The Largest American Manufacturer Of Heavyweight Custom Marketing Essay

In 1903 Milwaukee Wisconsin, three immature work forces, William Harley together with Arthur and Walter Davidson built their first bike. Today, the concern has thrived into the of all time popular and successful Harley-Davidson Incorporated, which heads a group of pudding stones transacting as Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Buell Motorcycle Company, MV Agusta and Harley-Davidson Financial Services ( HDFS ) bring forthing American athletics public presentation bikes. Notably, the Harley-Davidson administration is known as the largest American maker of heavyweight usage, touring and patrol car bikes.

During the 1960 ‘s, Nipponese maker of Honda invaded the American bike market ensuing in an 80 % diminution in gross revenues at Harley-Davidson. Consequently, in 1965 the company went public and by 1969 it was acquired by AMF Incorporated. These new proprietors hired lower skilled workers and were able to increase production from 15,475 bikes in 1969, to 70,000 in 1973. However, their focal point was on measure instead than quality, and so, the organisation did non gain net incomes. In fact, the quality of the bikes became so hapless that traders had to put composition board under the salesroom motorcycles to absorb leaking oil. Conflict finally erupted between AMF and the Harley-Davidson direction and an ad-lib determination was made to sell.

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The turnaround began in 1980 when a 13-member squad of the former senior Harley-Davidson executives, headed by Vaughn Beals and the grandson of Arthur Davidson, reacquired the administration with the assistance of a pool of Bankss led by Citibank. The members pooled $ 1 million in equity and borrowed the other $ 80 million.

Now in this epoch, Harley-Davidson has risen once more with its mission statement, “ We fulfill dreams through the experience of motorcycling by supplying to motorcyclists and to the general populace an spread outing line of bikes and branded merchandises and services in selected market sections ” . Its slogan says, “ Customer Satisfaction ” where its employees are the driving force behind the administration ‘s committedness to work advanced engineering to fabricate the most sophisticated bikes to rule the planetary market.


One of the first stairss which this new squad initiated was to plan its concern around client trueness through a procedure called “ Super-engagement ” . This involved the directors acquiring first-hand information and direct feedback for betterments by siting with clients on a regular footing. The executives besides made a bold determination to see a nearby Honda works and finally implemented their new programme – The Productivity Triad. The Just-In-Time ( JIT ) stock list coupled with greater employee engagement enabled Harley-Davidson to see lower costs, which meant that they merely needed to sell 35,000 bikes in order to interrupt even.

Execution of this programme besides realised rapid success – productiveness went up over 50 % , work-in-progress stock list went down to 75 % and a step of quality betterment was down by 68 % . International net incomes increased 1.7 times and runing net incomes increased by $ 58 million. Additionally, market portion increased to 97 % .

Consequently, Harley-Davidson ‘s CEO sought duty protection from the U.S. Administration. They requested and were granted a 5-year self-liquidating duty. Import duties were raised from 4 % to 40 % on Nipponese bikes. With this “ eupneic infinite ” , Harley-Davidson now focused their nucleus values to bring forthing quality merchandises instead than measure, which led to their ultimate success.

The Harley-Davidson ‘s transmutation and sustained success that we observe today is straight linked to this extended Business Process – engagement, authorization and alliance. Harley-Davidson developed a alone hierarchal construction, the “ circle organisation ” consisting of three overlapping elements affecting making demand, bring forthing merchandises and supplying support. The organizational construction was accordingly flattened and there was focal point on cross-functional squads and the Just-In-Time ( JIT ) stock list. These nucleus factors enormously contributed to the fact that Harley-Davidson bikes are recognised as an “ American icon ” which clients have accepted as their life style today.

Harmonizing toA Interbrand, statistics show “ the value of the Harley-Davidson trade name fell by 43 % to $ 4.34 billion in 2009. The autumn in value is believed to be connected to the 66 % bead in the company net incomes in two quarters of the old twelvemonth. A On April 29, 2010, Harley-Davidson stated that they must cut $ 54 million in fabrication costs from its production installations in Wisconsin, and that they would research alternate U.S. sites to carry through this. The proclamation came in the aftermath of a monolithic company-wide restructuring, which began in early 2009 and involved the shutting of two mills, one distribution centre, and the planned riddance of about 25 % of its entire work force ( around 3,500 employees ) . The company announced on September 14, 2010 that it would stay in Wisconsin ” .


