Harley - Davidson Inc. Motorcycle Industry

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  • Topic: Motorcycle, Customer service, Harley-Davidson
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Harley - Davidson Inc. Motorcycle Industry


The purpose of this report is to develop a strategic corporate objective for HarleyDavidson Inc., a publicly traded, employee owned manufacturer of heavyweight motorcycles, recreational and commercial vehicles, military defense items, and small engines, distributing its products to domestic and international markets targeting all men and women of all ages.


The industry under study is the motorcycle industry consisting of five major manufacturers: one American (Harley Davidson), and four Japanese (Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki) and some European companies (mainly BMW of Germany and some other Italian companies). Most companies market their motorcycles and accessories on a worldwide basis, handling international trade through foreign distributors and domestic sales through franchised outlets. Industry sales of motorcycles were shrinking in the early l990s because of the recession and the competition from computers and electronic products decreasing consumers' discretionary income.

Sales of accessories and parts make up 36% of total retail sales and is a viable area for producers to explore because people want something to differentiate their bikes. Previously, motorcycles were viewed as a cheap means of transportation. By 1992, they came to be viewed as a recreational, or a luxury item. This new perception of motorcycles led to the introduction of more expensive models with higher prices. This led to the introduction of consumer financing, one of the fastest growing service areas in the motorcycle industry.


Harley's strategic objective is to continue to provide safe, high technology heavyweight bikes and keep customer satisfaction at high levels. This quality vision more than doubled Harley's market share and increased its brand loyalty.


They can be divided into 2 categories men and women.

Men.A. Men under 30. This group accounts for 44% of all sales. Therefore, a great opportunity exists here because of the group's size. This group's members buy motorcycles for their transportation and recreation needs. Men in this group buy more of mopeds, scooters and entry level lightweight road bikes.

B. Men between 30 and 50. This age group makes up 45k of buyers another large area providing opportunities for firms. The motorcycles most frequently purchased are the heavyweight tourers and cruisers. Many buyers are married couples looking for an alternative to taking the car out for weekend drives to the country.

C. Men over 50. This group accounts for about 11% of motorcycle sales. The heavyweight touring class and the middleweight road bike categories account for most of the sales here.

Women. This group is a segment that is growing at a fast rate, thereby representing an opportunity area. Firms to be successful here are to provide smaller, easier to handle, comfortable, and good quality bikes to build up brand loyalty.

Three types of products/services are being offered motorcycles, accessories, and financing services, all related to the sale of the main product motorcycles.

Motorcycles: It includes mopeds or scooters (with engines under 125cc which are used as an alternative to walking), accounting for about 17% of total motorcycle sales; lightweight motorcycles road bikes, dirt bikes, dual purpose bikes (with engines ranging from 125cc to 499cc), accounting for 51% of sales; sport motorcycles street bikes, and superbikes (with engines ranging from 450 to 749cc) accounting for 13% of sales; heavyweight motorcycles cruisers, tourers (ranging from 750cc to 1500cc) accounting for 19% of sales.

Accessories: Aftermarket accessories, such as saddle bags, higher windshields, customized seats, and clothing items are produced or contracted to be produced by all leading manufacturers. Since these items realize high...
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