Harley Davidson

Essay by teleccopit December 2003

download word file, 11 pages 4.1

Identification of Harley-Davidson's strategy and its rationale explaining its resources and capabilities. After that i compare these to those of Honda. Wfat does my analysis imply for Harley's potential to establish cost and differentiation advantage over Honda. Knowing that, what threats does Harley face? And then how Harley can sustain and enhance its competitive advantage?

Question 1: Identify Harley-Davidson's strategy and explain its rationale.

The fundamentals of the Harley-Davidson business strategy turn around three main points: The products, the relationship between the company and consumers, and the distribution network.

First of all, before I explain these three policies, we can try to see what was the problem that Harley-Davidson had to solve, and why it needed a real strategy to possess a higher competitive advantage. Actually, how the firm could evolve facing an important concurrence, with keeping a strong brand identity?

The main part of the concurrence is Japanese (Honda, Yamaha, ...),

which enjoys numerous shares on the market, thanks to its low prices, technology modernity, reliability and comfort. Nowadays, the concurrence is also British with "Triumph" and Italian with "Ducati". So, Harley-Davidson had to change, to revolutionize several aspects of its brand, in order to continue to recruit new customers, but without evolving too fast, otherwise the company would lose its image, and its loyal & traditional bikers. Indeed, if a firm like Harley-Davidson (where the sense given by the brand includes a strong power) changes too fast, this one will lose the reason that gets consumers to buy its products. That's why HD had to adopt a real strategy.

1/ The products policy: is the field where the company took the most significant risks.

On the one hand, this plan was characterized by the "Buell" acquisition in 1998 (Producer of more sportive motorbikes). HD decided to acquire this...