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The END of Harley?

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by Dazza, Apr 17, 2005.

  1. From Motorcycle Daily..

    Investors Lose Confidence In Harley-Davidson
    By Alex Edge

    Harley-Davidson Inc. stock took its biggest hit ever today as investors reacted to the news that the company was reducing its projected 2005 earnings growth by almost half, and cutting projected 2005 shipments back to 329,000 instead of the previously projected 339,000 bikes.

    Is this the beginning of a slide for Harley? According to this poll on the MSNBC news web site, 52% of respondents (as of this writing) feel that Harley is running out of "baby boomers" to sell their bikes to.

    The increasing mainstream popularity of "choppers" and cruiser culture over the last few years would normally be assumed to have helped Harley-Davidson, but in fact it may be just the opposite. These days, everyone with a little wrenching ability and a few catalogs is suddenly a "custom builder", and many potential buyers may be lured away from the popular Harleys when they find they can buy a "custom" personalized to their taste for nearly the same price. This problem is only exacerbated by Harley-Davidson's insistence on holding back shipments of bikes to ensure that demand exceeds supply, creating a frustrating, waiting list-style buying experience.

    Other media outlets have also pointed to "over-saturation" of the market as a possible cause of flattening H-D sales - that is, there are only a certain number of people in the world who ultimately want a Harley and can afford one, and at some point every one of these people will have one! The fact that many Harley models retain essentially the same design and technology for long periods of time may give current owners little reason to upgrade to a newer model. Harley has created this problem for itself through a lack of diversification and (V-Rod excepted) a failure to develop new technologies for its lineup.

    So is the Harley-Davidson phenomenon over? Well, it is unlikely to burn itself out overnight, but this reduction in projected sales and profits may signal the beginning of a slow fall back from the incredible sales growth Harley has demonstrated over the past decade, or so. Or, as Harley claims, it may simply reflect a slow couple of months caused by generally poor weather in the U.S. Time will tell.

    Cheers 8)
  2. How many goverments around the world change their import laws in order to keep ONE company afloat??
  3. Lots. Look outside the world of our special interest. If a company or entity has a strong enough lobby group, or sufficiently embarrasing pictures of main players, then legislators will bow.

    We did it here to protect one manufacturer of fire detectors, one of camera equipment, and one of electronic components, and that is just the ones I have encountered in my journey through various workplaces.

    Of course H-D is justifiably different and deserving of protection, in that it caters for the retarded biking sector.

    :p :p :p

    *gotta go build and stock a nice strong bunker now* :shock:
  4. Don't forget the Manildra ethanol deal, the tax breaks and cash injections given to Mitsubishi (more than enough to have kept Ansett in the air) and the refusal to close the tax loophole that allows Toyota to claim a loss against overinflated component prices bought from other Toyota subsidiaries.

    At the time we may be seeing a shrinking of HD division but how are other components of their umbrella group doing? I am seeing a lot more Buells lately.
  5. Every Co. has peaks and troughs in the market, I'd hardly (drivable :p ) start to panic just yet.

    I do think it is time for the Co. to grow up a little and stop pandering to one particular type of buyer just on the off chance said buyer is insulted by what they may term a "plastic-fantastic" bike or whatever. After all, that type of buyer has sod all other options that they could ride and still be "Men" (snigger, snigger, silly attitude) so will always buy a HD regardless.

    They are an overpriced, under developed piece of history that, luckily for them, still has enough people who buy bike because of form over function, image over perfromance, to keep them going strong. For my money I'd buy a Triumph, they have the style while being smart enough to incorporate some modern technology (They can stop, go AND corner!).

    I'd worry about these hardly pilots getting upset, but hey, they could never catch me.... :D :wink:
  6. Hmmm I was not aware this was happening here as well... :eek:
  7. you gotta sleep sometime :twisted:
  8. if only we could be so lucky :LOL:
    as marty said too many idiots in the world will keep them afloat :roll:
  9. So very true :) Coming home tonight there's a Harley advertising billboard on Dandenong Rd just near the corner of Warrigula Rd that you see when heading away from the city. It has a picture of a guy sitting-on/riding a traditional Harley with the words "Proof that you've still got two!". Obviously targetting to the mid-life crisis bloke showing that he's still got balls. :roll:
  10. Harley better not go down the drain before i have the chance to buy a brand spanking new one, all that power and crome and the awsome sound it makes, why else u would you wanna buy a sports bike, they dont turn heads like american muscle does....

  11. Whatever,
    Whenever I see a harley I think W ANKER!
  12. Not an more I don't! :shock: :LOL:

    Harley is good at what it does, namely, selling an image that just happens to have a motorcycle attached. When I get to the point I need to ride sedately and not worry about corners much then a HD might be an option. Then again I'd probably buy a Triumph, cheaper, better performance, pretty girls will still ride with me and people wont call me a wanker :D .

    Now Buell, that's a slighty different story and quite possibly the best thing ever to happen to the firm. Those bikes have heaps of potential.
  13. I'm thinking a Ducati 916 does a pretty good job at straining neck muscles. And it looks a hell of alot sexier than any harley ever will. :)
  14. Could this see the return of their 'superbike'.
    That was an interesting project ... for a while.
  15. I may be a noob but I think that Harleys are sweet and yet I like the look of 996 dukes and the ever sexy GSX-Rs...

    Anyways each to their own...people who love performance cages have to deal with V8 muscle cars vs turbo 4 cylinders etc...One thing i've noticed is the Cruiser vs Sportsbike crowds is that they are at it constantly...

    Bottom line is, although sportsbike riders may laugh at and / or hate harleys, its a shame cuz we all own a two wheel machine and its more fun than driving a car so we should all respect each other and their bikes on and off the road and try and concentrate on slapping drivers who don't see us when they change lanes, on and off the road ;)
  16. arharharharhaaarrr. nearly got it there. we all TRY to be nice to each other but it aint that easy, what with the stress of nearly getting killed every time you ride and the exposure to the elements, its really hard to accept that people can actually ride harleys and like them. :p :oops:
  17. They must be a dick thing... why ANYBODY would want to ride something that sounds like a badly tuned combi and handles like a wet sponge is beyond me! I agree - Whenever I see harley(doesn't deserve capital "H") I think "wanker"!!!
  18. and another thing!! What the hell is it with those stupid tassles that hang off the handlebars like a little girl's tricycle???!!!