The five opportunities evaluated in the EFE are an increased product line, loyal customer base, untapped markets, and brand recognition. Harley-Davidson has several products available to their customers; however, they are undergoing new ways to increase their product line to keep up with the demands of new products. According to the 2003 Annual Report, Harley-Davidson opened a new plant in York, PA called Softail, which was built to support production flexibility in order to maximize output.
Harley-Davidson’s customers are considered to be part of the Harley Owners Group or H. O. G. family of riders. They have maintained their constant customer growth through word-of-mouth by advertising through their current customer base. H. O. G. members are invited to attend Harley-Davidson annual events specifically for their loyal customers, or H. O. G. members and serve two purposes: make the current members feel important and to entice new customers of which are friends/family of current members.
Men are the main focus group when selling motorcycles, because Harley’s are thought of as fast, heavy and dangerous machines. Women have placed themselves in a more equal role with men in sports, and the need for adventure in the last few decades. Harley-Davidson has recently began taking the opportunity in attracting the female market. Harley-Davidson has brand recognition of being the most familiar name in the motorcycle retail industry today. They are continuing this effort by building the Harley-Davidson Museum in Detroit, MI in 2006.
The income will benefit both the company and the town, with an estimated $12 million in state and local revenue (Harley-Davidson, 2004). Threats Harley-Davidson has four potential threats, which are; a sudden drop in demand, unexpected regulatory changes, terrorism and its proven impact on retail sales, and H. O. G’s association with crime. Many businesses come to a plateau in sales and Harley-Davidson will not be an exception. With Harley-Davidson’s history and stable financial projections, business should remain at a 7 percent to 9 percent growth rate.
Harley Davidson is taking preventative measures to “avoid unexpected changes in the regulatory environment for its products” (Harley-Davidson, 2004, p. 56) They are also taking into account the loss of operation time and capital expenditures due to any unforeseen circumstances such as terrorism. History has proved however, that the 9/11 event did not impact sales or production. First of all, Harley-Davidson should find a new approach to its European marketing campaign in order to conquer European markets.
Indeed, in Europe, Harley-Davidson is not yet a culture as it is in the United States. Maybe, the design of the bikes, or the size, are not adapted to the European market where roads are not as big as in the U. S. , and where the circulation in big cities does not allow to ride a big cruiser bike, and for sure does not ensure pleasure in riding such a bike with a lot of cars all around. But, it is maybe the same in the U. S. cities but there are much more possibilities to enjoy riding a Harley thanks to big and large roads such as the famous road “Route 66”.
And, in order to face with this problem, Harley has developed a new bike particularly adapted to the European market (www. moto-station. com), presented the last 24th of January. But, this is not the main problem. Indeed, Harley has to face with a lack of this culture, group, family, and pleasure, which are present in the U. S. So, in order to give these sensations in Europe, and establish a stronger image, Harley should realize an advertising campaign putting forward those elements of recognition of the Harley Group.
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