In 1983, Harley-Davidson launched “ SuperRide ” – a selling run which authorised over 600 franchises ask foring people to test-drive “ Harleys ” . Over 40,000 manque clients accepted the invitation, and henceforward many clients were non merely buying a bike from Harley-Davidson but alternatively, were purchasing “ the Harley Experience ” .

Another major strategic move which Harley-Davidson astutely implemented was their alone selling and stigmatization runs. Statistics show about 75 % of the clients made repetition purchases. Notably, Harley-Davidson recognised that they needed to invent a manner to appeal to the extraordinary trueness of clients. They needed to travel a spot further than simply offering them the merchandise. Consequently, the Harley Owners ‘ Group ( HOG ‘S ) was formed which was one of the most advanced schemes used that have helped to make the experience of their merchandise. In 1987, Harley Owners ‘ Group claimed a 73,000 rank.

Harley-Davidson offers many picks to its immense client base. They offer free 1-year rank to local siting groups, bike publications, private responses at bike events, insurance, exigency wayside service, rental agreements on holiday, and a host of other member benefits. They use this chance to trade name their experience, non merely their merchandise and this has allowed for enlargement on how it captures value. Harley-Davidson besides offers a line of vesture, a parts and accoutrements concern and their ain Visa Card.

Harmonizing to Ezine Articles, “ Harley-Davidson went from providing bikes to antisocial plunderers to selling a life style to the aging bad male child aspirants caught in their midlife crises. Traditionally, Harley-Davidson motorcycle proprietors came from the working and in-between categories, but as quality and monetary values of the bad-boy-bikes rose, and with energetic selling, the company shortly attracted a different category of buyers-currently one tierce of Harley purchasers are professionals or directors, and 60 % are college alumnuss. Women besides account for a important part of the new riders, and there are women-only riders nines distributing all over the Earth ” .

Additionally, Harley-Davidson has executed a 3-part scheme which includes steps to cover with the lessening in client demand due to the impact of the planetary economic downswing and recession. This scheme has been implemented with the purpose of beef uping their operations and fiscal consequences. Jim Ziemer, top executive of Harley-Davidson articulates, “ Our scheme is focused on three critical countries: to put in the Harley-Davidson trade name, acquire our cost-structure right, and obtain support for HDFS to assist our traders sell bikes and our retail clients to purchase them ” .

Major Rival

During the early old ages, Harley-Davidson had a fastness on the market portion with its lone rival being the Indian Motorcycle company, until its closing in 1953. However in 1960 Honda, the first of the many Nipponese rivals entered the U.S. market. By this clip, the Nipponese merchandises were deriving more popularity and “ the all American Harley ” was in problem. The major drawback with Harley-Davidson was that it suffered quality issues ensuing in low client satisfaction and besides the instability of its work force.

Harley-Davidson competes chiefly on design and quality instead than monetary value with its typical features, such as its boom exhaust note. In comparing to its major rivals, it continues to rule the United States heavyweight bike market. While the Harley Owners ‘ Group ( HOG ) most of import market is the United States, it besides sells bikes globally to Europe and Canada. Worldwide in 2005, Harley-Davidson dominated a 33 % market portion in this turning industry.

Today, statistics show that Harley-Davidson ‘s chief rivals are:

Honda Motor Company ( HMC ) who is the universe ‘s 5th largest car maker and largest bike manufacturer by FY2009 gross revenues. Its central office is based in Japan.

Suzuki Motor ( SZKMF ) operates in four concern sections and has 141 subordinates and 37 associated companies. The 2-wheel vehicle section manufactures 2-wheel vehicles every bit good as parts for these 2-wheelers. Its gross revenues are both in domestic and abroad markets. Suzuki is Nipponese based.

