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owl
04-10-2014, 07:43 AM
I found this interesting

Shocker: BMW AG PURCHASES HARLEY-DAVIDSON
Weak US dollar, struggling economy lead to German takeover of American Biking Giant

Reuters | April 01 2014
In what is likely the largest, and most unusual, takeover in motorcycle history BMW Motorrad AG (Munich) announced this week its planned purchase of Harley-Davidson Motorcycles.
Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett apparently was instrumental in brokering the arrangement.

Many analysts had quietly seen this coming.

"After riding high for two decades, the company that makes Hogs is sputtering," explained Josiah Harbor of the Rand Corporation. "Harley's core customers are graying baby boomers, whose savings, in many cases, have gone up in smoke in the market downturn. And that came back and bit H-D in the backside."

"These are big days for BMW," says Dr. Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG in Munich. "With the purchase of Harley, BMW stands ready to be the world's largest and most diverse motorbike company."

Dr. Reithofer says Harley-Davidson will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of BMW AG, similar to Husqvarna. "The H-D brand will remain, the US facilities will remain. But BMW AG and BMW North America will now manage the company."

Why now? Blame it on the economy and interest rates.

In a pattern similar to that of the housing bust, Harley goosed sales by luring many buyers with no-money-down loans. A subsidiary created about 15 years ago, Harley-Davidson Financial Services, made those loans and packaged them into securities to sell to investors. As the credit market skidded, so did this subsidiary.

As much as one-fourth of the $2.8 billion in loans issued by Harley-Davidson Financial Services last year were subprime, with interest rates as high as 18 percent. As the downturn took hold, some borrowers started defaulting on loans and investors stopped buying the securities, forcing Harley to write down $80 million of debt last year, analysts said. Although it recently tightened lending standards, the company is still chasing buyers by offering credit.

And things kept getting worse. For example, last week Harley-Davidson laid off 250 workers from its Springettsbury Township plant. The job cuts were in conjunction with the company's previously stated layoffs, in which Harley-Davidson plans to eliminate about 425 local positions by the end of the year.

In large part because of loan problems, though, profits at Harley fell 30 percent last year, to $654.7 million on revenue of $5.6 billion. Operating income of the financial subsidiary fell 61 percent, to $83 million.

Concerns about Harley's future grew after the departures of its two top executives were announced. In December, Jim Ziemer, 59, said he planned to retire as C.E.O. this year. In early January, the company announced that Saiyid Naqvi, the head of the finance unit, was resigning after less than two years at Harley. Since September, Harley's stock has plunged 70 percent, to under $13, compared with a 36 percent decline for the Standard & Poor's 500.

Jim

owl
04-10-2014, 07:47 AM
Check out the date

sprink
04-10-2014, 07:56 AM
First thing I saw, lol. Didn't read the rest.:lmao:

Gas Man
04-10-2014, 10:24 AM
:lol:

DataDaemon
04-11-2014, 07:11 AM
I think that thing gets posted like EVERY April 1st... Like word for word LOL.

Chain
04-11-2014, 07:26 AM
I've seen this also... but it was Honda that was buying them... boy talk about a lot of pissed off peeps! Too funny!

bombdog
04-11-2014, 03:01 PM
WTF got me excited thought I was really gonna pay alot HD and Bosch Dam I would be broke in no time.

Tin Man
04-14-2014, 08:07 AM
Good fun, But Harley sells more Baggers every year than BMW sells bikes.