It is a story no one on earth could have made up. Four young men experiment with internal combustion in a tiny wooden shed. Not only does the shed not burn down, but the motorcycle they build goes on to serve over 100,000 miles under five owners. And that's just the beginning!
It all started 100 years ago. "A motorcycle. A philosophy. A way of life.
The company was founded in 1903 by 21-year-old William S. Harley and 20-year-old Arthur Davidson. Their factory was a small wooden shed with the words Harley-Davidson Motor Company crudely scrawled on the door. Later that year, Arthur's brother, Walter joined the company. Four years later, The Davidson's brother, William, joined the company, thus completing the four founding fathers.
On September 17 1907, the company was incorporated, with the stock split between the four founders. The company, by now, employed a staff of eighteen and dealer recruitment began. In 1908, after setting numerous records, word of Harley Davidson's extremely tough motorcycles began to spread. The company also sold their first motorcycle to the Detroit Police Department, a tradition that continues today. Due to the durability of Harley motorcycles, the US army requisitions the company to produce motorcycles for them. As a result, the first American entering Germany after World War 1 was riding a Harley Davidson.
In 1925, the basic appearance of all future Harley's was set, when the gas tanks with their distinct teardrop shape were introduced.
1935 marked the Japanese entry into the motorcycle industry as a result of Licensing of blueprints, tools and machinery to the Sankyo Company of Japan. In future, this would prove to be the biggest threat to the survival of Harley Davidson.
Merchandising by Harley Davidson began in 1947, when the company began selling the classic black leather motorcycle jacket.
By 1953, Harley Davidson had become the sole U.S. motorcycle manufacturer, a position it would retain for the next 46 years.
1969 saw Harley Davidson merge with the American Machine and Foundry Company (AMF). The merger lasted until 1981, when 13 senior executives from Harley Davidson bought back the company. After the buyback was made official, the phrase The Eagle Soars Alone becomes a rallying cry.
What was to become the largest motorcycle enthusiast club in the world, the Harley Owners Group was started in 1983.
In 1998, a new assembly facility was opened in Brazil, making it Harley Davidson's first production facility outside the United States.
This present year marks Harley Davidson's centenary year, making it likely to be the biggest party the world has ever seen by a company
[...] We'll talk about our motorcycles, our riding experiences and how much fun we are having.” The value chain analysis has shown, that in the case of the Harley Davidson company, value is added in three areas: the customer and after sales service, the marketing and sales function and the product design Evaluation of the strategic resources Within a company the following strategic resources can be identified: Physical, Financial, Human, Intellectual, Reputational Barney (1991) states that a strategic resource must meet the following criteria: Must be rare within the industry Must be valuable Must be difficult to copy Throughout the internal analysis of Harley Davidson Inc. [...]
[...] Attitudes associated with the Buell and Harley-Davidson V-Rod models will have attracted younger segments, though it is hard to measure what affect this might have on the brand image in the eyes of its older targets. Sales figures show that the average age of buyers has risen to 46 years of age. The environmental issues connected to Harley include the tires, oil, and paint that will affect the environment post-purchase. In order to satisfy consumer groups and enhance its image, the organization may deem it necessary to pursue a course, which would see them supporting, or providing research, to develop fuel-efficient tires which are more durable. [...]
[...] On the human side, building and maintaining relationships with their customers, suppliers, stakeholders, and employees is one of the areas Harley-Davidson excels in. It gives the company a really strong competitive advantage. The competitors are only able to fight on the price or the quality but they cannot obtain the same customer loyalty. Harley Davidson is more a myth, a legend than a product, and that is what the customers are buying Core competencies The core competencies that can be identified in the Harley Davidson organization are the following: Customer care and customer relationship (the Harley Owners Group) is the core competency of Harley Quality and its continuous improvement is also one of the main asset of the company Harley Davidson's brand name There is a need for investment in these areas of core competency, because what consumers are actually valuing today will change over time and therefore the company may not regard its own competencies in a static way. [...]
[...] - QUALITY Suppliers are expected to meet “twice the level of quality”, and are expected to develop a strategic plan for how they will achieve this end. - TIMING Suppliers must constantly develop tools for faster development and come up with plans that support Harley's development efforts. They must perform in each of these areas in order to maintain the partnership with Harley. If a supplier is not performing, they are placed on the unacceptable list. for suppliers who don't want to go in that direction, we find ways to part company with them for a supplier to be with us in the long haul, they are going to have to be competitive” says Jeff Bleustein, the CEO of Harley Davidson. [...]
[...] The success of firms, both today, and in the future, depends on their ability to operate globally.' In the past couple of years Harley-Davidson has witnessed a vast growth in sales of almost 130% in the Asian/Pacific markets. More revenue was attributed to the sale of parts and accessories than of individual Harley and Buell motorcycles. New information systems will have enabled the firm to function operations and communications 24 hours a day from various market locations in the American, European and Asian/Pacific regions. [...]
Online readingwith our online reader
Content validatedby our reading committee