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Serdvd6

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Turn around plan
« on: February 02, 2021, 12:28:25 PM »

Harley-Davidson posts a quarterly loss and reveals its turnaround plan https://www.jsonline.com/story/money/2021/02/02/harley-davidson-posts-quarterly-loss-announces-five-year-turnaround-plan/4346766001/


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Re: Turn around plan
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2021, 01:42:13 PM »

What is this now; turn-around plan # 13?  14"?

Or do we start the count over each January?  :nixweiss:
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Re: Turn around plan
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2021, 01:47:06 PM »

You are counting them?  After they did away with the hydraulic clutch, I think they should consider the old reliable kick start instead of those newfangled battery reliant expensive electric start thingys.

"In the past, we have over committed and under delivered," Zeitz said.

Yeah, that sums it up well.  Stock is down about 19% today since HOG missed it's earnings report, opposite the current market trend.  HD is shrinking & is giving up market share - unwillingly perhaps but inevitable.  Hope they can turn it around, but so far do not see anything that indicates they can.
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Re: Turn around plan
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2021, 01:52:13 PM »

A quote from the article:

"I think there are a lot of questions around that...I'm just not sure they can recreate the kind of demand they had back in the heyday of bike sales. That's the million-dollar question."

I kinda, sorta, absolutely think the answer is NO they cannot.  The 'heyday' was a one off black swan event that would require realignment of the sun, moon and stars to reoccur imo.
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Re: Turn around plan
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2021, 03:35:15 PM »

I heard there going back to carbs :drummer:
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Re: Turn around plan
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2021, 04:06:43 PM »

The Sears of the automotive industry.  It is (unfortunately) still all too likely the MoCo end up getting broken up in to subsidiary parts the becomes even more of a niche than we think it has become already.  It's been a huge fall in just over a dozen years.
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Re: Turn around plan
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2021, 05:09:09 PM »

Well here's my 0.02

Harley has the capability to turn things around but only if they start listening to the one demographic they still have and that is me, you and all the other people of a certain age that have the desire and the ability to buy their products.

I actually want to buy another Harley and would do so if they would make one I really, really, really want to buy, but they are too busy trying to cheapen up their costs on every part while adjusting the retail prices up because they think it will improve their bottom line, but they are dead wrong. Their sales are down because their product is overpriced and at times grossly unreliable.

In this day and age it is reprehensible that HD couldn't design a proper and reliable oiling system for the M8 until at least the eighth attempt. That they could not fix the oil transfer on the M8 without venting the Trans to the primary. Etc, etc ,etc.

The day the last of the folks who bought the company back from AMF in 1982 left the helm and they started bringing in outsiders to run things is the day it went to hell in my opinion. People like Jeff Bluestein knew what the connection between the motor company and the customers meant, the new folks want to go find a new demographic to buy an overpriced electric bike or adventure bike, while other motorcycle companies like Polaris are laughing all the way to the bank.

Maybe someday one of these new leaders will figure this out, but I doubt it.
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Re: Turn around plan
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2021, 05:17:29 PM »

Well here's my 0.02

Harley has the capability to turn things around but only if they start listening to the one demographic they still have and that is me, you and all the other people of a certain age that have the desire and the ability to buy their products.



Yes.... but.   But only as a company completely restructured for a much smaller market.  Old farts that still ride are not a mass market.  Development costs for complicated quality products needed a larger sales base for the production/development costs to be amortized out enough to make individual units affordable.  I truly don't know if that math can still work in their favor.  All that is at least (probably) a partial reason why a motorcycle with many fewer systems, components, applied tech and design development cost as much as a well equipped mid sized car with much more of all of those things.

I can understand the argument suggesting they need to develop the younger audience.  This is too often stated without asking if that audience actually exists or can be generated in today's environment.  If there is no such audience to help spread costs out over, however, and we are it the audience we are part of can not support the company in its current form and structure for another generation.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2021, 07:22:03 PM by Twolanerider »
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iski

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Re: Turn around plan
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2021, 05:54:09 PM »

In some respects we are discussing a fall like Studebaker except this one only has 2 wheels.

