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Thread: Harley-Davidson Still in the Black

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Default Harley-Davidson Still in the Black

    These days, if a company - especially a U.S.-based manufacturer of motor vehicles - is still making money, it's a miracle. That's why Harley-Davidson's First Quarter 2009 revenue report is pretty positive, despite showing a 12-percent drop in global sales and a 38-percent drop in new profits compared to the first quarter of 2008. After all, $117.3 million in profits is $117.3 million in profits. Still, H-D's CEO Jim Ziemer (about to be replaced by incoming president and CEO Keith Wardell) recognizes that the company will struggle in the tough times ahead, and outlined the necessary strategy to weather the continuing storm.

    First, H-D continues to build its "brand investment" with various programs to draw in new customers. You're familiar with the "dark custom" lineup aimed at younger buyers, but there are plenty more untapped markets, like women riders and Latinos (on April 8th, H-D launched the Harlistas section of its website, inviting Latino Harley-Davidson riders to share their stories and experiences). An expanded demo-ride called "Super Ride" lets more prosepctive buyers test the new models, and the "Ride Free" program - that allows Sporster owners a 100% trade-in credit on other models - "successfully created consumer interest and reinforced the brand value of Harley-Davidson motorcycles" according to the release.

    H-D must be anticipating a long downturn, and is downsizing, or as it prefers to say, conducting volume reduction and consolidation. Somewhere between 1400 and 1500 employment positions will be eliminated over 2009 and 2010. Parts and accessory and general merchandise distribution will be handled through an outside vendor, as well as transportation operations. Finally, Harley-Davidson Financial Services (HDFS) is being pumped up with a combination of private funding and U.S. Treasury department loans (do you know what TALF is? Neither do I) to provide more loans to customers and move some product.

    H-D has had remarkable success over the last 20 years, and it may have enough momentum to keep it coasting through this downturn.
    2009 Kawasaki KLR650/685
    2004 Suzuki V-Strom "Wee" DL650
    2002 Kawasaki Prairie 650 V-TWIN
    1971 Kawasaki MT1 / Parnelli Jones KV75 (resto project)

    A quiet ride turns away wrath, but loud pipes stir up anger. Proverbs 15:1 (American Biker Version)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Palm Harbor, Fl



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