Harley-Davidson officials confirmed in an investor conference call Thursday that it intends to discontinue the FLTRX Road Glide Custom and the FLTRU Road Glide Ultra from its 2014 model line up. Senior vice president and CFO John Olin said the decision was part of the company’s typical process of bringing models in and out of the lineup each year as it introduces new bikes. “While those two Road Glide models are strong for us, they represent a relatively small portion of our touring sales,” Olin said in the investor call. “We don’t expect any large impact for taking those two models out for the next model year.”
HD's Chief Operating Officer Matt Levatich told the Milwaukee Business Journal the decision to discontinue those models was so the company could plan ahead for their business and "manage customer expectations. HD officials say the cuts would not have a material impact on sales going forward.
CEO Keith Wandell told MBJ Harley management isn't taking the competition lightly, but "we believe the way we've positioned our company and how we've transformed product development and the pipeline of products we have coming ... Our job is to just bring great products to market and make sure we’re winning with great products.”
Wandell gave props to Polaris for picking Sturgis to relaunch the once famous brand. “I think they’ll get certainly a lot of traffic, a lot of folks looking,” Wandell told me. “But it’s just going to be folks that are at Sturgis. I think when we then unveil our new products a couple weeks later, I think it’ll more than offset what’s been done there.”