Harley Davidson is a company that’s been around for over a hundred years. It continues to have success today and is becoming one of the most established motorcycle brands in the world. The company was founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1903. Harley was one of the American motorcycle manufacturers to survive numerous ownership changes, constant economic hardships, and global competition. Through part of its history, the Harley brand has been a representation of what America is today.
I. Summary of the case study “Harley-Davidson – rockers’ idol” So, this case study is about Harley-Davidson, a brand of motorcycles and more precisely about its development since his foundation in 1903 by 21-year-old William S. Harley and 20-year-old Arthur Davidson. So, in 2003, it was the celebration of the 100th birthday of the Harley-Davidson. And, in order to commemorate it, fans of this famous brand rode until Milwaukee to see the parade of 10 000 Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Through this celebration, we can see how recognized this brand is for the owners, or should I say fans.
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.
The introduction of a new, better-handling chassis in 1972 brought a change in character for the V-twin. The first sporty 750s were followed in 1976 by a long line of Le Mans models. (Wilson 103) Though some of these companies suffered many hardships on their road to success, they are all still making motorcycles, and some still winning world championships. Ducati has grown to be in most motorcycle enthusiast eyes as the greatest motorcycles ever built. They are still known for sleek design, superb handling, and extreme speed.
On a quest to continue his dream of t... ... middle of paper ... ... public, he succeeded in giving all of the United States access to travel anywhere they desire. While at the same time the nation's economy soared from the sales of other industries that supported his factories, such as rubber, steel and glass. Consumers were no longer confined to their small towns, now they can bring their families and their money to enjoy great cities such as Detroit, where Ford got his lucky break in industry. Today the automobile industry is stronger than ever, selling millions of cars to eager consumers. Every year new models are released with newer features and technology to lure the purchaser.
The company holds 55.7% share in the US heavyweight market; and is ranked #1 or #2 in the heavyweight motorcycle market share in nine countries across Europe. Harley-Davidson’s motorcycles are known for their traditional styling, design simplicity, durability and quality. The company achieved industry recognition for its high quality, best design, robust performance and unflinching customer confidence, loyalty and trust of its products and services. The Harley Davidson brand has significantly contributed to the success of the company by building strong market recognition and a loyal customer base. The company reported strong operational efficiency with decreased cost and increased margins in 2012.
It is not surprising that Harley has been around for 100 years, all one needs to point to is their mission statement. According to their 2001 annual report, Harley-Davidson’s mission statement is as follows, “We fulfill dreams through the experiences of motorcycling, by providing to motorcyclists and to the general public an expanding line of motorcycles, branded products and services in selected market segments.” Through their strong mission to serve their customers, Harley Davidson has amassed numerous strengths that keep the company as a leading innovator in the motorcycle industry. One of these strengths is buyer loyalty. According to the case, “more than 92% of its motorcycle customers intend to repurchase.” This is especially important because it shows that customers are satisfied when they buy a bike from Harley-Davidson. With brand loyalty recognized, Harley created H.O.G (Harley Owners Group) organization which now stands at 660,000 members worldwide and allows Harley enthusiasts to gather and share their love of Harley Davidson motorcycles together.
H-D rapidly expanded and grew in popularity. In 1953, following the demise of its last American competitor, Indian (Hendee Manufacturing), Harley-Davidson becomes the sole producer of motorcycles in the United States. Harley remains alone for forty-six years. After World War II, in which H-D produced 90,000 bikes for military use, Harley began to experience its newest and most competitive foe, foreign manufacturers. The introduction of Japanese motorcycles into the United States drastically affected H-D. Japanese bikes were more efficient and cheaper.
In addition, there are nearly 1,500 dealerships worldwide. Harley’s commitment toward continuous improvement is exemplified in the supplemental financial statements, Appendix section. Harley’s strategic objective is to continue to provide, safe, high technology heavyweight bikes and keep customer satisfaction at high levels. This quality vision more than doubled Harley-Davidson’s market share and increased its brand loyalty. Harley-Davidson’s products include: motorcycles, parts & accessories along with financing services.
The company’s motorcycles are uniquely designed – their designs along with exhaust notes are distinct. More so, they are noted for their being heavily customized; the customization brought about the chopper motorcycle style. Harley-Davidson as a brand has been and still does attract a loyal (brand) community, with the Harley-Davidson’s logo licensing accounting for approximately 5% of the net revenue of the company (41 million US Dollars in 2004). Its range of products in the United States is priced between 8,100 and 31,000 US Dollars. Annual sales for 2012 in total were 5.6 billion US Dollars, with net income at 624 million US Dollars, or 11% of the sales.