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26-5-2016

TUTOR:
LOCATION:
YEAR:
COURSE:
AUTHORS:
CLASS:

JEAN-PIERRE SCHEURS
LEIDEN
2015 - 2016
GLOBAL MARKETING
JESCA LEMMENS S1099585
JOEY BOL
S1084113
LAURA HUGUES S1100247
KMB11B

International Business II

Table of contents
I.

CURRENT SITUATION ....................................................................................................................... 2

A.

Performance ................................................................................................................................ 2

B.

Strategic Position ......................................................................................................................... 3

II.

CORPORATE GOVERNANCE ............................................................................................................. 6


A.

Board of Directors ....................................................................................................................... 6

B.

Top Management ........................................................................................................................ 6

III.

EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENT .......................................................................................................... 7

A.

Societal Environment .................................................................................................................. 7

B.

Competition ................................................................................................................................. 8

C.

Task Environment ...................................................................................................................... 10

IV.

INTERNAL ENVIRONMENT ......................................................................................................... 11

A.

Corporate structure ................................................................................................................... 11

B.

Corporate culture ...................................................................................................................... 12

C.

Corporate resources .................................................................................................................. 13

V.

Strategic factors............................................................................................................................. 18
A.

Current mission and objectives ................................................................................................. 18

B.

Key strategic factors .................................................................................................................. 20

C.

Confrontation matrix ................................................................................................................. 21

VI.

Strategic alternatives and recommended strategy ................................................................... 22

A.

Strategic alternatives................................................................................................................. 22

B.

Recommended strategy ............................................................................................................ 25

C.

Implementation ......................................................................................................................... 26

D.

Evaluation and control .............................................................................................................. 27

Bibliography........................................................................................................................................... 28

I.

CURRENT SITUATION

A. Performance

This section will discuss the performance of Harley-Davidson in the year 2014.

Financial performance

2014 was a strong year for Harley-Davidson. According to the 2014 annual review Harley-Davidson
has achieved the following:
-

18.3% increase in their diluted earnings per share;


Their gross margin and operating margin have increased to 36.4% and 18%.
Harley-Davidson has gained a 15% increase in net income.
Harley-Davidson Dealers have sold 267,999 new motorcycles worldwide, which is a 2.7%
increase over 2013.
Harley-Davidson has experienced an increase of 5.4% increase in international sales.
Finally, the company's dividend increased by 31% and they repurchased $604 million in
shares of company stock on a discretionary basis.

Reach of the brand

In 2014, Harley-Davidson did quite well financially. However, the goal of Harley-Davidson is to keep
this in line with the brands image. 2014s main goal was to expand the brands awareness. According
to the 2014 annual review Harley-Davidson has achieved the following:
-

Growth in U.S. outreach customers, which consist of women, young adults, AfricanAmericans, and Hispanics.
Harley-Davidson has (re)claimed the number one market share position in Japan, which is the
second largest market in the world for Harley-Davidson.
Sales in Europe grew in almost every market.
Harley-Davidson has posted its best results ever in Australia, Asia-Pacific region, New
Zealand, China, Asia, and India.
Retail sales of new Harley-Davidson motorcycles international grew more than 5%.

Future goals

In order to maintain the successes that Harley-Davidson is experiencing right now, the company has
set several business goals for themselves in the future of which they are convinced that they will help
them improve their business. These goals are (Wandell, Annual review, 2014) :
-

Achieve better results in Sale & purchase(S&O) than last year.


Growth in international retail sales. This must be done at a faster pace than U.S. Sales.
In the U.S., grow sales to outreach customers at a faster rate than sales to core customers.
Grow earnings at a faster rate than revenue.

B. Strategic Position

Mission

Harley-Davidson Inc. mission statement is: We fulfill dreams through the experience of motorcycling,
by providing to motorcyclists and to the general public an expanding line of motorcycles and branded
products and services in selected market segments.
Harley-Davidson thinks that fulfilling the dreams of customers not only takes just building and selling
motorcycles, but it also takes unforgettable experiences. They do not only deliver a collection of
products and services, but also experiences. Harley Davidson creates many different experience
opportunities for their customers. From a simple morning coffee and conversation at the local
Harley-Davidson dealership, to an ambitious ride across a continent. Harley-Davidson is always
developing relationships with all of their stakeholders customers, employees, investors, suppliers,
governments and society. Thats what sets Harley-Davidson apart from the crowd and why their
brand strength is esteemed. (Harley-Davidson, 2004)
They make sure they enable dreams and secure trust of their customers. A Harley-Davidson will not
be sold, once a potential customers sits on it, it sells itself. With 1 million H.O.G. members, the Harley
Family has a lot of diversity. The Harley-Davidson lifestyle is about freedom, community, simplicity
and of course the motorcycle! (Smernis, 2016)

Objectives

Harley-Davidsons purpose and passion is to fulfill dreams of person freedom of their customers.
They bring a commitment of exceptional customer experiences to everything they do from the
innovation of their products to the precision of their manufacturing culminating with their strong
supplier and dealer networks. This is what Harley-Davidson does. (Harley-Davidson, 2016)
Harley-Davidsons company objectives are:
1. Build Values For Customers
2. Create Customers Confidence
3. Further International Expansion

Policies
Harley operates by means of a number of policies, including:
-

Corporate Environmental Policy

This policy reflects Harley-Davidsons commitment to sustainable business practices which include:
compliance with environmental regulations, advancement of environmental awareness,
minimization of environmental risks, reduction of emissions and waste and conservation of energy
and water consumption.
Harley-Davidson believes in protecting the environment. The Company is committed to the
advancement of operating and management practices that minimize, within reasonable limits, the
impact of its operations on the environment. (Harley-Davidson, 2006)
-

Corporate Governance policy

The Harley-Davidson Board of Directors and management believe that the Company, in the interests
of its stakeholders, should embrace corporate governance practices in keeping with our leadership
position in our business and current legislation and rules (Harley-Davidson, 2014)
The Company will maintain the following policies to continue its leadership in the corporate
governance area:

Board independence
Committee independence
Committee structure
Committee operation
Board structure
Election of a Presiding Director
Role of the Presiding Director
Board Meeting Calendar, Agenda and Materials
Board Orientation
Continuing Education
Officer and Director Compensation and Equity Ownership
Director Access to Management and Independent Advisors
Certain Responsibilities
CEO Goals and Objectives
Management Succession
Annual Performance Evaluation of the Board.

