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Old 6th February 2018, 20:23   #61
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Default Re: Harley in trouble. Profit & sales down, Kansas plant to shut

Might get some hate for going against the tide here or being some what off topic but as an exiting Harley owner, not just me but majority of us enjoy an exotic brand image here in India. Bringing the street 500 to India would not only make them more common on the road but would also tarnish the premium brand image further. Forget that, once the 500 comes in the 2nd hand market, it would be even worse for everyone would then own a Harley including “Squids” (see pic below) upgrading from those obnoxiously modified R15s/Dukes which will also end up downgrading the quality of Harley riders to helmetless law breaking triple seat wheelie artists.

HD has always been considered as a company who called for quality over quantity of “Riders” more than that of “Bikes”, proved by the fact of how much importance they give to their HOG riders community.

Many already existing private HOG groups restrict the entry level bikes to that of the Street Bob for the same reason. Heck even the Street 750 is not looked upon as premium by bigger Harley owners.
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Old 7th February 2018, 09:40   #62
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Default Re: Harley in trouble. Profit & sales down, Kansas plant to shut

Quote:
Originally Posted by Starfire View Post
Might get some hate for going against the tide here or being some what off topic but as an exiting Harley owner, not just me but majority of us enjoy an exotic brand image here in India.

Many already existing private HOG groups restrict the entry level bikes to that of the Street Bob for the same reason. Heck even the Street 750 is not looked upon as premium by bigger Harley owners.
There is actually nothing wrong with enjoying an exotic brand and the cult image it has, but that can either be bitter or sweet depending on how the existing rider's community treats the new owners. It looks like the ones who can afford the exotics get that sweet experience and the others who can afford only the entry level bikes get a not so sweet experience.

A lot has been written on this aspect, already in another thread on HD, my point is you cannot differentiate riders of a brand which makes mostly one type of motorcycle, based on what they can afford. Not every one who rides an entry level HD / second hand one has to be a squid, there has to be some other kind of differentiation instead of looking at it, only from the affordability angle. I have seen squids on quite a few exotic bikes. Unfortunately it looks like that as of now, if a street 750 owner is not looked upon by bigger HD owners, then how will the street 750 owner feel.

And that I feel, has also contributed to the decline in sales.

Last edited by Vishnuk : 7th February 2018 at 09:45.
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Old 7th February 2018, 10:20   #63
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Default Re: Harley in trouble. Profit & sales down, Kansas plant to shut

Harley needs to take a few tricks and tips from manufacturers like Triumph and Kawasaki:

1. Triumphs cheapest model till very recently (Bonneville) was never considered to be a poor mans Triumph. It was just another beautiful retro classic available at a certain price point. No Tiger owner looks at a Bonneville or now the ST and thinks “Eh.. cheap Triumph”

2. Both Kawasaki and Triumph manage to sell retro motorcycles (beautiful ones at that!) while still retaining products in their portfolio that range from hypersport motorcycles to cruisers to nakeds to ADV motorcycles.

3. They appeal across age groups, uses and desirability levels - want to go to the track, Triumph has a product. Across the continent? -yup spoilt for choices. Premium bragging rights- Yes, yet again! (Rocket III).

4. They’ve not limited their options in technology development- from single cyclinders to twins to triples to in-line 4s, you name it and they have it.

The biggest trap Harley could fall into is to continue to rely to their image and brand rather than their products and technology. What has worked till now will not work in future. Corporate and industrial history is littered with examples of companies that put a half hearted effort to change and met their demise.

On the other hand, there are also examples like the Swiss watch industry that successfully warded off disruptive technological breakthroughs in horology to make a profitable niche for themselves. Which way Harley will go will be an interesting story to watch.

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Old 7th February 2018, 15:24   #64
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Default Re: Harley in trouble. Profit & sales down, Kansas plant to shut

Here is another article stating that 2017 was bad for Harley-Davidson. 2018 is going to be worse.

