Go Back   Motorcycle Forum > Motorcycle.Com General Discussion > Motorcycle News > Old News > Buell News

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old 11-20-2004, 02:01 PM   #51
jungkvist
Founding Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 955
Default Re: If I may interject here....

I really liked hearing Queen's, I Love MY Car, again. Great song! Now, if someong could just figure out how to use Iggy and the Stooges, I Just Want to Be Your Dog, for a mattress company
__________________
Yeah, well, you can get up and leave, DEAL WITH IT!
jungkvist is offline  

Sponsored Links Remove Advertisements
Motorcycle Forum
Advertisement
Old 11-20-2004, 02:16 PM   #52
pdad13
Founding Member
 
pdad13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,754
Default Re: You're all wrong. Er, or maybe you're all right, sorta.

You're probably going to kick me out for this. But what the hell.



The fact that Harley separated the Buell stores in a couple of places does not a strategy make. They would have to make a huge committment to Buell to do this properly. They would have to provide lots of financial and materail support to get it right, and possibly, suffer through some losses. And they'd have to commit to a long term strategy. I doubt their shareholders would like it, but shareholders are very often wrong. They look at quarter to quarter results, understandably. But pandering to shareholders has killed many long-range strategies.



If the Buells were to become H-D's, they'd really have an uphill battle trying to sell them. I essence they'd be attempting what is known as a "line extension." And line extensions that overreach the relevant are usually not accepted. I would argue, that with Harley's current market position and brand image, sportbikes are a stretch. I'm pretty sure this is why Buell is still just a niche manufacturer--they're still considered Harleys by many. Another rule of thumb: You can't stay a niche manufacturer forever. You either have to move into top 10 or so in the market, or you are going to die eventually. The only way around this is to create your own category, which is exactly what Buell has tried to do with the "streetfighter" label. Problem is, they're still in Harley dealers, with Harley salespeople (who don't really give a crap), with Harley stuff everywhere around them. This is not how you build a sustainable brand. Kind of ironic since H-D has been so succsessful cultivating their own brand.



Point 2: You're right, Harley did suffer with poor quality during the 70's and 80's. But that was really only part of the problem. Harley sold a good amount of bikes, but their market share and positon was completely ravaged by the Japanese who were building bikes that were more desireable. Better performance, better reliablity, and better price. Plus they were different than Harleys. I was too young to ride streetbikes in the mid and early 80's, but I remember people talking about how they loved their Japanese bikes because they were so powerful, reliable and"refined." No one really taked about "character" then. Then a funny thing happenend: Tastes began to change for a large amount of people. Harleys started to become more desireable. Everyone seemed to have a Hondakawasukiha, but a few wild ones on the fringes still had Harleys. That was alluring. H-D wisely capatalized on this. Hence the cruiser boom was born. Let's also remember that that was only about 20 years ago. Not really a long time. So the claims that "people have been predicting the end of the cruiser boom for decades" don't really hold water. It only seems like a long time.



To put the time frame in perspective: In roughly the same period, Volkswagen went from being the world's most successful car maker, to near-extinction, to boom again. Now they seemed to have leveled off some. To say that Harley's fortunes are now set in stone forever is a mistake.



Now it seems like everybody's got a Harley. Hell, even Harley owners make fun of the "newbies and sheep." I'm not saying H-D is going to go away, I'm just saying that to maintain relevance, it is entirely possible that they may have to evolve in the not-so-distant future. We look at H-D as this unassailable monolith. No one is unassailable in the marketplace. Other companies are always working on ways to chip away at you. And things will always change. You only have to look at H-D's entire history for proof of that.



Lastly, I didn't say that Harley spends no R&D money. I meant that it takes a lot less money to refine their designs that to completely revise their models every few years. The spend a lot less R&D money relative to other high-performance manufacturers. Cruisers, especially Harleys, are relatively low-cost, high mark-up and profit items. Currently, there's no need for them to spend a lot in R&D.



Oh, and you may think that Cadillacs are ugly, but there's no doubt about how successful they've become.