Appendix A will explain these policies.


-

Advance orders policy

In 1981, Harley developed a policy of building bikes strictly on advance orders from dealers, instead
of anticipated market demand. In the factory, every motorcycle is given an dealer invoice number on
it. This policy had later tremendous success in the personal computer market. The policy allowed
Harley to do away with vast stocks of parts awaiting assembly by adopting the Japanese just-in-time
methodology. A continuous flow of quality parts into Harley's factories reduces money tied up in
inventory and also drives quality throughout the manufacturing process (Rifkin).
-

Supplier diversity policies

It is the policy of Harley-Davidson through the Supplier Diversity Initiative (SDI) program, to insure
that Minority and Woman Business Enterprises (MWBE) are provided the maximum practicable
opportunity to participate in contract opportunities for products and services required by the
company. The primary objective is to increase the participation by MWBE's while continuing to
purchase on the basis of quality, competitive cost and delivery (Harley-Davidson Motor Company,
Inc., 1999).

Strategies

Harley-Davidson has a domestic and international approach. This gives them access to larger global
markets and it creates the opportunity to benefit from the economic differences in exchange rates.
Besides that, the company can benefit from recycling old products in emerging markets.
Harley-Davidsons strategy is to offer value over price. This is because they know they cant compete
on cost with foreign producers. Because of the higher quality and price, Harley-Davidsons strategy is
placed somewhere between differentiation and focused differentiation. This means that the user
recognizes added value to a particular segment, the heavy motorcycles, and is willing to pay a
premium price for this.
Harley-Davidson's segmentation strategy is to expand its global presence and reach new
demographics in the US. They do this inter alia by the assembly facility in Brazil, the first operations
outside the US, opened in 1999, that means taxes are lower, making the bikes more affordable to a
larger group of Brazilian customers.
Besides the new motorcycles launches, Harley-Davidsons most innovation has been in peripheral
products and services that support the motorcycles. Other strategies focus on building customer
loyalty, the Harley community, and enhancing the brand and the image of the Harley-Davidson rider.
Maintaining the tension between the resonance and dissonance with social norms is a managerial
challenge. In addition, the link with the dark side of the outlaw bikers is also a link that harms image
of Harley-Davidson, and this may alienate the upscale market that purchases new Harley-Davidsons
(The Chartered Institute of Marketing, 2014).

Strengths and weaknesses


Harley-Davidson have lots of strengths: a high loyalty from the customers, but also from the
employees because they are really attached to the brand too: its a cult brand; the large product
range is also an important strength because its always tend to target more customers; HarleyDavidson is synonym a lot of positive terms like high education, tradition or freedom (these are the
reasons of the high loyalty from customers).
The main weakness of Harley-Davidson is the very American orientation of the brand: more than 65
percent of the revenue comes from the US, but the market has its limits and it is becoming
dangerous for the brand to focus just on it. Also, Harley-Davidson a manufacturing is the US, in India
and Brazil, so it makes the price higher for the exported countries. (Marketing91)

II.

CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

A. Board of Directors

Harley-Davidson is leading by a leadership team and a board of directors.


The leadership team is composed of 8 persons who are President or Vice-President for a sector of
activity (communication, human resources, global demand, finance, product & operations etc.):
-

Matthew S. Levatich, President and Chief Executive Officer, Harley-Davidson, Inc.


Joanne M. Bischmann, Vice President, Communications
Tonit M. Calaway, Vice President, Human Resources, and President, Harley-Davidson
Foundation, Inc.
Sean J. Cummings, Senior Vice President, Global Demand
Lawrence G. Hund, President and Chief Operating Officer, Harley-Davidson Financial Services,
Inc.
Paul J. Jon John A. Olin, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer es, Vice President,
General Counsel and Secretary
Michelle A. Kumbier, Senior Vice President, Motor Company Product & Operations

The board of Directors is composed of 9 leaders who are President, Chief executive or Chairman of
Harley Davinson and from a range of industries (Levi Strauss, Boeing, MTV etc.). The meet for
examine the growth and the objectives of Harley Dadison. (Hamid, 2011)
The board of Directors is leaded by Michael Cave:
- Michael Cave, Non-Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors, Harley-Davidson, Inc. and
Former Senior Vice President of The Boeing Company
- R. John Anderson, Former President and Chief Executive Officer, Levi Strauss & Co.
- Donald A. James, Co-Founder, Majority Owner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fred
Deeley Imports Ltd.
- Matthew S. Levatich, President and Chief Executive Officer, Harley-Davidson, Inc.
- Sara L. Levinson, Co-Founder and Director Kandu, Former Executive, Clubmom, Inc., NFL
Partners, Inc. and MTV Music Television
- N. Thomas Linebarger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Cummins Inc.
- George L. Miles Jr., Chairman Emeritus, Chester Engineers, Inc.
- James A. Norling, Chairman of the Board, Globalfoundries, Inc.
- Jochen Zeitz, Director of Kering and Chairman of Kering's Sustainability Development
Committee
(Harley-Davidson, Top management, 2016)

B. Top Management

Top Management is composed of people with the highest titles in the company such as chairman,
chief executive officer, managing director, president, executive directors, executive vice-presidents,
etc.). Basically, they are responsible for the entire enterprise. For Harley-Davidson, it is all the people
who are in the Leadership team and the Board of Directors.
The important changes in the company are made with the active participation of the Top
Management. For instance, during the 80s Harley-Davidson knew number of problems (high interest
rates, recession, completion from Japan etc.). But in 1989 significant changes has been decided:
lower cost, better quality, and more reliable delivery time. Top Management actively participated
because they knew they will lose the company if they did not. (Miltenburg, 2005)
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III.

EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENT

With this plan, we will examine how this focus can be adjusted so that the brand will be
strengthened in other continents. Therefore this external analysis is focused on Europe.

A.

Societal Environment

There are some major social differences between the US and Europe. This section discusses the main
societal factors. Harley-Davidson should be aware of these factors, when they are going to indulge
more into the European market.

Economy (demographic)

In order to have an idea of the motorcycles market in Europe, lets have a look on the number of
motorcycles driving licenses in the countries where there are the most of sales, and then lets focus
on the number of sales.
First of all, it is useful to know where are the biggest markets for motorbikes in Europe.
This is data of the year 2014 on the top 5 of the number of sales:
France: 251 502
Italy: 184 801
Germany: 175 826
Spain: 126 270
United States: 102 120 (ACEM, 2015)
It is also important to have a look on the sales of the motorbikes in Europe compare to the United
States, what is the current situation of this two different markets and how it is growing (or not).
In Europe the motorcycle market tends to grow. In 2015 there was a growing during the ninth firsts
months of the year in the European Union. 1 010 413 motorcycles were sold during this period,
against 967 368 during the same period in 2014: it represents an increase of 4,4%. If we focus on the
different countries of Europe, we can see that the rise is most about Spain (+19,9%, if we compare
the two periods), the United Kingdom (+12,3%), Italy (+6,4%) and Germany (+2,7%). But there is an
important information to notice: the biggest market which is France is falling (-2,6%). That are the
125 cm3 motorcycles and more who get the most important increase with +10,1% (compare to
2014), with a total of 752 251 sales. (Grumel, 2015)
We can notice the same trend in the United States where the motorcycle market is also increasing.
2015 is the fifth year of rise for the sales of motorcycles with a total of 500 678 during the year. It is
an increase of 3,7% compare to the year 2014 (with 483 526 sales). (Webbikeworld, 2016)

Technology

The technological part of the external environment is unavoidable concerning the external
environment of Harley-Davidson. We always see appear a decade of new models of motorcycles sold
with new technological trends. What brands want is always more power, control and safety.
Its an opportunity for motorcycles constructors to include green technologies. The increase
computing technologies is also a key challenge. (Panmore, Harley-Davidson PESTEL Analysis &
Recommendations, 2016) For instance, there is the begging of the association between the
motorbike and smartphones (or tablets) thanks to applications. Its possible to perform a multiple of
tasks through these applications like get information on the traffic in real time (accident, works,
traffic jam) for example, what bring more safety. (Ferrant, 2015)

Socio- Cultural

Traditionally, Harley-Davidson targeted to higher income males. Today the demand for motorcycles
has increased for women. Therefore, the company has adjusted its direction. A women's outreach
manager named Leslie Prevish is therefore assigned to focus on the women's market in order to try
to increase sales of at least $ 300 million if it is successful. One of the ways it does this is by giving
garage parties where she teaches women how to pick up a 750-pounds motorcycle and similar skills.

Political-Legal

Due to Environmental authorities in Federal, State, and Local levels of government, environmental
laws to monitor and control air, water, noise, and fuel pollution have forced Harley-Davidson to
implement environmental practices throughout
their company.
The company has done a number of investments in order to reduce air pollution and to reduce the
production of waste water. Also, the company minimizes its use of paper.
According to the safety helmet law of 1966 and countervailing lying with the universal helmet law of
1992, Harley-Davidson motorcycle requires renters and Their passengers
to sign an agreement promising to wear a country-approved helmet When riding motorcycles.

B.

Competition

This section will discuss the competitors of Harley-Davidson


Overview
The main competitors with whom Harley-Davidson has to deal with are:
-

Honda Motor Company;


Suzuki Motor;
Yamaha Motor;
Kawasaki Heavy Industries;
Ducati.

Honda Motor Company

Honda is located in Japan and is the biggest motorcycle producer in the world. In comparison to
Harley-Davidson, Honda has one main advantage towards Harley-Davidson: it specializes in every
type of motorcycle. This results in the fact that Harley-Davidson and Hondas sales numbers have
different reactions economic changes (Francis, 2012).
During periods of economic slowdowns, Hondas sales decrease because consumers who buy a
Honda motorcycle are more likely to not use these motorcycles as their primary transportation.
However this is most certainly not always the case, Honda motorcycles can offer people with lower
incomes the opportunity to have a form of transportation (Watson, 2012).
The models that compete with Harley-Davidson are (Honda, n.d.):
-

Adventure series;
Cruiser series;
Touring series;
Custom series.

Suzuki Motor

Suzuki has its headquarters located in Japan. Similar to Honda, Suzuki also specializes in different
kinds of motorcycles. Suzuki divides its motorcycles into two categories: two stroke engines and four
stroke engines.
The biggest issue that Harley-Davidson has towards Suzuki is that Suzuki is an expert in building
motorcycles which are cost efficient. Suzuki offers a great variety of motorcycles that consist of
smaller engine motorcycles. The biggest concern for Harley-Davidson is that by making cheaper bikes
that this could have a negative impact on the image of Harley-Davidson (Williiams, 2014).
The models that compete with Harley-Davidson are (Suzuki, n.d.):
-

Street series;
Cruiser series;
Touring series.

