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Why Harley-Davidson Stock Is Falling 6% This Morning

By Rich Duprey - Updated May 11, 2020 at 11:38AM

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The motorcycle maker is giving up the gains it made late last week.

What happened

Shares of Harley-Davidson (HOG -1.47%) were down 6% in morning trading Monday as the stock indexes opened lower following gains last week.

So what

There was no news specific to the motorcycle maker, but it had benefited from a minor rally last week following the permanent appointment of Jochen Zeitz to the positions of president and CEO.

Motorcycle rider charging an electric bike

Image source: Harley-Davidson.

Now what

The market may be realizing Harley-Davidson still faces a substantial uphill battle, regardless of who is running the show.

While Zeitz proved himself adept at turning around a business at consumer products giant Puma, motorcycles might not be so easy. Secular issues are confronting Harley that aren't easily reversed with new marketing. Manufacturing all-new motorcycle models that will appeal to today's rider while retaining the loyalty of the aging faithful is no simple task.

Zeitz is said to have been instrumental in shepherding the bike maker's LiveWire electric motorcycle to market, but it's an expensive halo product to bet on considering Harley needs to overcome a history of fidelity to gas and oil that doesn't easily translate into an environmentally conscious investment.

That's a long way of saying today's stock move suggests the euphoria felt over the executive's appointment last week was short-lived.

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