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

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 10-19-2009, 10:35 AM   #91
longride
Super Duper Mod Man

 
longride's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Anywhere they let me
Posts: 10,479
Default

"It's not a figment of everyone's imaginations; there are real challenges for the company long- and not-so-long term."

Pretty much the same challenges they had in the 60's when they sold to AMF, and in the 80's when they bought it back. All they make is large motorcycles. The company will wax and wane like the tide today, as in the past.
__________________
I'm a knucklehead
longride is offline   Reply With Quote

Sponsored Links Remove Advertisements
Motorcycle Forum
Advertisement
Old 10-19-2009, 10:45 AM   #92
seruzawa
The Toad

 
seruzawa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: 8501 ft.
Posts: 17,461
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdad13 View Post
In this case, common wisdom is pretty much on the money. The average H-D buyer is 49 years old as of 2008, which is nearly a decade higher than the industry average. Of course there are lots of younger folks that dig H-Ds, but, in relative terms, it's probably not enough. The Dark models have helped a bit, but their ultimate impact remains to be seen.

As I've droned on about before, H-D's demographic problem is fairly unique because it's not so much a demographic that's their core customers, but a generation of people (Baby Boomers). While there will still be a significant number of people who are drawn to the H-D style and brand--including some younger ones--there will likely be fewer and fewer as the years go by, which will ultimately be a real problem. Add to that the increase in "value" and "savings" thinking that the economic recession has brought on, and you may see a significant drop in purchases even from the Boomers, who are at or nearing retirement.

H-D was already running out of customers at their previous production levels, which, no doubt, led to the sub-prime financing debacle that is the company's biggest problem right now.

It's not a figment of everyone's imaginations; there are real challenges for the company long- and not-so-long term.
Never argued with any of that. But broad claims that "young guys don't like Harleys" are patently false because I know many who do. If one said that "young guys can't afford Harleys" that would be a more accurate statement. But the baby boomer problem in the US bike market affects all brands. Most of your buyers of big ticket Japanese bikes are boomers too. As the boomers get too old to ride all manufacturers are going to be hurting in the US market. Of my unscientific sampling of my kids' (20s) friends only a very few care about owning motorcycles at all. Of my motorcycle riding friends' kids very few care about riding as well. They seem to like bikes, just not enough to bother to own one except maybe a scooter here or there.

Thinking that only Harley is in serious trouble is wishful thinking. The boomers are buying the vast majority GSes, K12s and FJR1300s and they will be the ones buying the new VFR1200s.
__________________
"Make no mistake, Communism lost a big argument - one we know today as the 20th century."
seruzawa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2009, 01:50 PM   #93
pdad13
Founding Member
 
pdad13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,754
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by seruzawa View Post
Never argued with any of that. But broad claims that "young guys don't like Harleys" are patently false because I know many who do. If one said that "young guys can't afford Harleys" that would be a more accurate statement. But the baby boomer problem in the US bike market affects all brands. Most of your buyers of big ticket Japanese bikes are boomers too. As the boomers get too old to ride all manufacturers are going to be hurting in the US market. Of my unscientific sampling of my kids' (20s) friends only a very few care about owning motorcycles at all. Of my motorcycle riding friends' kids very few care about riding as well. They seem to like bikes, just not enough to bother to own one except maybe a scooter here or there.

Thinking that only Harley is in serious trouble is wishful thinking. The boomers are buying the vast majority GSes, K12s and FJR1300s and they will be the ones buying the new VFR1200s.
I'm not sure where you got the idea that I think only H-D is in trouble. The whole industry is down massively; we just happen to be talking about H-D. And I agree that as the boomers thin, the entire industry will be feel it. In fact, most consumer industries will be hurt. No disagreement there. But H-D, from a demographic standpoint, is probably in a little weaker position than the rest. There is absolutely sound logic to getting younger riders into the fold earlier. How they do it without alienating the core is the really tricky question. In a very real sense, H-D is a victim of its own brilliant success.

To LR's point, most companies wax and wane. But H-D's rebirth in the late 80's was based largely on patriotism, some government intervention, nostalgia and the identification and adulation of people of a certain age group. In the future there probably won't be quite as many people with the same sensibilities. Will there still be a lot of them? Yes, but maybe not enough to sustain the company as it is.

For the last few years there have been a lot of people who insisted that H-D could never find itself in the position it's in now. But the signs were there. The bad economy--and H-D jumping on the sub-prime gravy train--just made it that much worse. Profits were down 84% in the third quarter. And it could be even worse than that.

