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Harley-Davidson Motorcycles

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 customers.

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 "Harley lifestyle"

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 once again.

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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