Yamaha Motor

Yamaha Motor, also located in Japan, holds the number two position for the worlds largest
motorcycles producer (Francis, 2012).
Similar to Suzuki, Yamaha also offers a various amount of motorcycles in different segments of the
market. This means that Yamaha offers motorcycles which have a high price tag, but more important:
they also produce motorcycles which are very low on price and still consist of great quality (Williiams,
2014).
The models that compete with Harley-Davidson are (Yamaha, n.d.):
-

Hyper Naked;
Sport Heritage;
Sport Touring;
Cruiser.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries

Kawasaki is a manufacturer of industrial goods and transportation equipment. Kawasaki Heavy


Industries manufactures, aircraft, rolling stock, ships, gas turbine power generators, environmental
and industrial plants. More importantly, Kawasaki Heavy Industries produces motorcycles which
mostly have an iconic green colour (Francis, 2012).
Kawasaki distinguishes itself from the crowd with their excellent quality of products. Kawasaki is
known for their expertise on making bikes suitable for the real world (Woodard, 2015).
The models that compete with Harley-Davidson are (Kawasaki, n.d.):
-

Naked series;
Sport tourer;
Cruiser series;
Classic series.

Ducati

Ducati has many similarities when compared to Harley-Davidson. For instance, Ducati portrays their
motorcycles as a way of life. Ducati represents the Italian industry: their motorcycles are the result of
the deepest commitment, skill, design and passion (Ducati, n.d.).
Harley-Davidson and Ducati have one thing in common: they offer luxury motorcycles. However,
Ducati has a wider variety of motorcycles. For example, they have tour bikes and sports bikes
whereas Harley-Davidson has mainly tour bikes.
As said before, both Ducati and Harley-Davidson focus mostly on a higher market segment. However,
Ducati also offers motorcycles for a lower market segment. In 2015, Ducati introduced the scrambler
series. These motorcycles have a price tag of 8.790 (Nieuwsmotor.nl, 2015).
The models that compete with Harley-Davidson are (Ducati, n.d.):
-

Scrambler;
Multistrada;
Monster.

C.

Task Environment

Opportunities
Large market of women/young riders
Increasing demand overseas for motorcycles
Popularity of racing motorcycles

Increased use of internet by young population

Threats

Seasonality of sales of motorcycles


Less disposable income due to recession
Aging population
Bad association with criminal motorcycle gangs

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IV.

A.

INTERNAL ENVIRONMENT
Corporate structure

The corporate structure of Harley-Davidson is based on the centralization of the control of all the
business activities and on the focus of the brand on the market of developed countries (especially
USA).
The organizational structure is regrouped in Function-based groups which have specific functions in
the business and the manufacturing: CEO, Communication, Human Resources Management, HarleyDavidson Foundation, Global Demand, Financial Services, Legal, Motor Company Product &
Operations.
Harley-Davidson uses centralization. For example, the corporate headquarters are the main control
on the global business and the global organization. (Panmore, Harley-Davidsons Organizational
Structure Analysis, 2016)

CEO
Motor
Company
Product &
Operations

Communication

Functionbased
groups

Legal

HRM

HarleyDavidson
Foundation

Financial
Services

Global Demand

Figure 1. Function-based groups organizational structure. Based on Harleyd-Davidsons


Organizational Structure Analysis by Panmore, 2016.

11

B.

Corporate culture

At the Harley-Davidson facilities, no one wears anything different then a jeans, including the CEO. But
it's not just about the jeans, the employees live in the same communities as they work in. HarleyDavidson organizational culture thus corresponds to the chopper culture bike in the motorcyclesworld.
The heart for the organization is based in 5 values.

Tell the Truth.


Be Fair.
Keep Your Promises.
Respect the Individual.
Encourage Intellectual Curiosity

This is how Harley-Davidson runs her business. These values are the guides for their actions and
provide a framework for the decisions they take. They make a contribution to employees at every
level of the organization. They are, just like the motor bike, the characteristics of Harley-Davidson.
They reflect how they interact within the company with each other and with their stakeholders,
including customers, dealers and suppliers.
By encouraging employee involvement and development, and actively communicating the
importance of the values, the company promotes these principles . Harley-Davidson believes that the
company is most successful when they appreciate every contribution, and the differences and
similarities between their employees. Because they learn to apply more diversity in planning and
implementation. Employees are the engine of Harley-Davidson's performance and the foundation of
the companys success (Harley-Davidson, 2004).

Core Competencies
Harley-Davidson has a number of core competencies:
1. Bold, rebellious attitude. This characteristic is directly related to the products the brand creates.
The custom chopper biker culture, mainly in the US.
2. Customer-centrism. Harley-Davidson corporate culture emphasizes attention to needs and
expectations of customers. By creating a positive customer experience, Harley-Davidson ensures
customer satisfaction.
3. Harley-Davidson's corporate values. Harley-Davidson has a number of standards which the
organization is based on. Integrity, accountability, diversity, teamwork and creativity are important
business values at Harley-Davidson.
4. Leadership Development. The HRM department of Harley-Davidson is always looking for new
leaders and technic experts. They look for people who know how to approach new projects and looks
forward to challenge. This condition improves Harley-Davidson's human resource management for
continuous leadership from within the organization (Harley-Davidson, n.d.).

12

C.

Corporate resources

This section will discuss the corporate resources of Harley-Davidson.

Marketing
Harley-Davidson is the leading company in motorcycle manufacturing. The company offers its
customers various amount of different motorcycles: lightweight street motorcycles to heavyweight
motorcycles (Parker, 2016).
The marketing strategies are mainly focused on providing Harley drivers a unique experience in order
to connect them with the Harley-Davidson brand.

