William Harley and Arthur Davidson wanted to take the work out of riding bicycles in 1901. After being joined by the Arthur brothers, Walter and William, they came up with the idea of putting a motor and a bicycle together. Many engine changes were made before the builders were satisfied. In 1903, they created the first Harley-Davidson motorcycle and produced three that year. Harley built its first building in 1907 on Juneau Avenue in Milwaukee. That same year, 150 motorcycles were produced. As they were used for recreational purposes, they were also used in military situations. They proved useful in border skirmishes and the government called for 20,000 bikes to be shipped overseas. Following the war, other companies tried to enter the market, but Harley remained the largest. The depression had an unfavorable effect on Harley as it did with most corporations, but it outlasted the crisis and celebrated its fiftieth year in 1953 as the sole survivor in the motorcycle industry. Harley did turn public in 1965, but was bought by thirteen senior Harley-Davidson executives in 1981. It was returned to public ownership in 1986 by offering two million shares of common stock. It was approved by the New York Stock exchange in 1987 and has been there ever since. 2.
A company with the history of Harley-Davidson has few weaknesses and threats, but a SWOT analysis can help them turn them into favorable opportunities and strengths. Strengths- Customer loyalty is probably the number one strength of Harley's business. Once a person buys a Harley, it seems as though they become trapped in the entire Harley business. Once they buy a Harley, they usually never buy another brand of motorcycle. Along with the bike comes the apparel. Once a person purchases a bike, the jacket, bandanas, etc. become a must. Opportunity- For Harley is that the economy is at a place where people will go out and purchase a motorcycle for recreational purposes. Whether the economy is good...
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