By Mary Anne Winslow
In the year 1970 Harley Davidson motorcycles were the only heavy weight motorcycle manufacturer in the US. Because of this advantage they very quickly dominated motorcycle sales.
Because Harley only targeted the heavy-weight market it made it very easy for
the Japanese competition to find their niche making light to medium-weight cycles.
As a result Harley Davidson had to adjust it's marketing mix to meet the needs of its
PRODUCT- When AMF (American Machine and Foundry) acquired Harley
Davidson they "tripled the output" of Harleys, however "they lost control of
product quality." As a result, "Harley's reputation suffered as its bikes became less
dependable." In order to avoid financial ruin they "attacked the quality problems" with the
product. They improved Harley's facilities and production process. They also "adopted
statistical controls and employee involvement programs to improve quality." In another attempt
to improve their product, they built the motorcycles with a new V-twin engine developed
for improved reliability. They also solicited their customers at rallies for their
suggestions and complaints. They also started putting more emphasis on sales of parts
and accessories, and introduced an apparel line.
PROMOTION- In order to promote their new improved product Harley
Davidson started a Harley Owners Group (HOG). This built closer relationships with
customers, keeping HOG members involved with Harley Magazine and sponsoring weekend
rallies often along with concerts. These events offered their customers a way to
"express their individuality" and "as an escape from weekday pressures" promoting the
PRICE- Facing financial ruin, Harley had to bring their costs under
control. They did this by downsizing the organization, cutting salaries and perks, and
developing closer relationships and contracts with fewer suppliers. They also adopted
the just-in-time delivery approach Believing that their Japanese competitors were using
dumping cycles at predatory prices, Harley's management requested a tariff on imported
motorcycles This gave Harley's sales a chance to improve enough to become competitive
PLACE- Harley has been expanding overseas, to promote export growth
they publish Harley Magazine in foreign languages and "stage beer and band fests
that are adapted to the local culture." They only produced the Harleys at two American
plants and refuse to open overseas plants, maintaining that "limited production is
necessary to keep quality high."
1.They are putting more emphasis on sales of parts and accessories.
Many of their customers are interested in customizing their bikes in order to
express their individuality. They also changed their image from "bad-boy" in the 1970s to a way to express yourself and escape from weekday pressures. This attracted a new type of
motorcycle rider. They also expanded their product line to include their Motor clothes
apparel line attracting a new market of customers who don't necessarily drive Harleys. I think
that these steps have been successful, since they have increased their revenues, not
only by rebuilding the company's image, but also by creating a whole new line of products
that created new customers and created the exclusive image that is Harley Davidson.
2.Some people aren't willing to wait for a product, this probably
results in some lost revenue for Harley Davidson. If they were to open new plants, I don't
think that it would hurt the quality. I think that it would help increase their sales by
being able to meet the demand of their customers. Not a lot of people are able to afford the
expensive bikes, if they were to open a new plant it may also reduce the cost of the
bikes, which would also create a new demand for the bikes. People who weren't able to afford
it before would be able to therefore increasing sales.
Mary Anne Winslow is a member of Essay Writing Service counselling department team and a dissertation writing consultant. Contact her to get free counselling on custom essay writing.
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