In spite of what a lot of us think I read nothing that suggest HD is listening to the "over priced & lack of reliability, etc." that so many have noticed over the past few years.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2021, 05:55:56 PM by iski »
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Re: Turn around plan
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2021, 05:55:49 PM »

I heard there going back to carbs :drummer:
Then they would sound like a Harley.
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Re: Turn around plan
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2021, 06:12:23 PM »

I agree Don but you and I weren't born old farts.

I remember sitting in class in 1983 lusting over an indigo blue Wide Glide. I'm maybe a little different than some because my family, Dad and older Brother, always had motorcycles and a lot of them were Harleys. I learned to ride on a 1949 Harley that is still in the Shrader Fleet, along with about 70 others. My first bike was a Harley 65 that Dad bought for me after I learned to ride.

My point is there are ways to develop new potential customers that are riders without straying too far from the thing that got you where you are or were...

The main reason I lusted after that particular Wide Glide was because it was in a Billy Joel video called Uptown Girl with the lovely Christy Brinkley. I thought the bike looked cool. My first big twin was a 1980 shovel head that I scrounged parts to build from basically a motor. Guess what I built it as, that's right it looked like a 1983 Indigo Blue FXWG right down to the paint that I got from Harley.

I guess what I'm saying is it about passion. A passion for a bike that you see, whether it's on a TV show or riding down the road, or whatever. For whatever reason Harley has failed to get me passionate enough about one to buy one for the last 7 years. Partly because of their paint colors and partly because of the reliability issues.

Maybe someday they will trip my trigger again, but what I've seen lately ain't done it.
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Re: Turn around plan
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2021, 07:33:52 PM »

I picked up on this...

They are doing the right thing by trying to correct the supply and demand problem. There has been way too much supply in the market and not enough demand," Yarbrough said. "But I just don't know that shrinking your way to profitability works."
« Last Edit: February 02, 2021, 08:40:43 PM by Mark »
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Twolanerider

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Re: Turn around plan
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2021, 07:34:00 PM »

I wish I could be optimistic for some crash/clash/slash of inspiration within Mother Harley that would allow them to re-strike an arc of market interest in some younger audience that would bring follow-on generations to HD.  They've got (I think) an even more difficult road to traverse than just the incredibly difficult highway that are their current self-inflicted wounds.

We weren't always old farts.  Too true.  And on days when things don't hurt (or even oft times when they do) we still do our best not to be.  NASCAR raced on Sunday to sell on Monday.  Automotive interest generally was a different thing.  Styling had a legitimate and forceful say over aerodynamicists and other design engineers.  Now everything the kids drive looks the same.  It doesn't even occur to them to consider more than function. 

I ride one of my (admittedly decent looking bikes) to a high school parking lot with some regularity.  And I'm on the tech end of the high school.  Kids that come out the same doors as me are the engineering students, the vo-ed kids from the auto tech and body programs, the welding, the construction, and the HVAC classes.  There's never another bike on the lot.  Not even cheap hacked together stuff like either of us might have cobbled together back in the day.

A few will comment on a bike.  But rarely and not much.  It's just not in their circle of interests for the great great great many of them.  I'm not smart enough to suggest how a company makes the generational jump from us as a last vestige of a major target audience to that a next generation of buyer; especially when the equipment being offered just isn't that good or cost competitive even within its own market.
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Re: Turn around plan
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2021, 08:34:27 PM »

Thanks to the offerings lately I've devised my own turn around plan.... turn around and walk out the door with money in my pocket. :huepfenlol2: :huepfenlol2:

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Re: Turn around plan
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2021, 08:43:38 PM »

I’m not pretending to be a business turn around expert, but I’m pretty sure a purple $44,099 Ultra isn’t the way...
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Warhawk

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Re: Turn around plan
« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2021, 09:01:09 PM »

I agree Don but you and I weren't born old farts.

