Four wheels move the body. Two wheels move the soul.
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 and
Harley-Davidson generates around 70% 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 $107
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
Harley-Davidson has enjoyed five straight years of steady
growth. Revenues increased by 6% from $5.9 billion in 2013 to peak
at a record-setting $6.2 billion in 2014. Profits were up 15% from
$734 million in 2013 in $845 million in 2014 due to the higher
revenue coupled with a decline in interest expense.
The company's revenue growth for 2014 was primarily attributed
to a 6% increase within its motorcycles segment sales. It
experienced an increase in US retail sales impacted by strong sales
of Rushmore and Street motorcycles. In 2014 international retail
sales grew in the Asia Pacific, Latin America (mostly in Mexico),
and EMEA regions. The company was also helped by growth in
financial services revenues due to higher interest income.
After declining from 2011 to 2012, Harley-Davidson's operating
cash flow increased two straight years, jumping 17% from $977
million in 2013 to $1.2 billion in 2014.
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 2013 it added 118 new international
dealerships, and in 2014 it added 18 new international dealers.
Harley-Davidson also grows by introducing new product models. In
2013 it introduced the new Street motorcycles, designed for young
urban riders around the world. In 2014 it launched a
Harley-Davidson electric motorcycle.