Case 5: Harley-Davidson
1. If you where CEO of Harley-Davidson, how would you compare the advantages and disadvantages of using exports, joint ventures, and wholly-owned subsidiaries as ways if expanding international sales? Selling products in different kind of markets is very important to let people know what you are selling. People have get involved with the product. In every part of the world they have their own kind of product, but by exporting you can try to convince people. An advantage of exporting is that it creates jobs in other countries. A disadvantage is that the local product will suffer by the imported product. A company is taking a risk by cooperating with another (most likely) unknown company, but that will be a risk that you’ll always have to take.
2. Given Harley’s legacy of quality and craftsmanship, what complications might the Chinese business environment pose for the firm to manufacture there? In China they try to produce as cheaply as possible. They work with a lot of machines, while Harley’s are often handmade. Also the materials of heavyweight motorcycles are very expensive. This is not the way, Chinese companies are based on. Another thing that features the Chinese business environment is that they try to produce so much an cheap as possible, and this is not originally meant for Harley’s. 3. Harley’s positioning, at least in America and Japan, has shifted from providing a product (motorcycles) toward more of providing a service (way of life). How does this positioning affect its potential to succeed in Asia, Africa and South America? In common people in Asia, Africa and South America don’t really care about such things, that’s when I’m talking about common people who have difficulties in life. The only need products to survive and to transport themselves. So I don’t think such things will succeed in these continents. Though there are many people, especially in Asia, who like everything which comes from Europe and USA. But this is...
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