Name:  Harley.png
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https://www.fool.com/investing/2018/...-going-to.aspx
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Old 7th February 2018, 16:20   #65
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Default Re: Harley in trouble. Profit & sales down, Kansas plant to shut

In India, the HD craze is mostly driven by the desire to flaunt a premium brand rather than a thoughtful purchase decision. The purchase is mostly emotional and the usage is thought later.

Unlike the USA, where barring few metros, the city roads and interstates are wide and smooth and coupled with good traffic manners, the roads in India are a nightmare for motorcyclists. This is realised after the purchase is done and the daily office commute is out of question after a week.

Then the next option is to "use" the big machine for a weekend ride. With a punishing work culture in India (10-12 hours a day + additional weekend hours) compared to the western work culture, and a lot of family tasks for the weekend, makes this weekend ride to a monthly ride.

Not bad, let's have a monthly ride atleast. But where? Gurgaon-Faridabad road---40 kms round trip, or Murthal ke paranthe - 100 kms round trip. Are you serious? A once a month, 100 km trip is what you got a Harley for?? This is what an American biker would ride just to get a couple of beers for an evening, forget the weekend rides.

Slowly people learn this from their Harley owner friends and drop their idea of purchase.

Usual lifecycle of a premium motorcycle in India:

Week-1: Office.
Month-1: Ladakh
Month-2, 3, 4: Weekend ride
Month-5,6,7: Monthly ride
Max by Month 12: OLX
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Old 8th February 2018, 14:59   #66
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Default Re: Harley in trouble. Profit & sales down, Kansas plant to shut

Quote:
Originally Posted by low_rider View Post
Week-1: Office.
Month-1: Ladakh
Month-2, 3, 4: Weekend ride
Month-5,6,7: Monthly ride
Max by Month 12: OLX
Absolutely true! I'm on the lookout for a scooter for daily office commutes. Can't put my Duke 390 in 3rd gear on our wonderful roads. Bigger bike is totally out of the question.
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Old 15th February 2018, 10:36   #67
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Default Re: Harley-Davidson: Sales down, profits down

Trump unhappy over India taxes on Harley Davidson.
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Old 15th February 2018, 14:34   #68
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Default Re: Harley-Davidson: Sales down, profits down

Surely a sign of the American government acknowledging trouble at Harley and extending help.

Given a price reduction and the huge number of riders slowly maturing from their Enfields - this could mean big for Harley Davidson India.
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Old 16th February 2018, 10:40   #69
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Default Re: Harley-Davidson: Sales down, profits down

On a side note - HD India reducing the price of both the Street 750 and Street Rod by 10%.

https://www.cartoq.com/harley-davids...-donald-trump/
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Old 19th February 2018, 12:51   #70
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Default Re: Harley in trouble. Profit & sales down, Kansas plant to shut

An image that summarises Harley's problem.

Source:
Harley-Davidson: Sales down, profits down-capture.jpg
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Old 19th February 2018, 21:13   #71
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Default Re: Harley in trouble. Profit & sales down, Kansas plant to shut

^^^
In the graphs, the Y axis scales need some form of normalisation. Otherwise looks like Asia - Pacific is being singled out for Harley's woes.

Regards
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Old 19th February 2018, 22:31   #72
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
An image that summarises Harley's problem.

]

I just read the article and noticed this quote

"People are tempted to opt for Enfield over Harley due to the price tag," says Amit Kaushik, managing director (India), Urban Science, a Detroit-based auto consultancy firm".

Oh please, really, people are buying a RE over a HD because of price difference?

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Old 19th February 2018, 22:56   #73
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Default Re: Harley in trouble. Profit & sales down, Kansas plant to shut

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Oh please, really, people are buying a RE over a HD because of price difference?
Hi Jeroen

Currently their prices are as different as chalk and cheese. It'll difficult to derive a conclusive argument from this.