Figure 2 . Harley-Davidsons Marketing Strategy. Taken from What Is Harley-Davidsons Marketing


Strategy? by J. Parker, 2016.
Customization
One of the unique features of Harley-Davidson is that customers can modify or customize their own
motorcycle. There are only a small amount of automakers which allow customization of vehicles.
Customizing your motorcycle at Harley-Davidson allows you to choose your own colors, windshields,
exhaust, seats, rack and backrests, and intakes (Parker, 2016).
Large dealership network
At this moment, Harley-Davidson has approximately 1,435 dealerships worldwide. The larger part of
these dealerships are situated in Europe, US, and Canada. In the last couple of years Harley-Davidson
has laid their focus on enlarging their dealerships in the Asia-Pacific market (Parker, 2016).
Learn to Ride
In order to learn properly how to ride a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, the company has the Learn to
Ride program, which is part of the Harley-Davidson Riding Academy. This program offers a variety of
courses to new Harley-Davidson drivers. Certified Harley-Davidson coaches guide the new drivers
during their first experiences with a Harley-Davidson motorcycles (Parker, 2016).
Targeting customers
The core customers of Harley-Davidson are men over the age of 35. To intensify the experience of
riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, they offer a collection of gears an apparel to their customers.
13

Moreover, Harley-Davidson is also trying to join up with outreach customers such as young adults
and women. That is why Harley-Davidson also offers branded gear and apparel which are especially
designed for women (Parker, 2016).
Events Harley owners
Harley-Davidson has a group for Harley-Davidson enthusiast that goes by the name Harley Owners
Group or HOG. In order to maintain its customers connection to the brand, Harley-Davidson
organizes multiple events for the members of the Harley Owners group (Parker, 2016).

Finance
In 2015 Harley-Davidson earnings per share declined with 4.9% to $3.69 in comparison to earnings
per share of $3.88 in 2014. The net income of Harley-Davidson was $752.2 million on consolidated
revenue of $6.0 billion in comparison to the full-year 2014 net income (Macrito, 2016).
During the year 2015, Harley-Davidson sales of retail motorcycles were affected by increased
competitive tensions like the changes in world currencies (Macrito, 2016).
The company announced plans in October 2015 to improve and increase their customer-facing
marketing investment, beginning in 2016, by more or less 65% over 2015 levels, and to enlarge their
investment in new product development by 35% from 2015. All of these changes speak for a $70
million gain in investments in order to drive demand compared to 2015 (Harley, 2016). According to
Bryan Harley the higher investments are focusing on four areas: growing new ridership in the U.S.,
increasing and enhancing brand access, increasing product and brand awareness, and accelerating
the cadence and impact of new products (Macrito, 2016).
Retail Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Sales
Full year
2015

2014

Change

U.S.

168,240

171,079

1.7%

Latin America

11,173

11,652

4.1%

Canada

9,669

9,871

2.0%

Europe, Middle East,


Africa Region

43,287

45,323

4.5%

Asia Pacific Region

32,258

30,074

7,3%

Worldwide Total

264,627

267,999

1.3%

American Region

Table 1. Retail Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Sales. Adapted from HARLEY-DAVIDSON REPORTS


FOURTH QUARTER AND FULL-YEAR 2015 RESULTS. by T. Macrito, 2016.

14

Motorcycles and Related Products Segment Results


Full year
$ in thousands

2015

2014

Change

Motorcycle Shipments
(vehicles)

266,382

270,726

-1.6%

Motorcycles

$4,127,739

$4,385,863

-5.9%

Parts & Accessories

$862,645

$875,019

-1.4%

General Merchandise

$292,310

$284,826

2.6%

Gross Margin Percent

36.8%

36.4%

0.4 pts

Operating Incomce

$875,490

$1,003,147

-12.7%

Operating Margin
Percent

16.5%

18.0%

-1.5 pts

Revenu

Table 2. Motorcycles and Related Products Segment Results. Adapted from HARLEY-DAVIDSON
REPORTS FOURTH QUARTER AND FULL-YEAR 2015 RESULTS. by T. Macrito, 2016.
Financial Services Segment Results
Full year
$ in thousands

2015

2014

Change

Revenue

$686,658

$660,827

3.9%

Operating Income

$280,205

$277,836

0.9%

Table 3. Financial Services Segment Results. Adapted from HARLEY-DAVIDSON REPORTS FOURTH
QUARTER AND FULL-YEAR 2015 RESULTS. by T. Macrito, 2016.
Guidance
In 2016, Harley-Davidson indicates to ship 269,000 to 274,000 motorcycles, an increase of 1% to 3%
in shipments. In Q1 of 2016, Harley-Davidson expects to ship 78,000 to 83,000 motorcycles in
comparison to 79,589 motorcycles which were shipped in the same period a year ago. In 2016, the
company wants to achieve a operating margin of 16% to 17% for the Motorcycle segment. Moreover,
Harley-Davidson forecast in 2016 capital expenditures of $255 million to $275 million (Macrito,
2016).
Cash Flow
In 2015, marketable and cash securities totaled $767.4 million at the end of 2015 compared to the
$964.0 million at the end of the year 2014. Harley-Davidson has produced $1.10 billion of cash in
2015 from operating activities in comparison to $1.15 billion in 2015. Furthermore, Harley-Davidson
has bought 27.9 million shares of its common stock in 2015 at a price of $1.53 billion, which was
partially funded by a $750 million debt issues (Macrito, 2016).
15

Research and Development


Harley-Davidson Research and Development center is located in Wauwatosa in Wisconsin. Instead of
calling it the Research and Development center, Harley-Davidson uses the name Product
Development Center. The primairy process of Research and Development goes as followed: the
deparments Engineering and Styling, together with Market Research and Product Planning, present
their business plan and a project charter to a committee in order to get approval for their plans. After
the project receives approval they start with the pre-development and execution (Gresh, 2012).
When the prototypes are build at the Product Development Center, there is a special secure place
where the motorcycles are being tested (Gresh, 2012).
Harley-Davidson has a special sound room in which they the motorcycles audio signature can be
adjusted to meet the customers expectations and still meet the requirements of the government
sound regulations.. The test bike is placed on a set of rollers instead of riding past a microphone. The
sound room has various microphones spaced on each side of the bike. The sound room can simulate
the moving of the motorcycle at various speeds by sequencing the mics electronically (Gresh, 2012).

