Swot on Harley

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Harley-Davidson, Inc.

Harley-Davidson, Inc. since its inception has specialized in selling dream motorcycles that are of high quality and distinctive in styles. The company in the past have seen turbulent business environment to the extent of leveraged buyout, infiltration of foreign made bikes as well as government regulations. Yet despite these factors, Harley-Davidson continues to reap profits, yield high growth of approximately 15% a year and retain its customer base (Official Website 2004). This position in the market is however limited to the US whereas in other countries of the world Harley-Davidson products remain luxury item requiring emotional attachment with American iconism. Business Strategies and recommendations

Some of the forces that influence the company and its future sales growth include:


- Continuous Improvement
- Employee involvement
- Strong management holds over the company's operations
- Focus on luxury line of products
- Target market has no clear differentiation
- US customer base
- Developing countries' market demand for heavy bikes
- Innovation in motorcycle industry
- Japanese bike makers
- Low cost producing companies from other parts of the world Given the above SWOT analysis, it could be observed that Harley-Davidson have in the past been focusing on the internal improvements of the company at the expense of losing market share from 77.5% to 23.3% (Bruce 2004). For this reason there has been a great need for refocusing on the marketing plans adopted by the company to increase future sales. It is recommended that for the next three years the company should focus on sales growth strategies. For the first year, Harley-Davidson should focus on developing consumer base in developing countries around the world such as Malaysia, India, Hong Kong/China and Brazil as these are destinations that both have good infrastructure for bike production as well as newly acquired taste for luxury goods. The customer base could be generated by appealing to their aesthetic taste and emotional ties with owning goods that reflect the liberation attitude and the free spirit. This is the essence of the Harley-Davidson mission statement which should not be omitted from the future marketing plans (Official Website 2004).

In the second year, the company should focus on the acquisition of customers from secondary circle, namely through the Harley club, the employees participation, the suppliers and the general public.

A referral system has been established through Harley-Davidson's reputation. This should be capitalized to generate more sales by taking a survey, yet once again of the preference of the American consumer as well as the foreign consumers. This way the company could gauge the new customer profile in order to cater to their needs (Official Website 2004).

Third year of the company should capitalize on the innovation by introducing less power bikes that could cater to the preference of the lower class of customers who cannot afford the high price of Harley-Davidson. Reduction in cost of production could be achieved through outsourcing to other countries like China and Malaysia. This would also enable the company to achieve higher sales growth target. http://www.termpapergenie.com/harley.html

Harley-Davidson, Inc.: History and General Situation
Uploaded by patti on Aug 1, 2006
Harley-Davidson, Inc.: History and General Situation

Arthur’s brothers, William Harley and Walter, started Harley-Davidson Motor Company in 1903. They first started the business in the Davidson family’s backyard in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 1904, the company then moved into an office. The company was acquired by AMF Inc, which favored short-term profits instead of investing in research and development and retooling. Harley focused solely on sales, while competitors were continuously...
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