http://www.morningstar.com/earnings/44460345-harleydavidson-inc-hog-q3-2012.aspx

Harley-Davidson Inc HOG
Q3 2012 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 10/23/2012

Operator: Good morning. My name is Sarah, and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome you all to the Third Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speakers' remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session.

Thank you. I'd now like to turn the call over to our host, Ms. Amy Giuffre, Director of Investor Relations. You may begin your conference.

Amy Giuffre - Director, IR: Thank you, Sarah, and welcome to Harley-Davidson's third quarter 2012 earnings conference call. The audio for today's call is being webcast live on harley-davidson.com. The supporting slides can be accessed on the website by clicking on Company, Investor Relations, then Events and Presentations.

Our comments today will include forward-looking statements that are subject to risks that could cause actual results to be materially different. Those risks include, among others, matters we have noted in our latest earnings release and filings with the SEC. Harley-Davidson disclaims any obligation to update information in this call.

Today you'll hear from Harley-Davidson's CEO, Keith Wandell and CFO, John Olin. President of Harley-Davidson Financial Services, Larry Hund is unable to join us for the call this morning, but will be joining us again next quarter. Following Keith and John's comments we will open the call for your questions.

So let's get started. Keith?

Keith E. Wandell - President and CEO: Thank you, Amy, and good morning and thanks for joining us on today's call. As we look back at the third quarter and the first nine months of the year, I am truly proud of everything that the Harley-Davidson team of employees, dealers, and suppliers has achieved so far in 2012.

During the quarter, we continued to see evidence of the successful execution of our strategy. With our focus on leadership and manufacturing and product development and at retail we believe that we are increasingly poised to provide an even more exceptional customer experience. The entire team is focused and doing a great job of delivering on the many changes underway in all parts of the business and together we are positioning Harley-Davidson for success not only today but over the long term.

We achieved a pivotal milestone in the third quarter with the launch of the ERP operating system at our York plant, and we exited the quarter on track with our production targets. Now, our focus is on optimizing the system, and we are also making final preparations for the implementation of seasonal surge production capacity at York early next year. Implementation of the production changes at Milwaukee, Tomahawk, and Kansas City while not of the same magnitude as York, continue to go very well. Coming out of 2012 we will be largely finished with our manufacturing restructuring and we are delivering this massive change on time and on target and that’s great news and it’s a tremendous achievement. It will benefit our customers, our dealers, our employees, and our shareholders. We’re making steady progress in other areas as well. We continue to grow outreach, the core customer segments and expand our global reach. In the U.S. our strategy calls for us to grow sales to outreach customers at a faster rate than to core customers and we’re doing that.

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