Operations and Logistics


Harley-Davidson invests a lot to improve its operations and logistics in terms of safety, quality and
throughput: buying buildings of productions and new machines. It makes the manufacturing process
more flexible. (Christ, 2014)

Human Resources Management


Harley-Davidson is known as one of the company which have the best relationship with employee.
Its because the company focus on the fact that the employees (unions or salaried) are the first
customer of the brand. That point allowed to Harley-Davidson to become an American icon in the
whole world.
1. Relationship with employees and management
The relationship with employees rely on the corporate values: tell the truth, be fair, keep your
promises, respect the individual, encourage intellectual curiosity. These values encourage employee
to involve themselves in the company, and to share their opinion (see IV.B. Corporate culture).
Harley-Davidson has implemented a guideline called "Jeffrey Pfeffer's seven practices for building
profits by putting people first". The emphasis is on searching brains and team-oriented employees
and the seven practices are the following: employment security, selective hiring, self-managed teams
or team working, high paying contingent on company performance, extensive training, reduction of
status differences and sharing information.
2. Relationship with worker unions
Number of companies pain to have a good relation with the unions, and some of them want to
remove unions completely. Harley-Davidson is one of the rare company which maintain a strong
relation with unions. Unions workers have a lot of control, for instance in period of low productivity
in order to avoid any lay-off and create job security.
3. Training
Harley-Davidson has a strong training program and developed the Harley-Davidson learning center
which encouraged the employees to push forward their knowledge and skills. Thanks to this program
the company became more competitive, with a better qualified workforce.
16

With the implementation of Jeffrey Pfeffers seven practices for building profits by putting people
first, Harley have risen market with 5,971.3 million of dollars of profits for 2008 with the USA
amount to 70.2% of this global number, and 15,2% for Europe.
(UKessays, 2015)

Information Systems
During the 1990s Harley-Davidson emphasis on improving the Information System. It has more than
doubled the number of IT employees. (Robert Milton Underwood, 1999)
Nowadays, the integration of technological resources, like information systems, is one major power
of Harley-Davidson. It insures flow smooth flow of production. (Hamid, 2011)

17

V.

Strategic factors

A. Current mission and objectives

This paragraph will discuss the current mission and objectives of Harley-Davidson

Current mission

The mission statement of Harley-Davidson is (Thompson, 2016): We fulfill dreams through the
experiences of motorcycling, by providing to motorcyclists and to the general public an expanding line
of motorcycles and branded products and services in selected market segments.
When looking at the mission statement of Harley-Davidson, it can be divided into three components
(Thompson, 2016):
1. Making dreams come true through motorcycling;
2. A growing line of services and products;
3. Selected market segments.
The mission statement of Harley-Davidson gives a blueprint of the approaches for growing the
companys business. Harley-Davidson uses the experiences of motorcycling and dreams coming true
for attracting customers in order to enter markets. The companys mission statement also highlights
the implication of expanding their product mix. Furthermore, the mission statement of HarleyDavidson points out market segmentation, which Harley-Davidson mainly uses to focus on specific
customer groups in the global motorcycle market. Lastly, Harley-Davidsons mission statement also
refers to maintaining its strong brand-related motorcycling culture in order to acquire new and
maintain current customers (Thompson, 2016).

Vision

The vision statement of Hayley-Davidson is as followed: Harley-Davidson, Inc. is an action-oriented,


international company, a leader in its commitment to continuously improve our mutually beneficial
relationships with stakeholders (customers, suppliers, employees, shareholders, government, and
society). Harley-Davidson believes the key to success is to balance stakeholders interests through the
empowerment of all employees to focus on value-added activities.
The vision statement of Harley-Davidson portrays the companys business strategies and values. The
main components of Harley-Davidsons vision statement are (Thompson, 2016):
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Action-oriented business;
International scope;
Leadership in stakeholder management;
Employee empowerment;
Value-added activities.

Harley-Davidson emphasizes in their vision statement just how important it is to have an actionoriented approach in order to expand their business. Moreover, Harley-Davidson wants to achieve
international success, which points out their plan for expansion in the global market. Also, the vision
statement reveals the commitment of Harley-Davidson to satisfy its stakeholders. Employee
empowerment is also an aspect that is integrated into the Harley-Davidsons vision statement. The
employee empowerment supports Harley-Davidsons business flexibility despite the ambitious force
18

of other motorcycle companies. The value-added activities in Harley-Davidsons vision statement


increases competitiveness and attracts investors. Related to this vision statement is the strategic
objective to globally expand the business of Harley-Davidson (Thompson, 2016).

Objectives

Harley-Davidson aims to bring new products to the market, expand their international reach and
opportunities with new customer groups and improve their product development, manufacturing
and the retail experience of the customer (Wandel, 2014).
The business objectives of Harley-Davidson are as followed (Wandel, 2014):
-

Exceed the S&P (Sales and Purchase) over time;


International retail sales have to grow at a faster pace than U.S. sales.
In the U.S. grow sales to new customers at a faster pace than sales to the core customers.
Earnings grow at a faster rate than revenue.

