case 8 0411

Topics: Harley-Davidson, Motorcycle, Buell Motorcycle Company Pages: 20 (8447 words) Published: May 17, 2015

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Chapter 8: Harley-Davidson’s Focus Strategy Chapter Contents Book Title: Strategic Management An Integrated Approach
Printed By: ALICIA LI (
© 2015, 2013 Cengage Learning, Cengage Learning

Cae 8
Harle-Davidon’ Focu Strateg
Chapter Introduction
8-1 Background Note
8-2 Focused Differentiation
8-3 Troubled Ride
8-4 ‘Delivering Results Through Focus’
8-5 Discontinuing Buell, Divesting MV Agusta
8-6 Transforming Product Development
8-7 Restructuring Manufacturing Operations
8-8 Expanding Global Footprint
8-9 Adopting a Customer Led Marketing Approach
8-10 Other Initiatives
8-11 The Road Ahead
Chapter 8: Harley-Davidson’s Focus Strategy Chapter Introduction Book Title: Strategic Management An Integrated Approach
Printed By: ALICIA LI (
© 2015, 2013 Cengage Learning, Cengage Learning

Chapter Introduction
Syeda Masseeha Qumer and Debapratim Purkayastha

“Through our strategy to deliver results through Focus, which we rolled out in late 2009, we’ve been restructuring the business and focusing our investments in ways that will strengthen the Harley-Davidson brand, lower our cost structure, foster continuous improvement, and promote growth in the U.S. as well as globally. And while we feel good about all that we’ve achieved, we know it’s crucial for us to stay fully on the throttle here.”

– Keith . Wandell, Preident & CO of Harle-Davidon Inc. in 2011.

In the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2011, US-based iconic motorcycle maker Harley



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Davidson Inc. (Harley) posted a profit of US
million as against a net loss of US
million in the corresponding quarter of the previous year. For the full year 2011, income from continuing operations more than doubled to US
million and retail sales
increased by
worldwide. Shipments rose
to 233,117 bikes. Commenting on the
company’s performance, Keith E. Wandell (Wandell), President and CEO of Harley, said, “Our improved performance in 2011 is the result of the tremendous efforts of all of our employees, dealers, and suppliers. Harley-Davidson is all about fulfilling dreams through remarkable motorcycles and extraordinary customer experiences. In 2011, we made strong progress at transforming our business to be more agile and effective than ever at exceeding customer expectations. The changes underway across the organization will enable HarleyDavidson to be world class and customer led like never before, with shorter product development lead times, flexible manufacturing, and an unmatched premium retail experience.”

Founded in 1903, Harley was the world’s leading manufacturer of heavyweight motorcycles. The company’s bikes were sold through authorized dealers in more than 70 countries. Besides motorcycles, the company also offered a line of motorcycle parts & accessories

and general merchandise.
Over the years, Harley had established an
image of raw power which became its unique selling proposition. The brand adopted a focused differentiation strategy wherein it targeted specific products at niche segments in the market. The Harley brand had achieved a cult status among its loyal customers as it characterized adventure, tradition, and power.

In 2008, the global economic recession and an aging customer base had significantly dented Harley’s sales. In October 2009, the company launched a long-term business strategy called “Delivering Results through Focus” to get through the recession and expand the strength of the Harley-Davidson brand. The objective of this strategy was to enhance productivity and profitability through continuous improvement in manufacturing, product development, and business operations. As part of the strategy, Harley transformed its operations to make them more flexible and customer led. It focused on shortening product development...
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