Harley-Davidson Paper – A Management Perspective
buZayda Jessica Irven Chris Snyder
Mike A. Taylor MBA 5110: Management Information Systems July 1, 2009
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Harley-Davidson Paper – A Management Perspective I. Context: William Harley, William Walter, and Arthur Davidson established HarleyDavidson in 1903 by building Harley-Davidson’s first motorcycle. During the early nineties, Harley-Davidson business was booming, especially since the company’s main customer was the United States military in World War I and II. This opportunity allowed the company to bank profits without working hard for it. After the World Wars era, the company’s management switched from police and military bikes to leisure bikes. The company was able to succeed due to the lack of competition in the 1950s. “By 1953, Harley-Davidson was the last remaining major motorcycle manufacturer in the U.S.” (Bruce, 2007, p. 1). Thus, management did not focus on quality, offered few styles with one color, and ignored customers’ wants. Monopoly helped Harley-Davidson until late 1960s. During the seventies, the Japanese motorcycle manufacturing companies, such as Honda, penetrated the United States market. As a result, HarleyDavidson market share dropped dramatically and became on the edge of bankruptcy. Management had to take action in order to survive, especially since Reagan’s idea of increasing tariffs on the Japanese products was only temporary. Therefore, Harley-Davidson’s CEO in 1985, Richard Teerlink, decided to implement a new restructuring plan; using the Japanese management style, new marketing ideas, and manufacturing methods (Bruce, 2007).
Harley-Davidson Paper – A Management Perspective 3
II. External Analysis: When management decided to take Harley-Davidson public in 1987, it enforced the company’s executives to focus on customers’ needs and wants to remain in business. The... [continues]
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