Essays on Harley Davidson International Business Case Study

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The paper "Harley Davidson International Business" is an outstanding example of a business cases study. The history of Harley Davidson chronicles the growth of the firm from a family enterprise operating from a garage to a large organisation supplying all of America’ s motorcycles. However, complacency set in leading to a takeover by foreign competition. This led to a realisation by management that a new paradigm was necessary. Thus they attempted to learn from their competition, in order to discover how they were succeeding where Harley Davidson had failed. This involved changing the way they manufactured goods, their management-staff relationships, and their marketing strategy.

Once they got this right, success was theirs once more. INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS: THE CASE OF HARLEY DAVIDSON Case Study Background The history of Harley Davidson chronicles its journey from success to failure to success. The Harley Davidson case is a study in marketing myopia; they carved a niche for themselves in the full-size motorcycle market operating under the premise that motorcycles were a pure leisure item and not really a mode of transportation. They also subscribed to the notion that the American market was biased toward local products and would always choose them as their first option as compared to their foreign competition such as Honda, Suzuki, and BMW.

This was because by 1953 they were the sole American manufacturers of motorcycles and these were used by virtually every police force in the country. This led Harley Davidson to take its customer base for granted and they assumed that the lightweight motorcycles did not pose a threat to their business. In this they were wrong and in the mid-1960s they attempted to deal with the competition by importing Italian motorcycles.

Unfortunately, they were inferior to Honda which was the market leader at the time, and no better than the motorcycles Harley Davidson was producing at its plant. In 1965 the company went public and became an affiliate of AMF which manufactured bowling equipment and other recreational items. Unfortunately, the enterprise lost money and was eventually sold to a group led by the division’ s vice president of sales. Their vision was to remodel Harley Davidson through market research. Their largest challenge was the quality of motorcycles they were producing; many left the factory missing parts.

They decided to visit Japanese plants and adopted a version of Toyota’ s ‘ Just in Time’ policy which they called ‘ Materials as Needed’ (MAN). This case study will critically evaluate the Harley Davidson system as it pertains to international business practice. It will examine the trade theories under which they operate as well as other business strategies that enable them to succeed. These are marketing strategies and FDI that form the Harley Davidson Company Policy. Theory Review According to the Harley Davidson mission statement, there is more to them than just building, and selling motorcycles in order to realise the desires of clients; they try to give memorable experiences.

These experiences may include socialising at the Harley-Davidson dealership, enjoying an early evening jaunt with local Harley Owners Group® or even conducting a cross-continental ride. They assert that the secret to the longevity of their brand and the passion it evokes in Harley owners is these very experiences that it offers. Harley Davidson has committed to creating those experiences and forging relationships with all stakeholders.

Harley Davidson’ s brand recognition, therefore, stems from this experience that they offer as well as the attendant merchandising that ensures that even those who do not yet own a Harley can be part of the experience.


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