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MoCo The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

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  #1  
Old 12-13-2011, 12:17 PM
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Harley COO: Bikes will get more "accessible," remain American

Harley COO: Bikes will get more "accessible," remain American
Mon, Dec 12 2011
By John Stoll and Scott Malone

(Reuters) - Harley Davidson Inc's (HOG.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) chief operating officer Matt Levatich said the company will offer motorbikes that are more "physically and financially accessible" to buyers both in the United States and abroad, but it will continue to keep its manufacturing operations almost entirely in the country.

Levatich said at the Reuters Global Manufacturing and Transportation Summit that the company is striving to appeal to a broader array of buyers, from women and minorities in the United States to those in emerging markets. While volume and market share for several of its bikes has grown in 2011, the company's products still appeal to a narrow band of buyers.

"In the past, our market was predominantly core customers in the United States," Levatich said. "We see an opportunity, not to make (scooter-sized) bikes by any stretch, but to make Harley-Davidsons that are physically and financially accessible for emerging markets, for international markets, for the United States for that matter."

The least expensive bike Harley-Davidson offers is priced at about $8,000. Levatich said the company may consider making smaller and less expensive bikes.

However, he said the company will continue to do the bulk of its manufacturing in the United States, where it assembles nearly all the bikes it sells in the world. It also does some "complete-knock-down" assembly of motorcycles in Brazil and India due to tariff issues in those countries.

To date, Harley-Davidson has taken a largely go-it-alone strategy in places such as China and India, instead of finding a partner to develop or sell bikes.

That is partly because the company has been held back by international partnerships before, Levatich said, citing the example of a former Italian distributor which promoted lower-cost Harley sportster bikes over its upper-end models.

"We feel we were aided in waiting a little bit and not getting in early with a JV partner that had a different idea of what the Harley brand could be or should be," Levatich said. "Part of the decision to go in on our own was because of the cleanup work we've had to do, a lot of the cleanup work was where we were buying out distributors and resetting the market."

If the company should some day sell a bike that appeals only to emerging markets, he said the company would keep its options open on where to build it. But for now, it has no plans to open production plants outside the United States.

Levatich said India represents a considerable opportunity for Harley-Davidson bikes -- which he considers to be strictly a "leisure" product -- given the acceptance of motorcycles in that market.

"They grow up on two-wheeled vehicles, so there isn't an issue of use or acceptance. As the middle class continues to grow and as more leisure time becomes available and as the country continues to invest in infrastructure as they are, you'll see that market developing to more into the leisure part of the story.

Levatich said Harley-Davidson has been successful in recent years in broadening its consumer base by increasing its U.S. share of younger, female and minority buyers. At the same time, the company has increased its mix of international sales from 25 percent five years ago to 35 percent in 2010, and plans to reach 40 percent of sales in international markets by 2014.

The company is expanding its demographics by "doing a much better job of capturing these regional or country-specific trends and interests and funding it into our product planning process." Still, he said, "we have to be laser-sharp in the motorcycles we choose to develop."

(Reporting by John D. Stoll; Editing by Richard Chang)
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Old 12-13-2011, 06:57 PM
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an observation

"physically and financially accessible"

the company is striving to appeal to a broader array of buyers, from women and minorities in the United States to those in emerging markets.





I'll sum it up this way:


I think they're just goin to manufacture crap overseas
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Old 12-13-2011, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knuckleheader- View Post
"physically and financially accessible"

the company is striving to appeal to a broader array of buyers, from women and minorities in the United States to those in emerging markets.





I'll sum it up this way:


I think they're just goin to manufacture crap overseas
Sounds right
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Old 12-13-2011, 08:04 PM
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get ur $99 HD and a slurpee at the quickee mart.
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Old 12-13-2011, 08:09 PM
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I guess, I'll keep dancing with the girl I brought.

On a side note, She sure is fine.
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Old 12-13-2011, 08:10 PM
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So why the Hell did they shut down Buell?
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Old 12-13-2011, 08:13 PM
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Are they going to start making scooters?
I am keeping my 06.
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Old 12-14-2011, 03:09 AM
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Old 12-14-2011, 09:27 PM
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they need to diversify the offering and give the sport bike another try but put the HD brand on it. That will give the power of the HD and an offering more attractive to the yungin's not into comfort.
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Old 12-14-2011, 09:49 PM
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This guy sounds like a bean counter. God help us all.
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Old 12-15-2011, 03:19 PM
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Wonder what they're going to do to attract more minorities?
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Old 12-16-2011, 07:16 AM
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Are they going to start making scooters?
I am keeping my 06.
Your a very wise man, I know I won't part with my 06.
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Old 12-16-2011, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by J.A.F.O. View Post
Wonder what they're going to do to attract more minorities?
Offer free copies of "Ebony" or "Jet" for life?
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Old 12-20-2011, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J.A.F.O. View Post
Wonder what they're going to do to attract more minorities?
They're going to have to change how they market the bike. Before I bought mine, I associated baggers with old white guys with money who can't ride for shit. Of course that isn't true, but perceptions are everything.

Look at it like this: VW makes the Beetle. When most people see it, they instantly think chick car. That might've been fine initially, but if they want to expand the market to men, they need to change how the car is marketed. Little things, like more horsepower and edgier styling might help. And most men probably don't care for the flower vase inside either.

This is what Harley is trying to do. I'll admit that I get a few curious stares every now and then. Even my girlfriend gave me the side eye when she first saw me on it.

So how do they change this perception? If they want more minorities to buy their products, they're going to have to market to minorities. Chrysler does this. Look at their commercials. They film them in Detroit in black neighborhoods with black actors, and they offer accessories that black people like such as 20" wheels on their Charger/300 sedans. At the same time, the cars appeal to a larger demographic as well, and Chrysler has figured out how to capture one demographic without alienating the other. Harley has already started with their Iron Legends campaign. They also need to market their products in places that minorities frequent, with minorities in the ad placement, not mention do marketing at events like Black Bike Week and other similar type functions.

It can be done, but the changes won't happen immediately.
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Old 12-21-2011, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silent1 View Post
They're going to have to change how they market the bike. Before I bought mine, I associated baggers with old white guys with money who can't ride for shit. Of course that isn't true, but perceptions are everything.

Look at it like this: VW makes the Beetle. When most people see it, they instantly think chick car. That might've been fine initially, but if they want to expand the market to men, they need to change how the car is marketed. Little things, like more horsepower and edgier styling might help. And most men probably don't care for the flower vase inside either.

This is what Harley is trying to do. I'll admit that I get a few curious stares every now and then. Even my girlfriend gave me the side eye when she first saw me on it.

So how do they change this perception? If they want more minorities to buy their products, they're going to have to market to minorities. Chrysler does this. Look at their commercials. They film them in Detroit in black neighborhoods with black actors, and they offer accessories that black people like such as 20" wheels on their Charger/300 sedans. At the same time, the cars appeal to a larger demographic as well, and Chrysler has figured out how to capture one demographic without alienating the other. Harley has already started with their Iron Legends campaign. They also need to market their products in places that minorities frequent, with minorities in the ad placement, not mention do marketing at events like Black Bike Week and other similar type functions.

It can be done, but the changes won't happen immediately.
that won't work for the fat old jews.....
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