Harley Davidson, the iconic motor bike manufacturer was founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1903. The century old manufacturer has seen numerous changes in the bike’s growth, acceptance and sale during this time.
What happened in the Past
The motor bike was used extensively in both World Wars and through the Great Depression of early 1930s. The company also witnessed several changes such as that in the ownership and partnership owing to a restrictive practices suit filed against the company in 1952. This led the original manufacturer selling the company to American Machine and Foundry (AMF) in 1969. In 1981, the company again went through a restructuring wherein AMF sold the company to 13 investors. In 1981, they partnered with Buell Motorcycle Company to sell them XR1000 engines which continued till 1993. Post that, Harley Davidson bought the company (Buell) in 2003.
Where Harley Davison stands now
With the latest quarter results coming in, the bike manufacturer has witnessed a slowdown in the sales of the bike which is causing serious concern among the stakeholders. The company reported a 17% decline in revenue from general merchandise and a 21% decline in revenue from souvenirs. Although the bike still holds a special value to its owners and potential buyers, the value is not being converted to dollar sales and hence the decline in revenue. In the US, there has been a significant decline in Motorcycle registrations – as much as 7% in the first half of 2017. This, in turn, will lead to even slower growth in the upcoming months.
The Future of Harley Davidson
The bike comes at a large price tag attached to it. It may be a cause of the declining sales in the past 1 year. In additional there are plenty of dealers, both online and offline offering used Harleys for sale across the globe. With the growing use of the internet in making all types of purchases online, it has become extremely convenient to buy a bike like Harley online based on the buyer’s preferences, price range and location. In the future, it is expected that the second hand market will continue to grow unless accompanied by a decline in price of the bike and the merchandise.