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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 6:19 am 
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http://seekingalpha.com/article/4010621-wake-call-

This is a financial perspective on HD. The article paints a gloomy future for The Motor Company. Apparently HD invested heavily in a massive marketing efforts recently. It did get a lot of new people interested in riding, but they went and bought other brands. Allegedly Polaris has been thanking them for a surge in sales. HD has also been going down the same customer financing road they were on in 05 when I worked are a dealer: financing sub-prime customers to drive sales numbers and creating massive ($100M) loss risks.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 7:33 am 
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There have always been things that have bothered me about Harley's business model and product offering. If you look at other manufacturers they have a broad range of bikes for many more segments. Harley does not. This is problem one. Problem two. Almost every dealer today is a mega church retail outlet selling the experience. In most states a dealer is required to facilitate the purchase of an automobile. I'm not sure if the law applies to motorcycles or not but the dealer experience doesn't appeal to a lot of of buyers. Why does the government force us to buy anything through a dealer? Tesla, a favorite of big government is pushing a direct sales model. If they can do it why not allow other manufacturers including Harley this option.Problem three is limited available market. The inability to understand their market or the market in general speaks volumes. You can only buy a false identity so many times. It takes a lot more cashish to keep a behemoth afloat. Especially when the product offering's foundation is built on an image. Any one trick pony is at a disadvantage. A lean mean fightin machine is successful for a host of reasons. Harley is a far cry from a lean and mean organization. It all looks like willful ignorance to me. I wish them well.

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Last edited by Jmdonald on Fri Oct 07, 2016 2:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 12:47 pm 
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You don't need to create a fake life with a motorcycle when you can do it much cheaper with Facebook.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 5:42 pm 
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I think you hit a couple of nails on the head, JM. I remember a conversation i had back in 1990, when I was restoring Mt 77 Low Rider to as close to OEM as I could make it. I'd found this company that had lots of NOS parts. They'd been an HD dealer for decades, but wouldn't or couldn't meet the new requirements HD was imposing for their dealership building. One of the partners told me they had to either get loans to build a mega-store, or surrender their franchise. There were many other requirements in addition to the building, most of which these folks wanted nothing to do with.

I like HD products. The Low Rider S came very close to putting me back on an HD. I really liked the Livewire too, but when it came down to laying out my money, HD wasn't close to the value I got from Yamaha's. If you don't buy their "lifestyle experience," HD just doesn't make sense.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 9:07 pm 
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When I lived in Orange County the closest KTM dealer to me at the time was in Pasadena. It was back when they first came out with the Duke. I was very interested so I gave them a call to see about checking one out. The dealership had been there for many years and was told by KTM that if they wanted to sell the street bike part of the line they would have to "upgrade" the dealership to be able to sell them. Basically having a certain amount of floor space along with other requirements that they could not afford. I didn't get to see a Duke until the motorcycle show in Long Beach. When I bought my RT in Fort Worth the BMW dealer I originally visited had been absorbed by a power sports conglomerate that has six different franchises under one roof. I bought there because the original sales guy was still there. No one other than a token service employee from the original BMW dealer works there today as far as I know. I miss my old dealer Irv Seaver in Orange. They have been in business almost a hundred years. HD has a lot more problems other than their Dealership requirements but that model has to be affecting sales.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 11:48 am 
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I hate to see them in trouble but it's self inflicted. They've been a one trick pony for years and as you say, you can only sell the "biker Lifestyle" so many times. That plus the mega dealer concept and lack of any models that would be useful to me keep me away easily. There's just too many other bikes I'd like to have, that includes Victory and Indian as well, just not my style I'm afraid..

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:18 am 
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Location: Egypt - in the State of DeNIAL...
It was a Marvelous Idea to shit Buell out of their system.

I know of at least one Mega Dealer that never took his "Buell" signs down, and is now selling Buell's NEW line of motos. He also absorbed the neighboring Yamaha/Suzuki Dealer, and seems to be prospering. I wish him well, as he Believed in Buell, and was probably the only Dealer that actually voiced back to HD that it was a Fucking Stupid idea. Especially when done solely just to artificially "raise the price of HD Stock" (closing-down shit and firing people always raises Stock prices on publicly-traded companies: oldest CEO Trick in the Book).

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 9:06 am 
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The_AirHawk wrote:
It was a Marvelous Idea to shit Buell out of their system.

I know of at least one Mega Dealer that never took his "Buell" signs down, and is now selling Buell's NEW line of motos. He also absorbed the neighboring Yamaha/Suzuki Dealer, and seems to be prospering. I wish him well, as he Believed in Buell, and was probably the only Dealer that actually voiced back to HD that it was a Fucking Stupid idea. Especially when done solely just to artificially "raise the price of HD Stock" (closing-down shit and firing people always raises Stock prices on publicly-traded companies: oldest CEO Trick in the Book).



We had a mega Honda-Yamaha-Suzuki-Kawasaki-Can Am dealer close down a few years ago. The place had been around for years that had grown into a giant warehouse kind of place. The owner bought a family owned HD dealership that had also been around for ever, moved it next door then shut down the Jappo shop. Pretty stupid move I thought, in so much as if you could actually draw the attention of the little snot-nosed "salesman" away from the espresso stand hottie for five minutes you could get a pretty good price on a bike.

I bought a few bikes off them over the years though that's about it. I wouldn't let them near the bike after that for any kind of "service". Still a shame to see them go and the HD dealership is discounting the shit out of everything so that doesn't usually bode well either. Fuck 'em, they won't see any of my money.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 11:13 pm 
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After what Harley did to Eric and his employees they are on my eternal boycott list. I like Victory's better anyhow. That is if I was in the market for a slow overweight boat anchor at all.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 11:21 pm 
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Regardless of Harley's problems today it would be risky to predict their demise.

Though today they don't have sufficient numbers of hard core Harley guys like they did during the lean AMF years. And they've worked hard to alienate them. Still, those hard core guys would still come to their rescue after all the dentists and lawyers have switched to the motorcycle brand du jour.

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