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Harley Davidson Case Study

Autor:   •  November 9, 2015  •  Case Study  •  1,452 Words (6 Pages)  •  817 Views

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Cristina Quintino

Consumer Behavior

Professor Thomas

April 1st, 2015

Harley Davidson Case Study

1) Briefly summarize the case. In this explain the company’s current situation and what key issues they face.

Harley Davidson is a motor company founded in 1903 by William Harley and Arthur Davidson. The Company is specialized in the production of motorcycles, which are sold internationally. By 1902, Harley Davidson had become the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world with dealers in over 60 countries.

Its headquarters are based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and has manufacturing facilities in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Missouri. Additionally they also carry subsidiaries in Germany, UK, Benelux, France, and Japan.        

        One of the many issues faced by the company is the ageing of their main sector of consumers. The Baby Boomer is a person born between 1946 and 1964 in Europe (particularly Great Britain and France), USA, Canada, and Australia. After World War II these countries experienced a sharp growth in nascence that became know as the baby boom. The Baby Boomer generation became a substantial component of the North American population, they surged after WWII, a time when soldiers from the war returned to their homes and met their children simultaneously. Representing about 20% of the American public, the Baby Boomers have a significant impact on the economy. As a result the Baby Boomers are often the focus of many marketing campaigns and business strategies.

        Harley Davidson experienced high sales due to the Baby Boomers being their core sector of customers. Due to their high income, during the 80’s and 90’s demand was so high for Harley Davidson motorcycles that customers were paying over MSRP and the wait to receive it was over a year.

        The Motorcycle industry is also a competitive one. Harley Davidsons main competitors are mainly based in Europe, some of them being BMW based in Germany and Ducati based in Italy, and Japan being the main four key players Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Yamaha. Although these competitors focus mainly on sports bikes, they also offer a heavyweight model similar to that of Harley Davidson. Luckily the company maintains its strongest global market in Japan, despite its notorious competitors.

        Harley Davidson offers more than just a motorcycle. They sell a lifestyle, which is very particular to their customers. With associations to the brand being biker gangs such as The Hells Angels, the brand’s image was associated with a rebel like leather jacket wearing persona. Although this only represented a fraction of their customer base, it proportioned a bad connotation for the rest of their potential customer base. Their customers lived the full lifestyle, being completely submerged in the biker way of living, and having complete brand loyalty in the company and the company having complete loyalty in their baby booming rebel generation consumers.


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