Harley-Davidson has been at the top of the game for far too long. The 115-year old motorcycle manufacturer has been the undisputed market leader in its segment, here in the states, since decades. Talk about an “American cruiser”, and the first thing that comes to mind is a Harley-Davidson. And that’s not just the sentiment here, at home, but world over.
However, the past few years haven’t been all that good for the brand.
Sales continue to decline, and so do the profits. Every industry recovered from the recession, but the motorcycle industry not so much. And Harley was one of the worst hit. The problems for the iconic brand are multi-faceted. The two biggest concerns being that not as many new people are taking up riding as they were a decade ago. And that, Harley-Davidson isn’t the first choice for a lot of the new riders being added to the market.
It was high time Harley did something about it. So, here are the five things they’re doing…
1. The Harley-Davidson Street Glide has been the top-selling Harley for a very long time. And they want to milch the cow just that bit more. They’re trying to increase the sales of the broad wide range of models built around the platform.
2. The new Softail lineup of 2018 has eight new bikes. Harley is aggressively marketing to make this lineup more known and drive sales. An all-new Sportster and three new models of the CVO are also expected to bring in the sales they need.
3. They’re innovating while staying true to their heritage as much as they can. The iconic Harley exhaust note isn’t going anywhere soon, on most bikes at least. In the next ten years, they plan to introduce a total of 100 new models.
4. They’ve shifted from a “we build bikes” mindset to a “we build riders” mindset. In the next ten years, the company hopes to put two million new riders on the market. Expanding their partnership with motorcycle rental companies and their network of motorcycle academies is how Harley aims to achieve this while giving these new riders a taste of the Harley blood!
5. They’re expanding their portfolio of bikes from just large cruisers to include bikes better suited for the millennials. Smaller, more affordable, innovative offerings. Several of these are expected to be all-electric motorcycles, geared towards the youth of the day, and the future.