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Motorcycle Maker Sued by Dearlership

Posted on Nov 17, 2011
The economic recession has slowed the purchase of luxury items including motorcycles. Although most hard-core riders will say motorcycles are a life style, not a luxury, the majority of owners purchase motorcycles as a second vehicle for recreation.

Motorcycle sales slowed dramatically since 2008 but many Harley-Davidson dealerships have been able to weather the storm through internet sales. Some Milwaukee area dealerships do in excess of $2 million annually in international sales on eBay. The ability to sell accessories and clothes on the internet has kept some dealerships in the black over the long winter doldrums. Although the sale of parts and accessories on the internet has been widely known, it wasn't until this summer that Harley-Davidson notified dealers that all such sales shall cease. This did not sit well with a number of dealerships that relied on these sales to keep afloat through lean times.

One dealer, St. Paul Harley-Davidson, decided to challenge the restriction in federal court.  The United States District Court for the District of Minnesota Third Division will hear the case. The outcome of this case could effect the ability of a number of Harley-Davidson dealerships around the country to remain in business. Another question some have raised is whether The Motor Company will engage in international sales of this type after taking away the ability of dealerships to conduct these sales.