HD press release

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(Reuters) Harley-Davidson Inc (HOG) shares jumped 5% in intraday trading today on news the company would immediately cease manufacturing motorcycles and focus instead solely on selling merchandise branded with its iconic orange-and-black logo.

While the environment remains challenging for us in regard to actual vehicle sales, we are encouraged by the continued strength in sales of Harley-Davidson branded merchandise, including not only traditional leather goods, but also product categories as diverse as toys, flatware, and bed linens, says Keith Wandell, chief executive officer of Harley-Davidson, Inc. Moving forward, our strategy is designed to strengthen the Harley-Davidson brand for long-term growth and deliver results through increased focus on the motorcycling lifestyle, although not on actual motorcycles per se."

As our previous announcements regarding Buell and MV Agusta indicate, we are moving with the speed and decisiveness required to fully exit the motorcycle business on an agressive timetable, Wandell added. The fact is we must focus both our effort and our investment on the Harley-Davidson brand, as we believe this provides an optimal path to sustained, meaningful, long-term growth."

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Posted on Apr 1, 2010, 5:47 PM
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