Harley Davidson Inc. 2008: Thriving Through a Recession, Case 16
Mgmt 479A, Week 3 Dropbox 1
November 13, 2011
Synopsis: Harley-Davidson is a 105 year old motorcycle manufacturer. William Harley and Arthur Davidson decided to design and build a motorcycle in 1901. By 1903, they had built and sold three motorcycles and in 1907, the Harley-Davidson Motor Company became incorporated. The company was acquired by AMF Inc in 1969, but the main focus was on short-term profits which inevitably sent consumers elsewhere and in 1981, Vaughn Beals lead a leveraged buyout to get Harley-Davidson out from under AMF. Under new management, the focus changed towards production and consumers. The research and development department picked up …show more content…
Harley-Davidson motorcycles are considered a recreational item or a deferred purchase. Ziemer made a comment regarding the recession, “recession-resistant, not recession-proof.”
As United States currency weakens, it may be important to focus on countries where currency is more valuable. Foreign operations can provide significant investment capital. I was surprised that only 27% of revenue came from foreign markets and I was just as surprised that India was not in the list of foreign operations. Other countries use motorcycles as a form of transportation, not because they are fun, but because they are simpler when negotiating in traffic and motorcycles have better gas mileage. I had applied for a job position in Bermuda a few years ago and while doing my research on lifestyles and living conditions, it was strongly advised to purchase a motorcycle for transportation. With the recession and the cost of fuel rising, all vehicle manufacturers are struggling for a way to become more appealing in the marketplace. I think using these marketing strategies for motorcycles should not be underutilized. It is a matter of changing the way consumers view motorcycles. They do not have to be seen for merely recreation. Show consumers they are more environmentally friendly and many will jump on the band wagon.
I think this finding of fact is primarily a