End of the road for two Harley-Davidson dealerships

Harley Davidson dealer in Manchester

Two regional dealerships for the iconic motorcycle brand Harley-Davidson have closed after the company operating them appointed administrators.

The collapse of the Manchester and Chester dealers follows a pattern of global decline in sales for Harley Davidson as well as a difficult trading period locally. 

Kerry Bailey and Mark Thornton from BDO LLP were appointed as Joint Administrators of Brookbrough Trading Company Limited and Brookbrough Holdings Limited on 2 February 2024.

The business operates two motorbike dealerships, one in Chester, the other in Manchester, selling predominantly KTM and Harley-Davidson motorbikes.

The business has ceased to trade with immediate effect and, regrettably, all 30 staff members have been made redundant.

Kerry Bailey, one of the Joint Administrators said: “Following a difficult trading period over the last 12 months, the directors had been exploring a sale of the business. However, as this was not possible, they were left with no choice but to place the company into administration.

“The administrators will assist affected employees in relation to their statutory redundancy rights and will work to realise assets for the benefit of creditors in line with their duties.”

Harley showroom in Manchester

Dealer principal, Kirk Herbert, a well-known name in motorcycle circles in the region, originally brought the Harley-Davidson name back to Manchester after the closure of a dealership in Stockport in 2011. 

There was genuine sadness at the news amongst members of the Chester-basd Deva Chapter of the Harley Owners Group (HOG): “Sad to see our dealership struggle, we don’t know what the future is at the moment, but we’re staying strong,” read a comment on their Facebook page. 

But globally Harley-Davidson’s star appears to be waning. 2023 global registrations have been 137,000 (down by 7.2%) one of the worst performing bike manufacturers, according to the website MotorcyclesData.com which tracks new vehicle registrations across the world.

In 2014 Harley-Davidson global sales were 329, 776 and sales declined for sixth consecutive years until 2020.

According to last quarterly financial results from the US parent company posted in October 2023: “Global retail sales of Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the third quarter were down 16 percent versus prior year, adversely impacted primarily by macro conditions in key geographies.”

It is understood that seven UK dealers have closed over the last year.