I remember sitting in class in 1983 lusting over an indigo blue Wide Glide. I'm maybe a little different than some because my family, Dad and older Brother, always had motorcycles and a lot of them were Harleys. I learned to ride on a 1949 Harley that is still in the Shrader Fleet, along with about 70 others. My first bike was a Harley 65 that Dad bought for me after I learned to ride.

My point is there are ways to develop new potential customers that are riders without straying too far from the thing that got you where you are or were...

The main reason I lusted after that particular Wide Glide was because it was in a Billy Joel video called Uptown Girl with the lovely Christy Brinkley. I thought the bike looked cool. My first big twin was a 1980 shovel head that I scrounged parts to build from basically a motor. Guess what I built it as, that's right it looked like a 1983 Indigo Blue FXWG right down to the paint that I got from Harley.

I guess what I'm saying is it about passion. A passion for a bike that you see, whether it's on a TV show or riding down the road, or whatever. For whatever reason Harley has failed to get me passionate enough about one to buy one for the last 7 years. Partly because of their paint colors and partly because of the reliability issues.

Maybe someday they will trip my trigger again, but what I've seen lately ain't done it.

I agree, some of my earliest memories are “helping” my dad work on his ‘57 Duo Glide.  Dad was a huge man and his fingers were too big to do stuff like adjusting the pushrods so he showed me how and he would set the valve lash.  At least that was what he told me years later, I suspect he just wanted me out there.  He later bought a ‘65 Electra Glide Shriners bike, red with silver and gold trim, and the whole thing had bass boat sized metal flake.

I doubt that today’s man bun generation will ever be interested in riding a Harley.
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Sea Biscuit

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Re: Turn around plan
« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2021, 09:16:06 PM »

I heard there going back to carbs :drummer:

Yes, and after an exhaustive survey (apparently with the same people that wanted a cable clutch), Harley has decided to go back to drum brakes, thereby eliminating the issue with warp disks!

Sure, laugh now but look out!😆
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Re: Turn around plan
« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2021, 07:30:51 AM »

My biggest issues with Harley and I think many other is not the bikes, or looks of the bikes.

For me it is the ever down hill slide of quality while price goes up and content goes down.  I love some of the new 2021's.

Disc brake rotors, it cant be that hard to make a rotor that doesn't warp in 6 or 7K miles.  Yet I'm on the 4th new set on my 2019.  Have an 09 in the garage with over 105K miles on original rotors  Only one other bike I have owned has had a rotor replace, and only once.

Speakers, really other than your Harley what have you had to replace blown speakers on multiple times?  Since my 15 all four CVO's have had speakers replaced multiple times.  Oaky you say out door speakers, harder for them to last.  My boat is 11 years old, is not garage kept.  Never replaced a speaker. 

Seat's, well quality is way down there.  On 3rd seat on the 19 CVO, they wear miserably and at 11,000 mikes look much worse than the seat on my 13 CVO with 3 times the miles on it.

The list goes on.  I have had shifter levers replaced on last two bikes, finish coming off.  Fork legs replaced on this bike, finish coming off.  Don't forget the speedometer replacements on last four bikes. 

When Harley learns they have an issue, to fix it and reduce warranty cost they make the tolerances looser.  Make more crank run out ok.  In case of rotor on the 19 first two set once 5 thousands run out warranty replaced them.  Now for the last two sets its 8 thousandths. 

We, the loyal customer are to blame.  We accept it and buy another one.  Yet if your car or truck was like this, you would buy a different brand next time.

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WildClyde

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Re: Turn around plan
« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2021, 12:07:09 PM »

Quote
You are counting them?  After they did away with the hydraulic clutch, I think they should consider the old reliable kick start instead of those newfangled battery reliant expensive electric start thingys.

isky, you continue to be my hero in telling it like it is. I always look forward to your posts.