Yamaha Motor ( YAMHF ) is known as the universe ‘s s 2nd largest manufacturer of bikes ( after Honda ) . It besides manufactures other motorised vehicles which include all-terrain vehicles, boats, snowmobiles, outboard motors, and personal watercraft.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries ( KWHIY ) is a planetary maker of transit equipment and industrial goods. It manufactures ships, turn overing stock, aircraft and jet engines, gas turbine power generators, environmental and industrial workss, and a scope of fabrication equipment and systems. It besides produces consumer merchandises which include Kawasaki-brand bikes and personal watercraft.

Despite competition, Harley-Davidson has non been driven off. Alternatively they have taken clip to implement effectual schemes to recapture its market portion. They have done this by working their older designs and customisation of their merchandise. The Harley-Davidson fiends believe that the chief disadvantage of Nipponese bikes is that they are non as easy customisable as a “ Harley ” is.

In a published article entitled “ The Competition between Nipponese Manufacturers and the Harley-Davidson Motorcycle ” , the writer says “ irrespective of whether or non one believes the repute of Harley biker packs enjoy being able to custom-make their personal bike, these machines are here to remain. Production of both Nipponese and American motorcycles has non slowed down and there are, statistically, more motorcycle proprietors than car proprietors. This statistic holds particularly true outside the U.S. , where a motorcycle is a more common agencies of private transit for the mean citizen than a auto is. This embrace of the bike is go oning despite the higher accident rate for motorcycles than any other private land vehicle out at that place. It does n’t look to count what state one goes to ; the young person of every civilization seems to see these two-wheeled machines as symbols of teenage euphory and therefore, the epinephrine haste associated with a motorcycle drive is, as they say, like nil in this universe ” .


A major challenge faced by Harley-Davidson is run intoing its demand for their merchandises. The combination of the strength of their powerful trade name image, retaining good client relationships, strong fiscal place and high quality of engineering and design have still non eradicated their job of carry throughing their market demand.

Another issue is the impact on net incomes due to the fluctuating strength of the U.S. dollar. Harley-Davidson is extremely dependent on gross revenues in the international market, peculiarly in Europe. In 2009, the administration ‘s gross revenues gross from the international market increased to 32 % from a low 18 % in 2004. Because Harley-Davidson acquires its production costs in the U.S. , it benefits when the U.S. dollar weakens against the Euro and the Hankering.

Harley-Davidson besides faces legal issues in the Asiatic states. For illustration, in India statistics show a 60 % duty and a rise in other revenue enhancements. Consequently these additions will doubtless do the monetary value of bikes to duplicate.

Another challenge is that of noise pollution and emanation criterions. Globally, in states where environmental policies and criterions are jurisprudence, the Harley-Davidson bike will “ neglect ” because it is non up to degree of some states.

Soon, with the planetary economic downswing, Harley-Davidson is faced with clients purchasing less, because they excessively are greatly affected by the recession.


Harley-Davidson is looking at a bright hereafter for its bike administration. Statisticss recorded by The Economist show that overall U.S. gross revenues increased over 20 % in 2000 and over 650,000 new bikes were sold in the U.S. market in that twelvemonth. Harley-Davidson is proud to uncover that its loyal clients spent about $ 5.45 billion on new bikes in 2000.

Harley-Davidson has programs to construct an assembly works in India. Notably, this works would be the 2nd assembly works of all time built outside the United States. It is intended to be a “ complete knock down ” ( CKD ) works and is expected to be in operation in mid 2011. Anoop Prakash, pull offing manager for Harley-Davidson India told CNN, “ What we are making is made in USA, assembled in India, which will hold a positive occupation consequence back place which is why we are driving this investing every bit rapidly as we are. We see a typical believable growing narrative here, growing chance, ” he said. Globally, India is known to be the 2nd fastest emerging 2-wheeler behind China.

hypertext transfer protocol: // Additionally, Harley-Davidson has announced that get downing in 2010 ; they have begun concentrating on prosecuting their full work force around the major function they play in sustainability of the environment. Employees will be encouraged to do a difference both at work and at place.