Harley Davidson Summary of Attached Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

0%; 2002: 47.5%; 2003: 49.5%

Honda - 2001: 20.5%, 2002: 19.8%; 2003: 18.4%

Suzuki - 2001: 10.8%; 2002: 9.6%; 2003: 9.8%

Yamaha - 2001: 7.9%; 2002: 8.9%; 2003: 8.5%

Net revenues motorcycles in major markets

United States - 2002: $3,416,432; 2003: $3,307,707

Europe - 2002: $337,463; 2003: $419,052

Japan - 2002: $143,298; 2003: $173,547

Canada - 2002: $121,257; 2003: $134,319

Competitive Categories



Breadth of product line

Image and reputation

Quality of after-the-sale service


Internal Analysis

As the external analysis clearly reveals, the Harley Davidson Company remains the top competitor in the motorcycle industry, since its inception in 1903. Harley Davidson has several strengths in its favor, as the company continues to increase profits and revenue, and has a positive outlook for its future. The company's main strengths are its continuous improvement, employee motivation and involvement, and key management strategy regarding the company's operations. One area of improvement is that the company focuses on their long-term issues, rather than a short vision. In 1985, the company was restructured according to Japanese-derived management principles that consisted of new marketing strategies and new manufacturing techniques. The company also motivates employees by including them on the management decisions, and instill values such as truthfulness, respect for individuals, and the stimulation of intellectual curiosity. Management in turn passes these values down through the products, workers, and financial success. Management is able to keep a firm grasp on the company's operations, and can consistently build improvement.

Harley Davidson's weaknesses consist of its main focus on luxury, high-end products, and the fact that the vast majority of its market share consists of the United States. These are weaknesses because this keeps the company so specialized that it can be driven out of other markets, such as cheaper bikes for use in urban or developing countries. However, this weakness can also be viewed as a strength because Harley Davidson is manufacturing high-end, expensive products for those consumers that can afford such products. The same type of sales for cheaper products in developing countries where consumers do not have the spending means would have to be made up of in volume.

Harley Davidson also has many opportunities, such as the fact that they now lead the industry in areas of information technology and research and development. The company has on-going relationships with companies whose goals are to improve engineering, and as a result, they are able to easily incorporate new technology into new and existing products. Harley Davidson is also an industry leader on endurance testing, while no other technology or machine has the capability of detecting secondary damage before it happens. The company is also very innovative and is not afraid to take risks, and the company has taken risks associated with a certain image, and turned them into successes. For example, the company has created a unique image with quality, and consumers immediately attribute Harley Davidson motorcycles as being of the best quality available. Another opportunity the company has is the ability to penetrate developing countries' demands for heavy bikes. This is a good opportunity, even though sales in such developing countries may start out rather slow, until the country and the customs of its people acclimate to the use of heavy bikes.

As any successful competitor, Harley Davidson also has weaknesses that can be viewed as direct threats to its overall well-being. Such threats are Japanese bike makers, who are beginning to saturate the industry with many different styles and models, which sell for a significantly lower price. Japanese bike makers are additionally seen as a threat because of their capability to make quality bikes at a significant lower manufacturing cost associated with production. In addition, the company is threatened by several other low cost producing companies from other parts of the world.

Finally, Harley Davidson's financial performance is strong, as indicated in the external outline above. The company consistently has revenues and motorcycle sales that far exceeds the revenues and sales of any other competitor in the industry. The company also mains a consistent growth percentage every year, whereas the growth rates of competitors fluctuate on a yearly basis. Harley Davidson has…

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