PS: I asked a friend of mine who is a long time motorcycle police officer about reverting to a cable clutch. In a word, he said "NO". Not if he has to pull a clutch 100s of times during a shift, especially as a training officer. Harley didn't ask him for feedback.   :(
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iski

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Re: Turn around plan
« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2021, 02:39:46 PM »

isky, you continue to be my hero in telling it like it is. I always look forward to your posts.

PS: I asked a friend of mine who is a long time motorcycle police officer about reverting to a cable clutch. In a word, he said "NO". Not if he has to pull a clutch 100s of times during a shift, especially as a training officer. Harley didn't ask him for feedback.   :(

 ;D

Thx.

Harley is doing a U-Turn instead of going forward.  Actually may not be a bad thing in some ways since the Forward Direction they have been heading is over the Buy Out Cliff. 

Reverting to a cable clutch just seems like a dumb move.  For the good reason you stated WildCycle.  Am willing to bet that at least one planning meeting somebody (probably with a neck beard) with a book of pics of old Harley bikes has said - "Say that old PanHead looked kinda cool. Can we make a motor that looks like that for a new retro bike?"
« Last Edit: February 03, 2021, 04:34:31 PM by iski »
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Re: Turn around plan
« Reply #20 on: February 03, 2021, 05:13:06 PM »

Actually....  if "retro" modernity is what it would take to be a bridge or lifeline to some refreshed interest Iski's approach could be a way.  Just to see if they could actually pull it off I'd be curious enough to go look at a correctly proportioned and well designed "modern Panhead" or "Power-Knuckle" or the "Pan 124" or whatevder else such a thing might get called.  If harking back to one's heritage is what it takes their half-baked approaches at doing it only fall short.  They need to do well, modernized tech in the truly retro look.  A "new" 65 FL with the two tones of the era that was a competitively modern bike is something that would attract press and commericial interest (I think....). 

Do that well and it's maybe a focal point to attract at least the sniffs of an audience that wasn't looking before.
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Eqcons

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Re: Turn around plan
« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2021, 11:03:03 AM »

I’m not pretending to be a business turn around expert, but I’m pretty sure a purple $44,099 Ultra isn’t the way...

WHS.  Particularly when it's yet another year with items removed and others cheapened from the previous year.
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Re: Turn around plan
« Reply #22 on: February 05, 2021, 01:15:08 PM »

Actually....  if "retro" modernity is what it would take to be a bridge or lifeline to some refreshed interest Iski's approach could be a way.  Just to see if they could actually pull it off I'd be curious enough to go look at a correctly proportioned and well designed "modern Panhead" or "Power-Knuckle" or the "Pan 124" or whatevder else such a thing might get called.  If harking back to one's heritage is what it takes their half-baked approaches at doing it only fall short.  They need to do well, modernized tech in the truly retro look.  A "new" 65 FL with the two tones of the era that was a competitively modern bike is something that would attract press and commericial interest (I think....). 

Do that well and it's maybe a focal point to attract at least the sniffs of an audience that wasn't looking before.

A "Re-creation bike" is not a bad idea.  Retro paint, seat, fenders, etc. except use a modern suspension, motor, lights, etc.  The V engine has been the heart of soul of Harleys for years - a cosmetic reproduction of a 50s or 60s era Panhead (or pick another era) would sell, but the market would likely be limited. Indian gave a nod to their past with their engine, just not a fan of their overall look still.  But those old post WWII Indians...cool.  I digressed, as usual.
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Re: Turn around plan
« Reply #23 on: February 05, 2021, 06:10:38 PM »

Well if reading all of this doesn't make you want to go out and buy stock what would? It's that the market they are in now? Building stock and not motorcycles?
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Re: Turn around plan
« Reply #24 on: February 05, 2021, 06:39:22 PM »

Stock was up again today after taking a bite the other day. Just as an aside I can buy a leftover 2020 SG CVO for 35k. Dealers aren't so arrogant now days.  Little wonder why...
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Re: Turn around plan
« Reply #25 on: February 07, 2021, 08:37:32 AM »

A "Re-creation bike" is not a bad idea.  Retro paint, seat, fenders, etc. except use a modern suspension, motor, lights, etc.  The V engine has been the heart of soul of Harleys for years - a cosmetic reproduction of a 50s or 60s era Panhead (or pick another era) would sell, but the market would likely be limited. Indian gave a nod to their past with their engine, just not a fan of their overall look still.  But those old post WWII Indians...cool.  I digressed, as usual.

