all, the European market has historically been very product driven.

And we see some of the -- we enjoyed that last year, as John mentioned, with our initial sell-in of softails, and a little bit of a reversion more than we expected this year, but also a lot of competitive action with some of the strong European players in the adventure touring space that is really the dominant segment in Europe. And on that note, with the middleweight products that we're launching next year, they will play a huge role in us participating more fully in the European marketplace. So when you step back and look at Europe for us long term, we're weathering softness this year but we expect Europe to be an engine of growth for the company. With our EV investments and with our middleweight investments, particularly in the sense that we're going into those really large and fast-growing segments in a big way with product that is absolutely class-leading for those riders.

So all that is -- we feel very good about. We're weathering the initial sort of conditions today. Some of that is impacted by economics. We do know, to your point about the receptivity of motorcycles, from -- first of all, we're shipping into Europe and have been since inception from our plant in India our street motorcycles into Europe, and we've had no customer reaction whatsoever to that component of that -- of our supply.

If you were to walk into any of our plants worldwide, Thailand included, and if I blindfolded you and walked you into those plants, you would absolutely see them as Harley-Davidson plants. Same process, same standards, same expectations, and that's what we're going to deliver to our customers. And I think under the circumstances of the tariffs, they understand. Already we know that this is the smart thing for the company to do to keep supplying them with affordable Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

So no big risk there and we're full speed ahead on our strategy to really make a difference for our business and for our customers in Europe.

James Hardiman -- Wedbush Securities -- Analyst

That's great. And then just a quick clarification, just two seconds. You mentioned earlier that you expect the U.S. to get better in the second half.

Is that a moderating decline versus the six and a half percent? First half decline? Or are you actually expecting the U.S. to be up year over year in the second half?

John Olin -- Chief Financial Officer

This is John. It would be a moderating decline in the back half of the year. Again, we are on plan for the U.S. sales through the first half, and we expect those two drivers, which is lapping easy comps and stronger dealer initiatives that we're doing to help further mitigate it by end of the year.

But we would expect the back half to be down, James.

James Hardiman -- Wedbush Securities -- Analyst

Got it. That's what I thought. Thank you.


Our next question comes from the line of Jamie Katz from Morningstar. YOur line is open.

Jamie Katz -- Morningstar -- Analyst

Hi, good morning. I'm curious about the market share slide. I see that you guys are allocating this sort of shift to smaller-displacement bikes, something that's been more pervasive. But I'm curious how you mitigate share losses ahead? Like whether your best opportunity is to either recapture that share losses now -- those share losses now that you are sort of sticking with the touring and cruisers segments? And I think the initial intention was to maybe only do smaller-displacement bikes outside of the U.S.

John Olin -- Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Jamie. Thanks for the question. Again, when we look at market share, it was down 1.8 percentage points in the second quarter. And I really appreciate the question because the bigger thing of what it was down versus why it was down? And when we dissect that, it plays right into our more roads strategy, which I'll get to in a second.

So if we look at the segments in which we compete, the touring and cruisers segments, our market share was very strong. We were up 2 percentage points. That represent 70% of the 601+cc market. We've seen it up in the quarter.

We saw it up last quarter. We saw it up last year. We saw it up the year before. We're doing very well on head-to-head competition for customers that are looking for touring and cruising motorcycles.

The other part of the market, United States is 30%, and that segment of the market was up 10% -- 9.8%. Whereas the segments that we participate in were down 11%. And we will be participating in it. So our -- our plan is to participate in those markets.

And in a year's time, we will be out with the middleweight, and participating in those segments that include dual and streetfighters. And we couldn't be more excited about moving into a growing segment of the market with the Harley-Davidson brand, and those products. And while those segments are 30% in the United States, on an international basis, it is dramatically different. So it's almost a mirror opposite.

The segments that we're not currently participating in are much larger on a worldwide basis. To kind of wrap all of that up, Jamie, is today we're participating in 41% of addressable motor -- heavyweight motorcycle market in the world. And of that 41% we participate in, we have a tremendous market share of around 70%. We will be moving with our new middleweight into the other segments that we don't participate in, and in a year's time, we will be participating in 89% of the world addressable market.

So that's how we're going to address market shares moving forward.

Matt Levatich -- President and Chief Executive Officer

And I'll just add, thanks, John, that you know there is interest in smaller displacement non-600, and above that we see in our plan in developed markets is to address that through our EV strategy with light and mid-powered electric vehicles to invest in the next century's technology for developed markets to primarily as a gateway into this sport, and into our brand.


Our next question comes from the line of Greg Badishkanian from Citi. Your line is open.

Greg Badishkanian -- Citi -- Analyst

Great. Thank you. Could you maybe just talk about any weather impact on retail sales in the quarter? And then also just, you know, promotions. How were they year over year, you know, versus second quarter of last year? Were they elevated? Or overall marketing spending as well, was that elevated versus second quarter or in line with last year?

John Olin -- Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Greg. With regards to weather, when you look at the quarter and you break weather up into temperature and precipitation, it was clearly worse on a year-over-year basis in the second quarter, in particular on the wet side. But weather happens. It may have had some impact on the industry sales.

We don't think that it was any huge impact and nothing that -- not a lot. But weather was not as good on a year-over-year basis. With regards to the promotions, two things. No.

1 is from an industry standpoint. As we look at the second quarter, we are at the highest levels of promotion that we've seen as long as I've been here for 15 years. But we haven't -- we did not see it get worse in the second quarter. It is extremely elevated but similar to what it was in the first quarter, and on a year-over-year basis, similar to what we saw on a year-over-year basis.

Now that's the overall industry. Our sales incentives were down quite a bit in the second quarter. And that kind of plays into the rate that we were down -- the sales rate in the United States that we were down versus the first quarter is one is the comps played a big role in that, and secondly is how we spent our sales incentives money. If you remember, we started out the year very slowly.

The industry did. We did. And through February, sales were down double digit. And we pulled forward some of our sales incentives money.

What we wanted to do was get people into dealership at the onset of the selling season. And we did various sales incentives, in particular a financing promo in the month of March was very successful, and we had volu -- or retail sales up in the month of March. And with that, we planfully backed off of those sales incentives in the second quarter, and shifted our focus to brand equity marketing, which was up 34% in the second quarter. However, when we look at our spending on sales incentives, it was down 80% to 90% on a year-over-year basis.

So in aggregate, again, we ended up the first quarter on plan. We were a little bit ahead of our internal plans in the first quarter, a little bit behind in the second quarter, but right on plan as we exit, and looking forward to the back half of the year.

Shannon Burns -- Director of Investor Relations

All right. Thanks, everyone. The audio and slides for today's call will be available at, or for the audio, call (855) 859-2056 or (404) 537-3406 until August 6th. The ID is 8975068.

We appreciate your investment in Harley-Davidson. Have a great day.


[Operator signoff]

Duration: 67 minutes

Call participants:

Shannon Burns -- Director of Investor Relations

Matt Levatich -- President and Chief Executive Officer

John Olin -- Chief Financial Officer

Tim Conder -- Wells Fargo -- Analyst

Sharon Zackfia -- William Blair and Company -- Analyst

Joe Altobello -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Craig Kennison -- Robert W. Baird and Company -- Analyst

Felicia Hendrix -- Barclays -- Analyst

Joseph Spak -- RBC Capital Markets -- Analyst

Gerrick Johnson -- BMO Capital Markets -- Analyst

James Hardiman -- Wedbush Securities -- Analyst

Jamie Katz -- Morningstar -- Analyst

Greg Badishkanian -- Citi -- Analyst

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