Both have similar appeals - Character, distinct soundtrack, oodles of torque, vibes, parts falling off, questionable reliability but simpler mechanicals and a lifestyle cult following.

Quoting my earlier post -

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Anyways - my real interest in the Street 500 is because of another reason. The RE twin cyclinder motorcycles. The price of these machines can really play a big factor for the entry level Harley in India.

A Royal Enfield priced at 3L (rumour) can make a Harley Davidson priced at 4.5L sound very reasonable. It would make the Street 500 seem like a more natural upgrade, than the huge jump that currently exists between the RE Classic and a Street 750.
Harley Davidson MD had announced that they were trying to become more accessible, whereas Royal Enfield clearly wants to take their brand premium.

Should be interesting.

Even more interesting is that Honda wants in, Bajaj wants some action too via Triumph and Mahindra is trying not to be left behind with Jawa.

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 19th February 2018 at 22:59.
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Old 21st February 2018, 11:24   #74
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Default Re: Harley in trouble. Profit & sales down, Kansas plant to shut

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Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Harley Davidson MD had announced that they were trying to become more accessible, whereas Royal Enfield clearly wants to take their brand premium.
RE wants to be more premium? Has anyone informed RE that premium brands make bikes that run for more than a week without breaking down?

Even with brands like Ducati that had a reputation for being finicky and prone to breakdowns, had the bonus of when they worked, they performed spectacularly. That is to say, the cliche of Ducati for a long time was that they were finicky and temperamental (or had "character") but when they did run, they blew your socks off and all the pain was worth it. I mean that's the cliche of Italian moto brands, whether there is any truth to it is another matter entirely. But my point is, REs are not performance machines by any possible definition, so all you get are the incessant breakdowns and terrible workmanship with no real upside except a dug dug dug sound and that classic beauty of RE.

There is very, very little evidence to support the idea that RE is serious about building better bikes. I'm not convinced they're taking anything seriously except cultivating their "classic" retro vintage image, which is working for them very well internationally.

(I say this as someone that owned two Enfields and learned all this the hard way, and twice on top of that.)

Quote:
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Even more interesting is that Honda wants in
What? Honda? Seriously? There is even less evidence to support this.

This is the same Honda that even up to late last year, openly and clearly stated they are not interested in taking on the likes of KTM and Triumph, that they're very happy and content with simply putting out commuting bikes and scooters / mopeds for the Indian market and nothing else? Putting fancy aggressive paint jobs on a 160cc bike hardly counts as "wants in". Even the new 250cc models are just too little, too late. KTM and even Bajaj are pushing 400 cc now at crazy affordable prices, and even offering ABS and whatnot. The Mojo was a 300cc bargain while it lasted.

Certainly agree that Bajaj and Mahindra are serious. Can't say the same for "scooters are our bread and butter" no-risk Honda.

Last edited by marcussantiago : 21st February 2018 at 11:27.
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Old 21st February 2018, 11:40   #75
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Default Re: Harley in trouble. Profit & sales down, Kansas plant to shut

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Originally Posted by marcussantiago View Post
RE wants to be more premium?

There is very, very little evidence to support the idea that RE is serious about building better bikes. .


That was funny and I do understand your post. When I said premium, I meant "premium priced" and they surely looks to be heading in that direction with the 650 twins.

Rest of it - I agree with you.

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Originally Posted by marcussantiago View Post
What? Honda? Seriously? There is even less evidence to support this.
"Evidence" till now is only the annoucement from the CEO. I understand why you'd be sceptical because it's the same brand that relaunched the same old 250R with some new graphics after a decade.

But - I have a feeling they are serious this time. The numbers and profitability of RE has clearly been noticed by all brands.

Quote:
Originally Posted by marcussantiago View Post
Certainly agree that Bajaj and Mahindra are serious.


Either ways, my point relevant to this thread was - that all these entrants are sure to eventually bridge the current gap that exists between the Bullets and Harleys / Triumphs etc.
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