In a scathing article Michael Vaughn of CTV News denigrates the Harley-Davidson management team for their backward way of thinking and their lack of forward thinking.

After reading his article, if I was a shareholder in H-D, I would be demanding resignations and looking for a new marketing team and a fresh approach to building and selling motorcycles.

He cites the fact that H-D is planning on moving many of it's build facilities over seas and the fact that Harley Credit is hemorrhaging red ink as part of his questions of the "Genius" of the upper management. (MY question - isn't this the same company that back in the 80's asked the US government for tariffs on import motorcycles?)

"Now that they've abandoned Buell sport bikes and the younger generation, what's Harley-Davidson's plan for the future? It looks like the iconic made-in-America brand intends to build motorcycles overseas. By 2014 more than 40 per cent of the company's sales will be outside the United States according to Harley executives.

India is in Harley's plans where it believes the growing middle-class aspires to big, iconic American bikes. There's China and Eastern Europe too where Harley plans to market its heavyweight motorcycles with that outlaw image. Rather than change what they're doing, Harley plans to do the same thing they've always done but do it somewhere else." Says Vaughn

Read the rest of what Mr. Vaughn has to say - you might find it enlightening.

I too, have some thoughts about Harley-Davidson, their lack of regard for their customer as a corporation, their lack of common sense when it comes to attracting new riders to their brand and the elitist attitude that really doesn't serve them or the motorcycle community very well. But I'll keep most of it to myself. (And yes - I ride a Harley)

Then CMG ONline has some harsh words for Polaris and their Victory line up of motorcycles!
As part of their reduction of costs, Victory has slowed production of their motorcycles in an effort to help dealers clear their show room floors - new motorcycle sales of the Victory brand were down by over 50%.
Says CMG Online: Sales of parts, garments, and accessories were down only 11 per cent, representing the best sales performance of the entire company line. Expect to see more T-shirts and fewer motorcycles at Victory stores. 

The Hells Angels are in the news again.

Manitoba's Court of Appeal has ordered a new trial in the case of Ernie Dew, the alleged former president of the Manitoba Hells Angels.

In other news, the Peace Country Chapter of AIM-Can is holding a Fall Social tonight with a free buffet dinner and entertainment - to get in for free all you have to do is show your AIM-Can card or your class 6 motorcycle license at the door! Where? BJ's Q Club - Grande Prairie AB at 6:30 with dinner at 7pm. Hope to see you out there!

The comments below are from my Facebook page....

If you are fortunate enough to be riding today, PLEASE, ride like everyone around you is blind and can not see you.

Belt Drive Betty
National VP AIM-Can

Post a Comment

  1. Anonymous8:31 PM

    Handsome Dave
    I wouldn't worry about it. H-D has been around a long time. Heck, their marketing strategy has been heralded by many. Companies have been envious of their techniques and success. A friend once attended a conference where HD strategists were presenting. Amazing success. Bring back the waiting lists for new models. In 1994, I ordered a Road... Read More King, was put on a waiting list and had no choice on colour...ya got what came in..for the bargain price of $23,000. Then HD ramped up production and now everyone has a Harley. AS for building HDs in foreign countries? Sounds like an April Fool's joke to me. Hd has been the largest imported motorcycle to Japan for many years.
    Victory cutting back production? Sounds like good sense to me. make 'em harder to get and demand and prices will rise
    10 hours ago

  2. Anonymous8:32 PM

    Doug Singer
    H-D has reason to eye offshore markets as thier iconic image is being challenged by newer bikes eg Victory but old school American, Indian is growing slowly and selectively across the states and soon in Calgary(Jan 2010), Edmonton(July2010) according to rider forums so being $$$$ hungry that they are it is cheeper to mimic a developed marketing ... Read Moreprogram in a new market than develope a new stratagy in an existing market to beter care for and suport loyal customers. Victory at least seems to be looking closer to home to sustain a good foundation focusing on customer wants. Doesn't matter what bike or manufacturer in the ecconomy of today all pencils need sharpening to survive
    6 hours ago

  3. Anonymous8:32 PM

    Michelle Fox
    HD used to have good customer service, now they spend more time covering their butts then they do looking after their customers. I used to be a die hard customer, now for get it, they won't get one more cent from me!

  4. Anonymous8:33 PM

    John Vink
    This is coming from CTV. When they have as large a market share as Harley does, I might listen to them.

  5. Anonymous8:33 PM

    Mike Shooter Cosovan
    working for yamaha and riding a harley.. I get to see alot of both sides.. the victory name is still in the end a "polaris" and that is still a bad name for most quad folks.. which is payed forward to the victory and not in a good way!! as for harley...there is so much aftermarket available even through metric shops that anyone who isn't happy with... Read More their dealer and their attitude which they all seem to have can go elsewhere.. that is if that "elitist" harley rider can step out of the box and walk into a metric shop..
    I hear ppl say all the time "this is a starter bike..what i really want is a harley"...or " this is just a stepping stone to a real bike",.. in todays world they're all real bikes.
    harley's spent the last dozen years dropping trough to stay in the market with all the metrics. playing fields just about even now....had i guy inn the shop today, $500 diff between the yamaha raider and a harley softtail.. raider bigger cc.. with incentives... which do you thinkl he bought??

  6. Anonymous8:33 PM

    Matthew Wear
    What is Harley supposed to do? A couple years ago they released the V Rod which contains the latest technology and the best motor they have ever made. It was suposed to launch Harley into the new millenium, but Harley riders called it a Japanese Harley and shunned it. Harley can't evolve because their riders don't want them to.