When people around the world talk about motorcycles the name Harley Davidson will undoubtedly become the main topic. This year the Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Company is celebrating its 100-year anniversary. Over the past century, the company has managed to create a strong brand image and a loyal customer base within the large street cruiser market place. However, the road for Harley-Davidson has not been without it's share of problems, in fact in the mid 1970's the company was faced with a declining market share and the serious threat of bankruptcy. After the scare of bankruptcy the company returned to focusing on producing a quality product and developing a close relationship with its customers through a variety of programs, product offerings and events such as Daytona, motor shows and rallies. In this paper I am going to explore why the Harley-Davidson Company is the most recognized and successful motorcycle producer in the world. I will show what has made this company so successful by exploring how they distribute, price and promote their products. I will begin by looking at how Harley-Davidson distributes their products. .
The Harley-Davidson Company has maintained a steady domestic and export mix since the early 1990's which has been constant at approximately 30% of its motorcycle units exported and the remaining 70% being distributed in the United States. Of the units exported approximately one-half are sold through wholly owned subsidiaries in Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom, which allows the Company flexibility in responding to changing economic conditions in a variety of foreign markets. Distribution within the United States is done through indenpentently owned dealerships throughout the country. These dealerships have also undergone a transformation in the past ten to fifteen years. Gone are the days of a garage with parts and apparel located in boxes on shelves usually stored out of the customer's sight.