Harley Davidson

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Harley-Davidson Case Study
Introduction of the Company
In 1903 William Harley and Arthur Davidson produced the first Harley-Davidson motorcycle for sale to the public. The first year’s production was only three motorcycles with one dealer. In 1909, Harley-Davidson introduced the first? V-twin engine, which is still the company standard today. Harley-Davidson rapidly grew to the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world by early 1920s, with 2,000 dealers in 67 different countries.
By the 1930s all of the American competition was gone. Harley-Davidson suspended production of civilian motorcycles during World War II, and only built motorcycles for the military, exclusively. When the war was over, Harley-Davidson converted back to civilian production. Harley-Davidson's growth was fueled by acquisitions as well as capitalizing on new technologies. In 1969 Harley-Davidson merged with American Machine and Foundry (AMF). By the 1970s other competitors were entering the global market, and many of them were from overseas.
In an attempt to transform the company, in 1981,a senior executive of Harley-Davidson bought the company from AMF and turned the company around dramatically. Harley-Davidson emerged with new products and innovations along with a new commitment to quality, creating the dynasty Harley-Davidson has become today.
Harley-Davidson's success continued to grow as they received tariff relief from the International Trade Commission on 700cc motorcycles. Another event contributing to Davidson's renewed success was the formation of the Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.). This company sponsored club consisted of riders who transformed motorcycling into a family-oriented social sport. It continues to be very successful with 600,000 owners and 1,200 chapters worldwide.
Economic Indicators
Internationally, Harley-Davidson revenue has exceeded $816 million, which accounts for 18% of the net revenue for motorcycles. The Harley-Davidson emblem is an international icon and the sound of V-twin engine is unmistakable. Harley-Davidson is the number one motorcycle manufacturer and is also the number one seller of heavyweight bikes in the U.S. They also sell a line of clothing and accessories as well as make bikes under the Buell nameplate. Harley-Davidson’s attire has attitude and rightfully so, there is no other motorcycle as classy as the “Harley”. One Harley-Davidson ...

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... and strong brand recognition, it may appear as if they can’t improve much more than they already have. As with any business, the one thing Harley-Davidson can do wrong is be too confident in their success. They have to search for new markets and continuously improve their current products. They need to remain flexible and knowledge of their internal and external strengths and weaknesses. As with any company in the lead, competitors will seek to copy what they have or improve upon their technologies.
Harley-Davidson’s loyal market is aging and they have not been successful in tapping into the female riders or the African American riders. Recently Harley-Davidson commercials have begun appearing on certain networks targeted for these markets. The new commercials also feature the female rider. If Harley-Davidson is successful is attracting these new markets, they will also have to expand their products to meet the demands of the new demographic.
Harley-Davidson appears to be poised to go after this market and if history repeats itself, Harley-Davidson will continue to stay in front on their strategies and continue to remain a force to be reckoned with in this industry.
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