Orvel Wilson says that, “Harley-Davidson motorcycle is more than just transportation. It really is an American icon and is one of a…handful that we’re left with culturally. I’d put it in the same class as jazz music”. In 114 years of history Harley-Davidson has designed, manufactured and sold bikes under different categorization like, “cruiser, touring, standard, sport bike dual” based on “bike capability, it’s features, design, affordability, quality, reliability, and available of financial resources.” The company has always focused on to build a stylish customized product which is holistically innovative. The company sales is centrally focused in U.S. and Europe with 51.2% of Harley Davidson users in U.S itself and 10.8% in Europe. In U.S. larger customer base is men who are over 35 years and outside U.S. interestingly many women and young adults used Harley Davidson bikes.
The company strongly believes in establishing a healthy and strong relationship with its suppliers to strength their value chain activities to strength which give access to to technical and commercial resources, that help in product development. Their strong supplier base give Harley Davidson a competitive advantage to supply the raw materials and ensure the effectiveness of this supply. Most of the companies are manufactured within US because of two reasons: -
- Ease the Shipment: - Customers always worry about whether the ordered products will be available in needed time or not because of the transportation complexity. If Harley-Davidson start producing motorcycles outside U.S. then it would add more obligations in shipment process due to geographical, legal, political and operational hassle. To avoid these complexity Harley Davidson produce motorcycles majority in U.S.
- Shorten Production time: - If the production facilities was outside US then the complexity of shipment of and other activities would have stretch the product production time and due to this, customer might not receive or purchase the product whenever it is available. As its majority of manufacturing plants are available in US it saves the time to produce and as well make it cost effective.
In 2016 Harley Davidson made a huge progress with their net income of $692.2 million and in 2017 first quarter company expects to ship approximately 66,000 to 71,000 in the first quarter which is 15% to 20% less compared to the last year. This year companies aims to aggressively focus on making their supply chain more effective than it is now. It’s long term strategies is to build 2 million new riders within the US by launching 100 new designed motorcycles. Referring to Gamble, Peteraf, Jr.,( 2015) I came to conclusion that Harley Davidson has maintain strong production base in their own country and through that base they export motorcycles in the foreign market which has reduced foreign investments costs.
Disclaimer: Blog is a part of series of MBA assignment (2016-2018) and insight is based on my online research.