Four wheels move the body. Two wheels move the soul.
Cultivating the marketing image of the "Lone Rider" for more than a
century, Harley-Davidson is a major US maker of motorcycles and
seller of heavyweight cruisers. The company offers touring and
custom Harleys through a worldwide network of more than 1,400
dealers. The company manufactures and markets six families of
motorcycles: Touring, Dyna, Softail, Street, Sportster, and V-Rod.
It also makes three-wheeled motorcycles. Harley-Davidson sells
attitude with its brand-name products, which include a line of
clothing and accessories (MotorClothes). Harley-Davidson Financial
Services (HDFS) offers financing to dealers and consumers in the US
Harley-Davidson generates almost 75% of its total sales from the
US. Its operations are located in the Asia/Pacific, Europe, the
Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and the US.
The company operates through two segments. Its core motorcycle
manufacturing operations generate around 90% of its revenue each
year; Harley-Davidson Financial Services contributes the remainder
Harley-Davidson's Touring, Dyna, Softail, Street, and Sportster
are equipped with air-cooled, twin-cylinder engines (in a 45-degree
"V" configuration), while its V-Rod sports a 60-degree "V"
configuration twin-cylinder engine that is liquid cooled.
The company also makes special editions for peace officers and
firefighters. Its products and related lifestyle are
supported by H.O.G. (Harley Owners Group). Harley also
supports a rental and tour program market, and a rider training
program known as Riders Edge.
Sales and Marketing
Harley-Davidson's motorcycles are sold to customers through a
network of independent distributors. The company spends around $120
million each year on advertising. Its products are marketed to
retail customers worldwide primarily through advertising and
promotional activities via various broadcast, print, and electronic
channels. The company targets young adults ages 18-34, women,
African-Americans and Hispanics, as well as Caucasian men ages
After enjoying five straight years of steady growth,
Harley-Davidson saw its revenues decline 4% from $6.2 billion in
2014 to $6 billion in 2015. The company's profits fell 11% from
$845 million in 2014 to $752 million in 2015. This was largely the
result of a 4% drop in motorcycle sales, partially offset by
increased revenue from financial services operations.
Retail sales of Harley-Davidson motorcycles decreased in the US in
2015 fueled by intense competitive activity behind currency-driven
discounting and new competitor products as well as a challenging
macro-economic environment. Motorcycles sales also saw a decline in
the international market. The company's retail sales decrease
in the EMEA region was due to the introduction of several
performance-oriented models by the competition.
Harley-Davidson is focused on growing internationally. To
support this initiative, it has two CKD (complete knock down)
assembly plants, which assemble motorcycles from component kits
produced by its US plants and by its suppliers. Its first CKD plant
is located in Brazil and has been in operation since 1999, and its
second CKD resides in India and has been in operation since
As a primary means of growth, the company adds new dealerships
to its network each year. In 2015 it added 40 new international