Last week we had a story about rumors of Ducati getting all chummy with Harley Davidson, then the financial folks started whispering about Honda looking to buy the motor company. Now it appears those rumors have subsided and everyone is back to where they started. Harley stock rose then fell back. This is beginning to sound like the racing off season when everyone speculates about which rider will jump to which team.
Motorcycle sales have not been booming and Harley Davidson had the strike earlier this year, then their financial unit has been hit with higher defaults than usual and instead of waiting lists, some of the big Milwaukee V-twins are actually selling below retail. Maybe the financial gurus smelled blood and started guessing about the future or maybe the companies really were considering a marriage of some sort. Whether Ducati or Honda made logical partners for a merger is questionable and as noted in one article, the Honda hook up would leave the combined company with 65% of the U.S. motorcycle market, a red flag for regulators.
Maybe this will all settle down and everyone can concentrate on motorcycles again but just when you believe that, someone else whispers of another potential takeover. If you’re thinking of investing in motorcycles, it might be safer to buy the bike and leave the stocks for the time being.