Discussion in 'General OFF TOPIC' started by Jeff Klarich, May 11, 2018.
That is an interesting read. Reminds me of what happened to my company. We closed the doors after 40+ years of operation, the real caveat is about 4 years before we closed we put about 400M in the plant. Everything shipped to other overseas plants and US plants.
No only is this tough for the workers, but it looks like the HD brand may not be American made much longer.
If the workers have good state representation, they should be able to receive help from TAA Trade Adjustment Act.
This is normal business in this day and age. HD is looking to beat the tariffs and I don't blame them. US products are a target for these high tariffs. HD's growth market is now overseas, not in the USA. Once HD hired it's first non-family management team this was going to happen. If they had stayed with a family team, they would be worse shape then they are now. I think the future of HD includes selling bike that are assembled overseas with USA made parts and sold in the US. They won't be the bikes built in Asia, but Mexico or Canada. That way they can still be classified as a North American product.
HD is in a rut with American buyers. It's not just baby boomers that have "aged out" of riding. I feel it's the overall image of what HD is to many non-riders and those looking to ride. HD still caries the image of a post middle age guy with long hair, a beard, and an attitude to go with it. What I call the "Cult of HD Personality". True or not, it is what I'm seeing in my area. That and the cost of HD products in general.
As an example, I have a neighbor, a very nice guy that would give you the shirt off his back. But put him on his harley, which is the only vehicle he has by choice, and it's instant attitude. He has the look I described. In this area we still have a lot of $25,000 and 25 mile instant bikers. And most are post middle age, both men and women. HD will continue to lose ridership until they can change this perception. HD is your grand dad/mom's motorcycle. Most younger riders don't want to ride their grand parents bike. They want fast and low cost.
Conversely, the area we will be moving to has very few motorcycle riders. We will be a couple of that few. The nearest HD dealer is over 70 miles away. The nearest non-HD dealer is less then 20. So the ratio of harley to non-harley bikes is very low.
But all of this mean nothing to those of us that love the brand. We will continue to support it until we age out of riding. Even after that, we will love it and all other brands will still be nothing but posers.
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