HARLEY DAVIDSON COMPANY
DEFINITION OF THE CASE PROBLEM
The Harley Davidson name has been shattered into pieces. The loss of customer’s demand for their products proves a problem probably too much to handle for the present managers/owners of the company. The product quality mainly has deteriorated significantly that leads to the low demand for the Harley Davidson choppers. Problems always do arise that need immediate actions to take place. What can be done in order to resolve this? Who do we have to replace for proper management of this company? How do we improve the product quality? What designs do we have to change in order to make it more appealing to customers? Who do we approach for these new designs? What do the customers yearn for, more power or comfort? How do we get the customers back? How do we get them to trust the Harley Davidson name again? What should be done overall in order to make us rise back to where we were in the past? All these questions were the problems that the Harley Davidson Company was searching for in the hard times of the company. It really makes you wonder though if they would be able to overcome this, what do you think?
These are some of the issues that were encountered by the company: 1.
British competitors were beginning to enter the market with faster, lighter-weight bikes. 2.
Honda Motor Company of Japan began marketing lightweight bikes in the United States, moving into middleweight vehicles in the 1960s. 3.
The company purchased an Italian motorcycle firm, Aermacchi, but many of its dealers were reluctant to sell the small Aermacchi Harleys. 4.
The rapid expansion led to significant problems with quality, and better-built Japanese motorcycles began to take over the market. 5.
The Chinese government’s road restrictions pertaining to riding motorcycles in general in the country’s urban areas
ANALYSIS OF THE ISSUES
British competitors were beginning to enter the market with faster, lighter-weight bikes. In the 1950s, Harley Davidson was the only remaining American manufacturer from more than a hundred firms that were producing motorcycles in the United States. But in the 1960s, this started to change. The competition became fierce. The British and the Japanese were entering the industry with their lightweight motorcycles. Harley Davidson tried to compete by manufacturing smaller bikes but they had difficulty making them profitably. 2.
Honda Motor Company of Japan began marketing lightweight bikes in the United States, moving into middleweight vehicles in the 1960s. In 1983, Harley-Davidson asked the International Trade Commission for tariff relief on the basis that Japanese manufacturers were stockpiling inventory in the United States and providing unfair competition. The tariff was granted on April 1, 1983, and a tariff for five years was placed on all imported Japanese motorcycles that were 700cc or larger. This was a very clever strategy on the company’s part for this bought them ample time to “get back in the race and catch up with the competition.” This strategy was more evident when Harley-Davidson itself petitioned for the tariff to be lifted because the company “felt capable and confident in its ability to compete with foreign imports. In five long years, Harley-Davidson was able to redeem itself as a brand and restored the brand’s quality image. 3.
The company purchased an Italian motorcycle firm, Aermacchi, but many of its dealers were reluctant to sell the small Aermacchi Harleys. This move, purchasing an Italian motorcycle firm, Aermacchi, was probably a wrong move. First of all, Harley-Davidson came into the industry with their big heavyweight bikes. This was the main image that they have created for their company and the market was quite fond of this image. Making that decision of making small Harleys did nothing but jeopardize the overall image of the...
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