19

B. Key strategic factors


The key strategic factors are the combination of important facts the business have which permit to
accomplish the goals. (businessdictionary) Harley-Davidson has 3 principal key strategic factors: a
proven product quality, a strong position and brand image and a large distribution network. (Hamid,
2011)

Product
quality

large
distribution
network

Strong
brand image

Figure 3 . Harley-Davidsons Key strategic factors. Based on Harley-Davidson, Strategic Analysis by


M. Hamid, 2011.

20

C. Confrontation matrix
EXTERNAL

Weaknesses

INTERNAL

Strengths

++

New efforts to create more brand


awareness (Rallies and events)

++

++

Increase in marketing efforts


(female/interntational)

++

++

++

Past marketing efforts (focused on men)

++

High prices of motorcycles

__

Declining image of quality

TOTAL

Association with criminal


motorcycle gangs

Aging population

Less disposable income due to


recession

Loyal customer base

TOTAL

++

Seasonality of sales of
motorcycles

Increased use of internet by


young population

+ -

Strong brand image

Past market focus (mainly on USA)

Threats

Popularity of racing motorcycles

Harley-Davidson

Increasing demand overseas for


motorcycles

Large market of women/young


riders

Opportunities

__

++

1
0

__

__

__

__

__

__

Table 4. Confrontation matrix.


-0
+
++

very threatening
threatening
Neutral
promising
Very promising

21

VI.

Strategic alternatives and recommended strategy

A. Strategic alternatives

Growth strategy
On basis of the Ansoff model a growth strategy for Harley-Davidson will be formulated in this section.
Through two main strategies to relate to each other (product / portfolio and competition / market)
the strategic development of a business in a market can be given (Beiersdorf, n.d.).
Ansoff distinguish four growth directions, divided in the dimensions product and market.

Figure 4 . Ansoffs model of growth strategies. Taken from Ansoff's growth strategies. by
Beiersdorf.
1. Market penetration
In this strategy you try to take a greater share of an existing market with an existing product.
This could involve product re-launch or increasing brand awareness. This strategy is the
safest growth strategy.
2. Market development
In this strategy you are finding or creating new markets by targeting new parts of the market or
by expansion into different markets.
3. Product development
In this strategy youre using the base of existing products to grow. For example, once a range
has been established, new types of products van be developed with that range such as the
Harley-Davidson motorcycle toys for kids.
4. Product diversification
In this strategy youre seeking to create or develop new products, lines or product ranges for
new markets. This is the most risky growth strategy, and needs lots of research.
Harley-Davidson is doing the products diversification strategy by finding a new target group in
woman and youth. Also they are focusing more on Europe. For these new markets HarleyDavidson created new products: lighter and cheaper motorcycles. The less heavy bikes are better
useable for women, and the less expensive ones are better affordable for younger people.
22

Retrenchment strategy
The Retrenchment Strategy is adopted when a company aims at reducing its business operations
(products or service lines, markets and functions) in order to reduce the expenses and reach a more
stable financial situation. There are 3 categories of retrenchment strategy: the turnaround, the
divestment and the liquidation. (businessjargons, retrenchment strategy)
1. Turnaround
The turnaround strategy is used when the company feel that the decisions made are wrong and have
to be cancelled before it create damages. This strategy is used in order to change the deficit company
in a profit making company.
Its obligatory to adopt the Turnaround strategy when the company has persistent losses, an
ineffective management, wrong corporate strategies, continuous negative cash flows, a high
employee attrition rate, a bad quality of functional management, a declining market share or
uncompetitive products or services. (businessjargons, Tournaround strategy)

2. Divestment
The company adopt the divestment strategy when it downsizes the scope of the business. It sells or
closes a part of the business in order to revive the financial situation. It is the opposite of investment:
the firm sells the part of the business to pay off its debts and focus its resources on the more
profitable divisions of the firm. The divestment strategy is adopted when the turnaround strategy is
inefficient or ignored by the company. (Businessjargons, Divestment strategy)
There are many reasons: market shares too small, the availability of better alternatives, the need of
increase the investment, the legal pressure etc. (Thomas)

3. Liquidation
The liquidation strategy is the most drastic step and the last resort of the retrenchment strategy
since that includes the selloff of its assets and the close of the business operations. There are
important consequences as loss of future opportunities and jobs, and spoiled of the market image.
A firm can follow the liquidation strategy for several reasons: the failure of the corporate strategy, an
obsolete technology, outdated products, when the business become uneconomical, or a lack of
integration between the divisions. (Businessjargons, Liquidation strategy)

Stability strategy
This section will discuss the option of adopting a stability strategy for Harley-Davidson
Sales in Europe have declined in 2015 except for the last quarter in which they actually rose 2.2%
(Frobes, 2016). Although this may suggest that Harley-Davidson is headed in the right direction,
considering adopting a stability strategy could be an option for Harley-Davidson. By lowering their
risks they could focus on the core competencies to improve market share and sales numbers.
A stability strategy can be one of the following different types (Business Jargons, n.d.):
23

1. No-Change;
2. Profit Strategy;
3. Pause/Proceed with caution.
No-Change
This strategy will not be suitable for Harley-Davidson. The No-Change strategy aims at maintaining
current procedures. In the case of Harley-Davidson, that seems not beneficial. In order to improve
sales, Harley-Davidson must change their current strategy seeing as the current strategy is not
improving the situation of Harley-Davidson (Business Jargons, n.d.).
Profit Strategy
A company follows a Profit Strategy when a company is willing to maintain their profit at any cost.
Cutting cost, reduce investments, raise prices and increase productivity are examples of methods to
maintain profits (Business Jargons, n.d.).
The Profit strategy is no realistic option for Harley-Davidson because in the 2015 Harley-Davidson
made a profit of $520,000,000 (De Aandeelhouder.nl, 2016), which shows that Harley-Davidson is
still maintains a tremendous amount of profit.
Pause/Proceed with Caution Strategy
The Pause/Proceed with Caution Strategy is the most suitable stability strategy for Harley-Davidson.
Following this strategy means that Harley-Davidson maintain their normal strategy and waits and
looks at the marketing conditions before they will launch their new strategy (Business Jargons, n.d.).
Following the Pause/Proceed with Caution Strategy will give Harley-Davidson enough time to fully
develop their new strategy at the perfect time. In doing so, Harley-Davidson can make sure that they
have covered every section of the market so that know precisely what the market conditions are at
any moment. This will result in Harley-Davidson being at its strongest when they enter the market
with their new strategy.

