• Jan 25, 2009
Harley-Davidson is a company that has seen plenty of ups and downs over its 106-year history, having survived the Great Depression after being the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world through the 1920s. We may not quite be in another depression, but our current recession has caused sales, profits and share prices to fall fast and Harley is digging in for the long haul, announcing a plan to cut 1,100 jobs over the next two years. That figure that represents 10% of the company's entire workforce. More than half of those losses will be seen in the company's home state of Wisconsin, with the remainder coming from facilities in York, Pennsylvania, and Kansas City, Missouri. During the course of this restructuring, the Motor Company will also be replacing Jim Ziemer, the company's current chief executive. Sounds like a tough road ahead.
[Source: AP via Google]


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  • 18 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      HD bikes suck.... they might look OK but they run like total crap. I remember my neighbor had 3 of them while I was growing up....never did he have more than one running at a time.....constantly having carb problems, starter problems and I always noticed how the damn headlights would vibrate and shake as if they were ready to fall off.
      • 5 Years Ago
      You guys are all clueless morons.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's actually cuz all the H.A. are migrating over to electric scooters
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's not a Solara, it's a Chrysler Sebring Convertible! Someone had recycled the Chrysler design from the Daimler archives to save money!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Typical adjustment to a shrinking market. As pointed out above, an average Harley purchase is pretty expensive. The most active US market segment for bikes this past year was 650cc and under machines. In all of the Harley umbrella, only the Buell Blast competes in that segment. From what I have seen, many HD dealers treat the Buell brand as an afterthought and IMO it has great potential to bring in new customers. Last time I checked, Harley was still making decent money, but they need to think about who will be the customer of the future now.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Thanks Jimmyglick and DriverX, a few well informed comments mixed in among the other silly, uniformed comments that a Harley thread will bring out. I prefer the styling and history of the Harley personally and just sold my Deuce for a V-Rod Muscle last summer. If your going to knock Harley for making a heavy V-Twin cruiser, you need to remember that every other brand of motorcycles is also trying to capture that SAME look and feel to make sales themselves including Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda and Polaris, to name a few. That said, there ARE some very valid reasons why the sales have dropped, which again, a couple of you deserve credit for accurately pointing out.
      • 5 Years Ago
      You mean there should be fewer Harleys on the road, blaring out obnoxious 120 dB fart sounds from their tailpipes? AWESOME!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wonder if HD's cutbacks are linked directly to the current recession or the fact that the motorcycle cruiser and chopper craze from a few years back has faded away.

      True, people are buying less motorcycles due to economic woes but it was a declining trend even before the downturn.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Harley makes almost half of its money from merchandise sales ( I learned this in business school from business case study). They sell an entire lifestyle experience. I am betting bike sales being down are only part of the equation. When gasoline prices rise, bike sales go up, so sales from last year cannot be that bad.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Either way, it's tough to see a biker brand take a hit. Any Suicyclist would have sympathy on that.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think you hit the nail on the head. Not everyone wants 800lbs of bloated underpowered poor handling retro cruisers.
      • 5 Years Ago

      Harley owners are a loyal bunch. They love the retro agricultural feel of the bikes, and would be devastated if HD decided to go for a more modern or mainstream feel.
      • 5 Years Ago
      good...the whole harley thing, from the sullen idiots who don't wave to the people who bought them as a lifestyle accessory, is a joke and based only on image. Chapter 11....yes
      • 5 Years Ago
      The combination of the economy and the arrogance of their dealers is enough to kill any business.
        • 5 Years Ago
        presumably he talked to a few. that would be my guess.
        • 5 Years Ago
        How do you know their dealers are arrogant oh wise one?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Baby boomers, the bread and butter of HD sales, are being whammed by this economy. Also, most new bike buyers are already owners of other bikes, they're just trading up. Putting off the third bike purchase is an easy way to save money.

      I'm surprised they didn't make these cuts earlier.

      Oh well, they were still profitable this last quarter anyway.


      ~Zar4
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