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Author Topic: More Harley news  (Read 666 times)

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muddypaws

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Re: More Harley news
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2019, 05:24:52 PM »

If foreign markets are where HD sees it's best growth potential, that is where they will spend their marketing bucks.  That strategy worked for Japanese car companies in the 1970s and 80s, will be interesting to see if/how HD develops overseas markets further. Looks like the MoCo is not counting on the American man bun generation for sales increases.
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Twolanerider

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Re: More Harley news
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2019, 07:28:46 PM »

If foreign markets are where HD sees it's best growth potential, that is where they will spend their marketing bucks.  That strategy worked for Japanese car companies in the 1970s and 80s, will be interesting to see if/how HD develops overseas markets further. Looks like the MoCo is not counting on the American man bun generation for sales increases.

From what little I've taken the time to find and review of foreign HD marketing the impression isn't so much that those markets are where are they choosing to send their message but, instead, those markets are where they think their old message will now work.  Who knows, maybe it will too?  Perhaps, at least for a generation, markets such at Thailand or Vietnam or Brazil will respond to visions of 1950s-1970s USA that we outgrew here a long time ago. 
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Eqcons

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Re: More Harley news
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2019, 08:05:40 AM »

From what little I've taken the time to find and review of foreign HD marketing the impression isn't so much that those markets are where are they choosing to send their message but, instead, those markets are where they think their old message will now work.  Who knows, maybe it will too?  Perhaps, at least for a generation, markets such at Thailand or Vietnam or Brazil will respond to visions of 1950s-1970s USA that we outgrew here a long time ago.

No danger of that happening at Harley prices, Don.   And people will very quickly grow disaffected with the reliability issues, that seem to get worse year on year.
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iski

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Re: More Harley news
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2019, 08:40:27 AM »

From what little I've taken the time to find and review of foreign HD marketing the impression isn't so much that those markets are where are they choosing to send their message but, instead, those markets are where they think their old message will now work.  Who knows, maybe it will too?  Perhaps, at least for a generation, markets such at Thailand or Vietnam or Brazil will respond to visions of 1950s-1970s USA that we outgrew here a long time ago.

Spent several days in 4 European countries this past summer.  Saw a LOT of bikes.  Mostly not cruisers, but a few. One Indian, from the previous reincarnation of the company.  We saw exactly 1 Harley, out of the hundreds of bikes we saw.  Spent time on some major roads, spent a lot of time in cities walking about.  Saw that one Street Glide and it was parked.  Seemed odd, but during our trip Harleys were about as rare as Unicorn horns.  Lots & lots of little bikes - commuters.  Given the gas prices we saw, that makes sense.

Will be interesting to see if the numbers develop, my guess is that will be a difficult sell.
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Twolanerider

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Re: More Harley news
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2019, 12:35:32 PM »

Spent several days in 4 European countries this past summer.  Saw a LOT of bikes.  Mostly not cruisers, but a few. One Indian, from the previous reincarnation of the company.  We saw exactly 1 Harley, out of the hundreds of bikes we saw.  Spent time on some major roads, spent a lot of time in cities walking about.  Saw that one Street Glide and it was parked.  Seemed odd, but during our trip Harleys were about as rare as Unicorn horns.  Lots & lots of little bikes - commuters.  Given the gas prices we saw, that makes sense.

Will be interesting to see if the numbers develop, my guess is that will be a difficult sell.

I don't see the Europe as a primary market for HD at all.  When considering both the fuel prices and what bike better fits their mass market big bikes don't suggest huge markets.  Smaller bikes in other markets seems a better tactic for them though.  In those arena they'd hopefully be less wedded to their US traditional history so might feel free to do something other as well.  For their sake I hope they get something right.  If not 15 years from now looks questionable for them as the company is currently established.
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Eqcons

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Re: More Harley news
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2019, 12:48:16 PM »

Spent several days in 4 European countries this past summer.  Saw a LOT of bikes.  Mostly not cruisers, but a few. One Indian, from the previous reincarnation of the company.  We saw exactly 1 Harley, out of the hundreds of bikes we saw.  Spent time on some major roads, spent a lot of time in cities walking about.  Saw that one Street Glide and it was parked.  Seemed odd, but during our trip Harleys were about as rare as Unicorn horns.  Lots & lots of little bikes - commuters.  Given the gas prices we saw, that makes sense.

Will be interesting to see if the numbers develop, my guess is that will be a difficult sell.