24

B. Recommended strategy

Our recommendation to Harley-Davidson is to keep their diversification growth strategy on the same
road with the instruments they use. Of course their customer base stays the most important factor
for Harley-Davidsons. They should not take unnecessary risks that can harm the customers. But since
their loyal customers are aging, they need to find new markets. Harley-Davidson found these in a
younger audience and in women. Also they are trying to focusing more on Europe, instead of only
the USA. Diversification is the most risky strategy because you have to wait and see if there is
actually demand for the product. Stores the concept, the risk that competition improves your
product and steals your market. Another disadvantage is often that you have to explain the
product, and then can sell only. Fortunately, this is not the case for Harley-Davidson. However,
compared to the growth it will deliver if it succeed, the risk will be worth it.
The advantage is of course that you can immediately take a leading edge over your competitors. You
also have the ability to do at premium pricing. This is often necessary to recoup development costs.
1. Value proposition
What is it that makes a Harley-Davidson motorcycle different than other bikes? When a customer sits
down on a Harley, the motorcycle sells itself. This is because Harley-Davidson does not only sell a
bike, they sell a whole experience. It gives a feeling of satisfaction and belonging that no other brand
will give.
2. Customer identification
The experience is one of the mean reasons that Harley-Davidson drivers are so loyal. Its important
for Harley to creative this same impact on the new customers in their new markets. Most motorcycle
riders are known as men. We recommend Harley to continue their new strategy by focusing on
woman. Driving a bike can be done by everyone, so creating a product that is appealing to women is
a logical step in the process of growing their business. Because the loyal customers are getting older,
this market is shrinking and a growing part of them are not able to drive a motorcycle anymore.
Thats why appealing an younger audience is a wise step to take. Harley-Davidson is always been very
USA orientated, of course this is because of its origin, are they are very traditional. But why only
focusing on the USA, if there is a much bigger world to operate in? To increase sales, Harley-Davidson
should get more global orientated, especially on Europe.
3. Revenue streams
These new customers come along with other needs. Producing new products in necessary to be able
to please these new needs. Harley-Davidson is doing this very well, thats why we recommended
them to stay on this road of producing new motorcycles.
-

Harley-Davidson is known for their heavy motorcycles. However, these heavy weighted bikes
are not suitable for all women. Thats why they have created lighter weight motorcycles. For
example: Iron 883, Superlow 1200T.
The new, younger, target audience are aged 18-28 years. Many of these people just finished
studying and are novice workers. Their salary is not as high as professionals, what limits their
budget to luxury goods like Harleys. To respond to this Harley-Davidson created models that
are less expensive. For example: H-D Street 500, Seventy-two (Harley-Davidson, 2016).

25

C. Implementation

Vis--vis the growth strategy which is recommended for the brand, this section will discuss about the
implementation plan we suggest to Harley-Davidson, and more particularly on a general
communication plan to carry out in Europe. We will focus on two way of communication: social
medias actions, and event operations.

Social medias
1. Facebook
The Harley-Davidson Facebook page have to be developed. Even if the principal page of the brand is
popular (with more than 7 180 000 likes) it could be relevant to work on the several pages of HarleyDavidson country by country. It exists for instance the pages for France, Germany, United Kingdom
which are three important markets in Europe.
2. Twitter
We can see the same thing about the accounts on Twitter. The main page of the brand is very
popular and dynamic, but the other one, like Harley-Davidson France or Harley-Davidson UK for
example, are less actives.
The first step to do is to make more known these pages nearby the population in Europe (on
Facebook and Twitter) in order to reach the European market. Moreover, you will target the younger
audience with this method which is one aim for the growth strategy of the brand.

Events
The second step to do is to continue and intensify the different event of Harley-Davidson in Europe.
These events gather all the customers who represent the brand and who are making a
communication event. There are many events of this sort, like the Euro Festival Harley-Davidson, the
Benelux H.O.G. Rally, the European H.O.G. Rally, the European Bike week, and so on.
In order to reach feminine audience, it could be relevant to focus one part of the communication
campaign of the events on them.
The communication campaign will be on social networks.

26

D. Evaluation and control

This chapter will discuss the methods for evaluation & control for Harley-Davidson
When the new strategy is implemented there has to be an evaluation moment after a specific period
of time: has the new strategy fulfilled to the needs of the company and the customer? Tools that can
be used for this are for example customer surveys and market research.
Moreover, it is important to conclude if the strategy has achieved the goals which are set for the
future: has Harley-Davidson accomplished to exceed Sales and Purchase? Have international sales
grown at a faster pace than U.S. sales? Are the earnings growing at a faster rate than revenue?
Furthermore, Harley-Davidson should be able to conclude if the new strategy has resulted in new
advantages towards its competitors. In other words: has Harley-Davidson been able to acquire new
customers who used to buy their motorcycles from a competitive company.
Figure (add number) describes the different evaluation segments, what objective has to be
evaluated, and which tools can used to evaluate these objectives.
Evaluation & Control schedule
Segment

Evaluation subject

Tools

Customer

Does Harley-Davidson Street 750


meet the expectations of the
customer?

Customer survey

Company

Is the company culture in line with


Harley-Davidson new strategy?

Employee survey

Finance

Market growth/ market share/


determine ROI: targets

BCG-matrix

External

What is Harley-Davidsons
positioning towards its
competitors

Market research

Table 5. Evaluation & Control Phase Harley-Davidson.

27

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