But why should/would HD do that when they know we'll do it for them. 

If I'm not mistaken some parts books carry stuff to make the  Road King look even more "Retro". There are antique looking conversion parts for Rocker Box Tops, Horns, Air Cleaners, and "Flex" looking exhaust pipes.  You can swap out the locking hard bags for saggy fringe bags.  Add half moon floorboards, white rubber grips, a white buddy saddle and wide white wall tires and Elvis may come back from the grave to ride it.

It's difficult to go "Full Retro" on a production bike.  Kawasaki and Honda did bikes that paid "Homage" to the Z1900 and CB1000, but aside from paint and gauges, they are totally different bikes in everyway.  Even the Big 3 have done the same with the Mustang, Camaro and Challenger.  They resemble the old cars, but that's about it.

Like you said it's a limited market.
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iski

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Re: Turn around plan
« Reply #26 on: February 07, 2021, 09:01:40 AM »

But why should/would HD do that when they know we'll do it for them. 

If I'm not mistaken some parts books carry stuff to make the  Road King look even more "Retro". There are antique looking conversion parts for Rocker Box Tops, Horns, Air Cleaners, and "Flex" looking exhaust pipes.  You can swap out the locking hard bags for saggy fringe bags.  Add half moon floorboards, white rubber grips, a white buddy saddle and wide white wall tires and Elvis may come back from the grave to ride it.

It's difficult to go "Full Retro" on a production bike.  Kawasaki and Honda did bikes that paid "Homage" to the Z1900 and CB1000, but aside from paint and gauges, they are totally different bikes in everyway.  Even the Big 3 have done the same with the Mustang, Camaro and Challenger.  They resemble the old cars, but that's about it.

Like you said it's a limited market.

Yes there are sources for all sorts of old/retro stuff for bikes already.  Several years ago a friend did a Heritage retro look, turned ok ok and have seen some Springers done retro as well.  My first Harley was a 2002 RK Classic & I spent quite a bit to make it shinier & faster. I liked the older "look".  As you say, they are totally different bikes/cars but they have a "look".

No idea if Harley would try this.  They are certainly not shrunk to the level of a niche company but their problem remains: younger generations are not buying motorcycles in anywhere close to the numbers compared to the Baby Boomers.  Cultural shift, too many reasons to list here but one key is lower disposable income vs cost of toys & the type of toys the younger people want.

Maybe it's just me but when I look at the older Harleys 90's & back - it seems to me that the styling was better in some ways than today.  I am an old curmudgeon - I like lots of the older paint sets better than the newer ones, like the "look" of a lot of the earlier CVOS better than what I see now.  Obviously I am not the current target market for a lot of Harley's 2 wheeled product. 

Nostalgia still sells, but the Boomers did not sell it to the generations that followed when it came to motorcycles.  My parents did not ride but that did not stop me from wanting to (they tried).  I rode mini bikes & dirt bikes & when I could afford it - teen years with a job - I started buying bikes.  Do not see that much today - kids around here don't have bikes. One exception is a neighbor who let's his son ride a mini bike.

If Harley tried a "new" retro bike old codgers like me would smile & maybe some of us would buy one.  Not enough numbers to turn the company around, and I truly hope Harley finds a way to do that.
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Re: Turn around plan
« Reply #27 on: February 07, 2021, 09:45:59 AM »

The mothership I guess is still looking for the next Willie G. If so they may need to look for someone who grew up in the MC riding life style.
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