Harley Case Study

7161 Words29 Pages

Introduction & Situation Analysis

Harley-Davidson has been a widely admired fixture in the motorcycle industry since the “golden years” of American motorcycle manufacturing (1900-1931), when at times there were as many as 200 different brands of American-made motorcycles. By 1930, the market had consolidation and the “big three” – Harley-Davidson, Indian Motorcycle, and Excelsior Supply – together accounted for 90% of the market (Ballon, 1997, p. 43). The Great Depression nearly destroyed the industry – wiping out all of the smaller manufacturers, forcing Excelsior out of business in 1931, and leaving Indian severely weakened until it too, ceased operations in 1953 (Ballon, 1997).
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Moreover, the emergence of these competitors is ironically at least partially the result of the fact that Harley’s production did not meet market demand. While new production capacity and facilities will certainly go a long way towards meeting short-term demand for touring and custom motorcycles in the domestic market, all indications are that there will be continued strong demand in the home market as well as growing demand in the larger European market. Looking towards the future, Harley-Davidson management must decide how to best match the company’s vision and resources (which now include Eaglemark Financing and Buell performance motorcycles) with the opportunities and threats in the global motorcycle market.
Problem Analysis The following analysis looks first at Harley-Davidson’s external environment (including competition) and secondly at the company’s internal resources, strengths and weaknesses in an effort to identify Harley’s strategic options for addressing the current problem.
External Environmental Analysis It is beyond the scope of this case analysis to provide separate environmental and industry analyses for vehicle financing services (related to Harley’s Eaglemark division), motorcycle parts and accessories and licensing-related products (e.g., Harley-Davidson apparel and accessories, café, etc.). The

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