Celebrating their 100th anniversary next year, Harley-Davidson is a true American success story. From their modest beginnings in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to one of the most recognized company names worldwide, they have been passionate about motorcycles. Harley offers an experience like none other with the one of a kind look, feel, and sound only available on a Harley. Besides their main business of building and selling motorcycles, they have began to offer financing and insurance through Harley-Davidson Financial Services, and they also offer a full line of accessories and apparel to make the Harley experience complete.
Harley-Davidson, the corporation, has many things to brag about. On top of their financial success over the years, they have built a solid reputation as a fair, honest, and caring company. In January 2002, Forbes magazine named Harley-Davidson its “Company of the Year for 2001and in February, Fortune magazine selected them as one of the nation’s “Most Admired Companies.” Every employee at the company can be proud of these achievements because the corporate culture stresses the importance of all employees. While maintaining a level of success in these areas, they have managed to increase their revenues for the last sixteen years straight. Even in the economic downturn of the last year, Harley-Davidson posted record revenue and earnings.
Harley-Davidson states their mission as “We fulfill dreams through the experiences of motorcycling by providing to motorcyclists and to the general public an expanding line of motorcycles, branded products and services in selected market segments.” They have performed wonderfully over the past hundred years, and have not forgotten their mission or where they came from. Over the years they have stuck with the things they know, and also expanded into related services and products. Out of the 151 motorcycle manufacturers, Harley-Davidson and Indian were the only two companies to survive the Great Depression. Harley-Davidson was the only one in America after Indian dropped out in 1953, but face Indian again now since they re-entered the market in 1999.
Harley-Davidson owns a twenty percent market share followed closely by Honda, Yamaha, and Kawasaki. One thing they have had to overcome in the marketplace is the stereotypical image associated with motorcycle owners. It seems the public has overcame this mentality lately since one in three Harley buyers are professionals or managers, and the average household income of buyers is $78,000. One weakness they have is the high prices of their models when compared to their Japanese counterparts. It seems that they could increase their market share if they could produce a less expensive model without compromising the quality of the model. A major strength they have is their name recognition and the activities available for Harley owners to interact with each other. Groups such as the Harley Owner’s Group (HOG), and the Buell...