Harley-Davidson Case Study

Topics: Harley-Davidson, Buell Motorcycle Company, Arthur Davidson Pages: 5 (1430 words) Published: February 21, 2014

MGMT – 479 DEE
Harley-Davidson Case Study
April 7, 2011
Synopsis
Harley Davidson began its roots in Milwaukee, Wisconsin by two young men in a tiny shed in their backyard. William Harley and Arthur Davidson were the first to begin the business of designing and building their own motorcycles and then Arthur’s two brothers entered the picture to help out because they were both very skilled as one was a machinist and the other was a mechanic. They started out only making three motorcycles their first year and then over doubled that by making eight the next year. I’m not sure how long it took them to bump up their production, but by 1969 they were building 15,000 per year. The company was bought out in 1969 by an industrial products company called AMF, and double production of the motorcycles within 5 years.

There was a small problem with the purchase by AMF and that was that they were more concerned with profits instead of a quality product and it showed. Competition started pouring in from the Japanese but AMF didn’t seem to mind. Things came to a head and in 1981 several of the managers of Harley-Davidson bought the company. In 1993 the company purchased 49% interest in Buell Motorcycle Company and was able to enter into a niche market of performance bikes. Garry Berryman came into the picture in 1997 and changed things for the better. Garry began targeting new markets right away and introducing new products. It was a big turnaround for the company. There were several ups and downs along the way, but the company has a very strong brand name and it is a beloved bike. There are several riders’ organizations and rallies and events to attend when you own a Harley.

Resources
Brand Name (Harley-Davidson)
Management (President & CEO James Ziemer/Procurement Expert Garry Berryman) Financial Capital
Real Estate
Employees
Ownership in Buell Motorcycle Company
CAD System
Suppliers

Capabilities
Manufacturing (Custom Designed Motorcycles with high performance) Domestic & International Locations
Strategic & Operational Management
Marketing
Operational Excellence
Beginner Rider’s Course

Core Competencies
Brand Name (Harley-Davidson)
Ownership in Buell Motorcycle Company
Manufacturing (offers a unique experience that no other brand can provide) Suppliers (alliances with top suppliers)
Operational Excellence
Beginner Rider’s Course

Finding of Fact #1
What should Harley-Davidson do about its aging customer base? First, I would recommend that Harley-Davidson study the market to see where there is room to grow for years to come and not just look at a temporary solution to the problem. As we can see, the main market for Harley-Davidson was brought about by the rocker group of the 60’s & 70’s and they held the market up for Harley-Davidson for the past 4 decades. That is a long time. So using Harley-Davidsons top management group including Garry Berryman Harley-Davidson needs to do the following: 1.) Harley-Davidson should focus on marketing heavily to the young business man. The young businessman will have the money to purchase the product as well as the youthfulness to become attached to the product and have a long lasting relationship with the brand. To market to the young businessman Harley-Davidson could take out lots of billboard ads and strategically place them in highly populated cities showing a businessman with a dress shirt and tie slightly undone headed home for the day. They could also market by internet which would be huge in a tech savvy businessman’s world where they are surfing the net all the time. TV commercials would also be a great way to market. 2.) Harley-Davidson should also focus on marketing internationally. They are already set up in China which has a huge population to market to. They are also set up in Europe and the Middle East and also Africa, but their sales are less than 30% in all of these locations. One way to market and get stronger international sales would be to show how...
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