I'm very surprised by that, Iski - Dunno which countries, but I've been to the majority of European countries, both on my bike and not, and Harleys are fairly plentiful in most of them.  Which countries in particular did you visit?
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iski

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Re: More Harley news
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2019, 02:12:59 PM »

I'm very surprised by that, Iski - Dunno which countries, but I've been to the majority of European countries, both on my bike and not, and Harleys are fairly plentiful in most of them.  Which countries in particular did you visit?

France, Luxembourg, Germany, & Switzerland for 12 days.  Started in Paris, including Bastille Day & saw a lot bikes, mostly European & Japanese. Luxembourg is small but spent a day in the town center & saw mostly smaller bikes.  Germany is where we saw the Street Glide, in Mainz. Saw a lot of bikes in Germany & in Switzerland.  Several times thought I saw a Harley but each time was a Japanese cruiser.  Lots of European & Japanese bikes & expected to see a Harley group over the weekend - never happened. Many smaller commuter bikes in Switzerland, & considering the gas prices there that made sense.  The Swiss bikers seemed to be in a hurry or they just needed to get somewhere fast.

Maybe it was just one of those trips where we were there when the Harleys were not.  Will offer this - saw some very good riding on the BMWs & the metrics.  Good skill levels including lane splitting & using Every Available Inch of road space. 
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Eqcons

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Re: More Harley news
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2019, 02:56:26 PM »

There are huge numbers of Harleys in both France and - especially  - Germany.  Check out the number of stealerships in both in the dealer locater! Luxembourg  - well, it's tiny, not much bigger than a city really but even it has a dealer. Switzerland isn't a highly populated country, but they too have their share of owners and dealers, and they have pretty big rallies too. I guess you were just unlucky not to see more.  Probably touring models are more popular, and cities are not the best to see many of them.
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iski

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Re: More Harley news
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2019, 03:12:38 PM »

No doubt there are many Harleys there.  We only saw 1 HD dealership - a closed t shirt shop in Paris.  Was next to a number of boarded up shops not far from the Arc de Triumph.  Spent a few hours on the road from Paris to Germany, then we were on a river cruise.  Spent time on the road to Zurich from Basel.  Not that much road time I suppose, but we spent a lot of time in several towns along the Moselle & Rhine. 

Looks like Harley is in for a rough time as far as business goes.  Usually this time of year is when a lot of new members - new CVO owners - join this forum & others.  Seems like the numbers are down to me and suppose that is a reflection of overall HD sales.
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Eqcons

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Re: More Harley news
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2019, 04:57:37 AM »

Looks like Harley is in for a rough time as far as business goes.  Usually this time of year is when a lot of new members - new CVO owners - join this forum & others.  Seems like the numbers are down to me and suppose that is a reflection of overall HD sales.

I think so.  They have two problems going forward, they are stupidly overpriced (and they up the price every year!) and their lack of reliability (ably assisted by lousy QC and their predilection for finding the cheapest Chinese suppliers for parts, giving rise to their "it's cheaper to replace under warranty multiple times than it is to fit decent parts in the first place" mentality.)  The Twin-Cooled water pump fiasco is a prime example, as is the M8 oil migration and sumping.

Add to that the ever-growing list of stuff that is no longer included with the bikes:

Heel shifter on non-CVO
Satellite XM radio on domestic CVO
CB Radio except on CVO
Tool kit
2nd headset on all touring models
Fairing vent flap
Free 5 year map updates on CVO
Custom front footrest brackets on CVO
Bag liners

A CVO Ultra Limited here is £35595 (Just short of $46,000) and for that amount you can buy a very highly specced quality car, that doesn't keep breaking down.  Dealers haven't yet sold many of the '19 models (currently on offer from multiple dealers at  a discount of £5600 - or around $7200) so it's hard to see how they are going to move any serious number of the '20 FLHTKSE, with the above deletions, and the somewhat uninspiring (compared to earlier years) paint jobs.  (There's actually one '19 FLHTKSE on ebay at £10,000 - $12,900-ish - off new price at £24999, that's done 201 miles, and it's been on there for weeks!)

All their troubles are of their own making, with their "let them eat cake" mentality, and their utter contempt for loyal customers.   Not that it will affect me at my age, but if they are still selling motorcycles in ten or fifteen years, I'd be surprised.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2019, 05:06:21 AM by Eqcons »
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