• 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. 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 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.

Geographic Reach

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 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. 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 $91 million each year on advertising. Its products are marketed to retail customers worldwide primarily through advertising and promotional activities via television, print, radio, direct mailings, as well as electronic advertising, including its website, and social media. The company targets young adults ages 18-34, women, African-Americans and Hispanics, as well as Caucasian men ages 35-plus.

Financial Performance

Harley-Davidson has enjoyed four straight years of steady growth. Revenues increased by 6% from $5.6 billion in 2012 to $5.9 billion in 2013. Profits were up by 18% from $624 million in 2012 to $734 million in 2013 due to the higher revenue coupled with $5 million in restructuring benefits it received for the year.

The company's revenue growth for 2013 was primarily attributed to a 6% increase within its motorcycles segment sales. It experienced an increase in US retail sales impacted by the launch of its 2014 model year motorcycles and an improved availability of motorcycles. In 2013 international retail sales grew in the Asia Pacific region, Latin America region, and Canada. The company was also helped by growth in financial services revenues due to higher fee income, increased credit card licensing revenue, and increased insurance commission revenue.

Harley-Davidson's operating cash flow increased by $176 million to $977 million in 2013 due to increased earnings and favorable changes in working capital in part due to the utilization of a prepaid income tax balance in 2013 that was established in 2012.


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.

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 dealerships, and in 2013 it added 118 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.

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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

Major Office Locations

  • Milwaukee, WI

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