In an era of changing dynamics and customer preferences, stalwart motorcycle brands such as Harley Davidson are seeing their global customer base retaining the mid life crisis age profile or that of the ageing biker.
Younger riders in Harley’s own back yard are looking to more spirited offerings and even more eco friendly alternatives, so the American manufacturer has to make changes not only to its model line up but also to its overall attitude and philosophy.
In their defence, the company has made big strides to not only keep the core customer base content with continued lines but it has also started to produce models that are more suited to the street than the freeway…and with allegedly nine sportier models in the pipeline and more smaller engine capacity offerings in the mist too, this could be a turning point that may offend the older crowd, but the company must look to the future.
However the company must address pricing to be competitive with other manufacturers as well as be comparable in terms of performance…both on the road and in terms of eco credentials too.
This may not necessarily be to yours or my liking but this is where the future of the company lies and the future prosperity beyond the next three years, which incidentally is also forecast to improve according to market analysts.
The company need to maintain that lifestyle appeal and the riding experience that is synonymous with riding Harleys but they also must find that magic ingredient to make their brand relevant to the younger crowd in a world that moves at increasing pace and can alter course in the blink of an eye.
It is a mammoth task indeed attempting to predict the future so it will be interesting to see if Harley Davidson can rise to the occasion to come out on top, not only in the domestic American market but around the globe too.