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Harley Davidson Case Study

1439 words - 6 pages

Introduction
The Harley-Davidson Company was founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin by William Harley and two Davidson brothers Walter and Arthur. They sold their first motorcycle, a motorized bicycle with a three-horsepower engine. In 1907, before they left the factory grounds they sold 50 motorcycles. In 1909, they introduced a iconic two cylinder V-twin engine. By 1920 Harley was the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the United States and the industry's technological leader. During World War I, over 90,000 cycles were built for the military which elevated their production. After the war, Harley went from producing military to recreational bikes. Harley developed and introduced the K-model ...view middle of the document...

To regain their market share they adopted the Japanese, new marketing strategies, and manufacturing techniques, which improved the quality and a long battle. In 1987, one year before the tariffs on Japanese heavyweight motorcycles were scheduled to end, Harley announced they no longer needed special tariffs to compete with the Japanese motorcycle giants; showing confidence in the new system. The Harley-Davidson Inc., has employed 4,694 workers, consists of Harley-Davidson Motor Company based in Milwaukee and Eaglemark Financial Services Inc. based in Chicago, Illinois. In addition, there are nearly 600 dealerships throughout the United States.

Problem Identification
The problem is Harley Davidson faces is that they didn’t follow the rules of the federal mandate regulations. Another is that the company had capacity constraints led to decrease in international market share. They had strong competition against the Japanese’s. Due to rapid expansion, quality control was suffering. They nearly went under bankruptcy in the 1980s.
Product
Harley-Davidson product identify and exploited mini niches, such as customized, touring, sport/touring and sport/street motorcycles, in the heavyweight end of the market. When Harley-Davidson was formed, they made the V-twin engine. After that to attract customers they made the famous 45 V-twin “knucklehead” engine. They only offered one color of motorcycles - gray and three basic styles. The company learned it needed to give the customers a choice and now offers a variety of models, including Sportsters, Super Glides, Low Riders, Softails, Sport Glides, Tour Glides and Electra Glides, in numerous vivid colors. Many of these models and changes were developed when Harley realized their customers were customizing the bikes and none of the revenue from the work was going to the company. When a style is changed or developed, Harley always develops it around their signature image to make sure that the product is not only a high quality piece of equipment but is also charismatic.
Promotion
The primary promotional tool for Harley-Davidson motorcycles are the HOG activities. Not only does it serves as a customer relations device, but as a way to showcase and demonstrate new products. Harley develops a strong impression within consumers. In 1983, the company developed a trademark licensing program which provides income for dealers and the factory while expanding the total Harley experience. The company program put a stop to bootlegged Harley Davidson merchandise and offered priceless advertising. To capitalize product/image he started fashion models draped over the bikes and wearing company T-shirts. Harley Company started to advertise in magazines geared to the general public. Twice a year, a Fashions and Collectibles catalog is produced with various Harley merchandise. Clothes sold in stores such as Bloomingdales and J.C. Penny exposes Harley-Davidson to people who may not have thought about visiting a dealership....

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