Har­ley’s fu­ture

Old Bike Australasia - - BLOW YOUR OWN -

Just fin­ished read­ing your is­sue 74 piece on Har­ley David­son. As far as Har­ley’s fu­ture goes, the fact is H-D was plan­ning off­shore as­sem­bly way be­fore Trump im­posed the im­port tar­iffs. They are just us­ing the tar­iff ex­cuse to ap­pease its par­tially re­dun­dant work­force and its union. They have also shown them­selves to be ex­tremely un­grate­ful re­cip­i­ents of Trump’s 10% drop in cor­po­rate taxes and un­like some larger cor­po­ra­tions, chose not to pass on the tax break di­rectly to its em­ploy­ees. Har­ley-David­son are on the slip­pery slope for other rea­sons. Firstly, the bikes are too ex­pen­sive due to union wages, and older Har­ley rid­ers are now hang­ing up their hel­mets in droves and are not be­ing re­placed by younger rid­ers. The younger gen­er­a­tion have cho­sen ei­ther to ride cheaper re­li­able Ja­panese bikes or deem mo­tor­cy­cling too dan­ger­ous. Ad­di­tion­ally, the cor­po­rate/pro­fes­sional poser el­e­ment has found that in the full­ness of time, mo­tor­cy­cling was not for them. Add to that the fact that the bike’s de­sign is far from be­ing tech­ni­cally in­no­va­tive in this day and age and fea­tures the same dated engine con­fig­u­ra­tion go­ing back over 100 years. Har­ley have to de­velop new mar­kets and be­come more tech­ni­cally in­no­va­tive with engine de­signs to have any hope of cor­po­rate sur­vival into our ul­tra com­pet­i­tive new world. Graeme Wil­liams Via email

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