• Strong brand recognition and customer loyalty
  • Employee discounts on Harley-Davidson motorcycles and merchandise


  • Recent layoffs and restructuring
  • Pressure to cut costs

The Bottom Line

  • Harley-Davidson is an iconic American brand, a strong company, and a unique place to work.


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 and Canada.


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 of revenue.

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.

Geographic Reach

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.

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 35-plus.

Financial Performance

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 2011.

As a primary means of growth, the company adds new dealerships to its network each year. In 2015 it added 40 new international dealerships.

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3700 W Juneau Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53208-2865
Phone: 1 (414) 342-4680
Fax: 1 (414) 343-4977


  • Employer Type: Public
  • Stock Symbol: HOG
  • Stock Exchange: NYSE
  • President and CEO: Matthew S. Levatich
  • President and CEO: Matthew S. Levatich
  • SVP and CFO: John A. Olin
  • 2016 Employees: 6,000

Major Office Locations

  • Milwaukee, WI

Other Locations

  • Yucca, AZ
  • Kansas City, MO
  • El Paso, TX
  • Menomonee Falls, WI
  • Tomahawk, WI
  • Wauwatosa, WI
  • Brackley, England
  • Gurgaon, India
  • Rewari, India
  • Milano, Italy
  • Akishima, Japan
  • Yokohama, Japan
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