Maybe this only got me probation?
pdad13 is offline  
Old 11-20-2004, 02:21 PM   #53
jungkvist
Founding Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 955
Default Re: Ground Hog Day

Wondered where you were.
__________________
Yeah, well, you can get up and leave, DEAL WITH IT!
jungkvist is offline  
Old 11-20-2004, 02:27 PM   #54
pdad13
Founding Member
 
pdad13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,754
Default Re: You're all wrong. Er, or maybe you're all right, sorta.

If you care to, see my reply to Buz above. The Harley boom began again only about 20 years ago. They were also in a funk for about 15 years. Things can change, and usually do. Trends burn out. I'm not saying Harley's going away, nor do I wish them to. I'm just saying that they may need to evolve in the future. They were smart enough to see that in the 80's. The future may require a different change to maintain their position in the market.



And I think you would agree that even Ford and Chevys are light years ahead, relative to the competition, than they were 20 years ago.



By the way, I don't think Harley's are crap, either. They're fine for their intended purpose. I just don't think that, as they are, they will continue to hold the same allure. We'll see.
pdad13 is offline  
Old 11-20-2004, 02:38 PM   #55
pdad13
Founding Member
 
pdad13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,754
Default Re: If I may interject here....

I don't love it, either. But guess what? It's working.



But I think their success has more to do with a good product that is marketed well than just Led Zeppelin.
pdad13 is offline  
Old 11-20-2004, 02:42 PM   #56
pdad13
Founding Member
 
pdad13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,754
Default Re: Well said, all of you...

Very true.



But what I'm talking about as everything to do with the irrational, not the rational. I'm talking about perception, not reality. Although, as you know, in marketing, perception is reality.



However, as you say, markets are screwy.



pdad13 is offline  
Old 11-20-2004, 02:43 PM   #57
Buzglyd
Founding Member
 
Buzglyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 10,904
Default Re: You're all wrong. Er, or maybe you're all right, sorta.

Just double super secret probation.



I'm sure the bling bling hip hop factor is what made Cadillac so popular. At least the Escalade.



I'm sure living in NY as you do, every Joey is out rolling in his Cadillac without a shirt and his gold chains on. It's the new IROC which once stood for Italian Retards Out Cruising.



We'll see what Buells future holds. Sales have picked up over the last two years. Heck they outsell the VFR by double in this country I believe. That's one of the holy trinity of motorcycles!
Buzglyd is offline  
Old 11-20-2004, 02:52 PM   #58
SeanAlexander
Founding Member
 
SeanAlexander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Newport Coast, CA
Posts: 1,538
Default Re: buzglyd

No Comment.
__________________
I thought I'd found true happiness in my personal bath body bar.... Then I tried DOVE! with 1/4 moisturizing cream!!!
SeanAlexander is offline  
Old 11-20-2004, 03:41 PM   #59
pdad13
Founding Member
 
pdad13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,754
Default Re: You're all wrong. Er, or maybe you're all right, sorta.

Believe it or not, the new Cadillac drivers, at least around here, seem to be just the opposite of what you described. Of course, I live in a pretty affluent suburb (not that I can really afford it); you wouldn't even necessarily know it's pretty close to NYC. But I'm around New York quite a bit, so I do notice who's driving what. Then again, I don't travel to Sheepshead

Bay much.



Actually, I think Buell did fairly well this year. But they're going to have to continue to grow significantly to be viable. In a marketing sense, they've actually done quite a few things right. It just seems H-D is not fully behind them sometimes where it matters.
pdad13 is offline  
Old 11-20-2004, 05:23 PM   #60
seruzawa
The Toad

 
seruzawa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: 8501 ft.
Posts: 17,461
Default Re: You're all wrong. Er, or maybe you're all right, sorta.

I certainly hope they don't keep the allure. I'd like to own one again. I just ain't gonna pay the ridiculous prices for a used one. No way.
__________________
"Make no mistake, Communism lost a big argument - one we know today as the 20th century."
seruzawa is offline  
Closed Thread


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off