Harley Davidson Business Analysis

Introduction to Harley-Davidson

Harley-Davidson, Inc. (H-D), or Harley, is an American motorcycle manufacturer, founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1903.

One of two major American motorcycle manufacturers to survive the Great Depression (along with Indian), the company has survived numerous ownership arrangements, subsidiary arrangements (e.g., Aermacchi 1960-1978 and Buell 1987-2009), periods of poor economic health and product quality, as well as intense global competition, to become one of the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturers and an iconic brand widely known for its loyal following. There are owner clubs and events worldwide as well as a company-sponsored brand-focused museum.

Noted for a style of customization that gave rise to the chopper motorcycle style, Harley-Davidson traditionally marketed heavyweight, air-cooled cruiser motorcycles with engine displacements greater than 700 cm³ and has broadened its offerings to include its more contemporary VRSC (2002) and middle-weight Street (2015) platforms.

Harley-Davidson manufactures its motorcycles at factories in York, Pennsylvania; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Kansas City, Missouri (closing); Manaus, Brazil; and Bawal, India. Construction of a new plant in Thailand is scheduled to begin in late 2018. The company markets its products worldwide.

Besides motorcycles, the company licenses and markets merchandise under the Harley-Davidson brand, among them apparel, home decor and ornaments, accessories, toys, and scale figures of its motorcycles, and video games based on its motorcycle line and the community.

Harley-Davidson Case Study
Founded 1903; 115 years ago
Founder William S. Harley
Arthur Davidson
Walter Davidson
William A. Davidson
Headquarters Milwaukee, Wisconsin,U.S.
Key people
Matthew Levatich (President and CEO)
Products Motorcycles
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