Four wheels move the body. Two wheels move the soul.
Harley-Davidson is a major US maker of motorcycles and the
nation's #1 seller of heavyweight cruisers. The company
offers touring and custom Harleys through a worldwide network
of more than 1,300 dealers. The company manufactures and
markets five families of motorcycles: Touring, Dyna, Softail,
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, 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, 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. Harley-Davidson introduced three new models for 2011,
including the SuperLow, XR1200X, and a CVO (Custom Vehicle
Operations) model -- the Road Glide Ultra.In 2012 it launched
the Dyna FLD Switchback and the V-Rod VRSCDX Night Rod Special.
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 $80
million each year on advertising.
Harley-Davidson has enjoyed three straight years of steady
growth. Revenues increased by 5% from $5.3 billion in 2011 to $5.6
billion in 2012. Profits were up by 4% from $599 million in 2011 to
$624 million in 2012.
The company's growth was primarily attributed to a 6% increase
in worldwide independent dealer retail sales. Retail sales of
Harley-Davidson motorcycles jumped by 7% in the US and by 6%
overseas for 2012. It was particularly helped by double digit
growth in Canada and Australia.
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
The company plans to add 100 to 150 dealerships to its dealer
network by the end of 2014. In 2012 it added 93 new international