I want to see them survive and flourish--even if I don't aspire to own one of their products--because it's good for the industry as a whole. But I do think the company is at a point where a strategic shift (and maybe not even a dramatic one) might be called for.
pdad13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2009, 02:00 PM   #94
FreedomPilot
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1
Default pbad you are correct

I am capable of no coherent thought.

Last edited by seruzawa : 10-19-2009 at 02:16 PM.
FreedomPilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2009, 03:13 PM   #95
mscuddy
MODERATOR X

 
mscuddy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Next to my still checkin the temp.
Posts: 5,448
Default Very Interesting...

Quote:
Originally Posted by longride View Post
"It's not a figment of everyone's imaginations; there are real challenges for the company long- and not-so-long term."

Pretty much the same challenges they had in the 60's when they sold to AMF, and in the 80's when they bought it back. All they make is large motorcycles. The company will wax and wane like the tide today, as in the past.
No so Kemosabe. Frank White (ATK) sits on the HD board of directors. A couple years back HD decided they needed an entry level motorcycle in the 125-250-500cc ranges. And it could not be made in China, that was the biggest point made.

So they went to ATK produce bikes made in the USA, that the core HD rider could see his kid on, or his wife. These machines would have all the tick goodies on 'em Ohlins, Brembos, White-Power forks, etc, and probably be powered by a Rotax design, or even an in-house conlomeration, a rotax top end, with a lower end designed by HD.

But with all the talk of the economy tanking, hyperinflation, factories closing, etc. it might have been put on the back burner.

Would be neat to see a ATK/HD designed dual sport though. Very interesting...but stoopid!
__________________
A gun is a tool, Marian; no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.
mscuddy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2009, 03:36 PM   #96
acecycleins
Founding Member
 
acecycleins's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: North Georgia
Posts: 4,129
Default

"Would be neat to see a ATK/HD designed dual sport though. Very interesting...but stoopid!"

$10k ATK's are a hard enough sell. But maybe the Harley loyal would pony it up if the sticker's looked right- LOL!
__________________
"Slack" - a state of being in which everything flows smoothly.....a frame of mind so at ease that the universe naturally cooperates.
acecycleins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2009, 03:44 PM   #97
pdad13
Founding Member
 
pdad13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,754
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by FreedomPilot View Post
I am capable of no coherent thought.
In light of "FreedomPilot's" comments, I retract everything I've posted here.
pdad13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2009, 05:35 PM   #98
newagetwotone
Registered Member
 
newagetwotone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,302
Default

One of these days theres going to be NO names left because hes going to have used them all to get a total of 2 messages through before ban...
newagetwotone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2009, 06:13 PM   #99
sarnali2
Aging Cafe` Racer

 
sarnali2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Sittin' down by my window, lookin' at the rain.
Posts: 8,719
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdad13 View Post
In light of "FreedomPilot's" comments, I retract everything I've posted here.

Quite alright old bean..perfectly understandable.

Believe me we don't encourage the fool we ban him every time he sticks his head up. The guy is simply too f*cking stupid to believe that he is not welcome here. We as moderators have tried everything to accommodate the guy if he would only act like a rational human being and contribute something yet he has proven himself incapable of anything other than the same old off the wall crap he's been coming up with for years.
__________________
"Carpe` Throttelum -Loud Suits Save Lives"

"He said he's farting because of his medication"...

Last edited by sarnali2 : 10-19-2009 at 06:16 PM. Reason: usual poor spelling.......
sarnali2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2009, 10:08 PM   #100
The_AirHawk
Founding Member
 
The_AirHawk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Leanin' Tower O' P-P-P-P-POWAAAAAAAAA!!!!
Posts: 11,491
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarnali2 View Post
Quite alright old bean..perfectly understandable.

Believe me we don't encourage the fool we ban him every time he sticks his head up. The guy is simply too f*cking stupid to believe that he is not welcome here. We as moderators have tried everything to accommodate the guy if he would only act like a rational human being and contribute something yet he has proven himself incapable of anything other than the same old off the wall crap he's been coming up with for years.
Including just "letting him run" and come back for awhile. When he acted sane. For about ten posts.....................
__________________
Parfois, on fait pas semblant
Sometimes, it's not pretend
Oderint Dum Metuant
Let them hate so long as they fear
политики предпочитают безоружных крестьян
Politicians Prefer Unarmed Peasants
Nothing to see here, Citizen. Move along now...
The_AirHawk is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


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