Yeah, in some cities anyway. I noticed lots of near-new used Harley’s on the showroom floor of my Ducati dealer. I thought that was odd so I started asking questions. Are people with near-new Harley’s trading them if for Ducatis, or one the Japanese or German bikes most Ducati dealers also sell? Turns out my Ducati dealer has a deal with a bank or maybe several banks that he will sell all the Harley Davidson’s they repossess from borrowers who couldn’t keep up the payments. The bank gets the proceeds of the sale less the dealer’s profit. The borrower in default gets a judgment he must satisfy by paying off a dead horse.
So why are so many low millage Harley’s on the market? My Ducati dealer said it’s because Harley has deals with banks to make loans for new Harley’s on easy terms (the sub-prime New Harley market, 0% down, 2.99% APR). Thus, guys who really can’t afford the payments can pretty easily ride out on a new Harley and enjoy it for a few months before it gets repossessed.
That doesn’t seem to be a very good deal for anyone but my Ducati dealer. But hey, it isn’t his fault. He’s just providing a service.
I think part of the strategy is to not have a lot of low-mileage used Harleys at the Harley dealer’s store. They’d be competing with the new ones. It must be part of Harley’s deal with the banks that the repos will only be sold at other than Harley dealers.
If you’re in the market for a Harley maybe you should check to see what the nearest Ducati dealer has. It will probably be one that deals in several other brands as well, just not Harley. You might find one with low mileage for a lot less than a new one.
This is what is so cool about free markets. It gives people the freedom to be creative, to make profits for themselves by coming up with innovative ways to serve the needs and desires of others.