By: Joyce Morgan
This case study is about Harley-Davidson, Inc., which is the parent company for the group of companies namely Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Buell Motorcycle Company and Harley-Davidson Financial Services. Harley-Davidson Motor Company, the only major U.S.-based motorcycle manufacturer, produces heavyweight motorcycles and offers a complete line of motorcycle parts, accessories, apparel, and general merchandise. Buell Motorcycle Company produces sport motorcycles and Harley-Davidson Financial Services provides wholesale and retail financing and insurance programs to Harley-Davidson dealers and customers.
Harley Davidson Inc. was founded in 1903 by William S. Harley and Davidson brothers- Walter, William and Arthur and since then the company has produced the most recognized motorcycles in the world and has been named to Fortune's list of "100 Best Companies to work for" and has also been ranked #3 in automotive quality behind Rolls-Royce and Mercedes Benz by Harris Interactive, a worldwide market research and consulting firm.
Looking into the company's history, we see that the vibrations and distinctive rumble of a Harley engine were accepted by the market in the early 1900s and continued to appeal to motorcyclists in the early 2000s. Also by relying on exports and sales to police departments and the U.S. military, Harley-Davidson became one of two U.S. motorcycle companies (the other being Indian) to survive the Great Depression however Harley-Davidson's innovative new models let to the Indian's demise in 1953 at which time Harley-Davidson would remain the sole U.S. manufacturer of motorcycles until 1998, when the Indian brand was revived.
Harley-Davidson continued to win races throughout the 1960's, but its reputation began to erode soon after its acquisition by American Machine and Foundry Company (AMF) in 1969 because they became known for leaking engines, unreliable performance, and poor... [continues]
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