A Case Study on Harley-Davidson.Com and the Global Motorcycle Industry

Topics: Harley-Davidson, Motorcycle, Harley Owners Group Pages: 5 (1162 words) Published: September 7, 2010
I. Statement of the Problem

Although Harley Davidson dominates the market in North America, it has been the smallest in Europe and the 4th in Asia/Pacific region which is dominated by Japanese brands. One reason for Harley’s smaller market share in Europe and Asia region is that the company cannot produce enough motorcycles to meet demand and its prices tend to be higher than competitive models. Shortages of Harleys lead many consumers to purchase competitive bikes as there are 2-year waiting lists for some Harley models.

The researcher of this study seeks to answer the following questions:

1. What is the best way to advertise or market Harleys in the Europe and Asia/Pacific region? 2. What improvements shall be done in Harley-davidson.com website?

II. Objectives of the Study

This study seeks the following objectives:
- to be able to understand the market share of Harley Davidson from the case study - to determine which advertising is best for Harley Davidson in Europe and Asia - to know whether the official website of Harley is good enough and competitive enough - to give the best solution to increase market share and sales of Harley in Europe and Asia/Pacific region

III. Scopes and Limitations of the Study

The study includes the current situation of Harley Davidson Company, the nature of the company, the background, its market share in different countries and the effect of its official website on consumer behavior.

The study however, is limited with only secondary data available from the text and from the official websites of Harley and its competing brands.

This study has recommendations and points of view that are based from my own perspectives and thinking as a marketing student.

IV. Nature of The Research

A. Harley Davidson

Harley-Davidson, often abbreviated H-D or Harley, is an American motorcycle manufacturer. Founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, during the first decade of the 20th century, it was one of two major American motorcycle manufacturers to survive the Great Depression. Harley-Davidson also survived a period of poor quality control and competition from Japanese manufacturers. The company sells heavyweight (over 750 cc) motorcycles designed for cruising on the highway. Harley-Davidson motorcycles (popularly known as "Harleys") have a distinctive design and exhaust note. They are especially noted for the tradition of heavy customization that gave rise to the chopper-style of motorcycle. Except for the modern VRSC model family, current Harley-Davidson motorcycles reflect the styles of classic Harley designs. Harley-Davidson's attempts to establish itself in the light motorcycle market have met with limited success and have largely been abandoned since the 1978 sale of its Italian Aermacchi subsidiary. Harley-Davidson sustains a loyal brand community which keeps active through clubs, events, and a museum. Licensing of the Harley-Davidson logo accounts for almost 5% of the company's net revenue.

B. Global Competitors

Honda motorcycles, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha are some of the major competitors of Harley Davidson.

C. Motorcycle Buyers

The demographic profile of motorcycle buyers has changed over the years. According to the Motorcycle Industry Council, 61% of buyers are over 35 years old whereas in 1980, only 27% has reached this age. In 1980, only 2.4% of motorcycle buyers had incomes of $50,000 or higher, whereas in 1998, over one third were in this income group. White-collar professionals are the largest group of new bike riders, accounting for 36%. Many are former riders now stepping up to their dream machines and state that motorcycle riding helps reduce stress in their lives.

D. Motorcycle Company Websites

H.D. management believes that the Internet is a powerful marketing tool. Its website is affectionately called the “anti-websites” since it encourages visitors to get offline and onto their Harleys....
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