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Discussion Starter #1
Closing 3 plants, eliminating 1100 jobs.

Financing difficulties reducing sales, for one thing. 60% drop in 4Q profits.

If they had a bank they could get a bailout.

HM
 

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If the tarp money went for what it was supposed to,,,,they may have gotten some of it and still been able to make loans!!!!!

shot410,,,,the pricing has come down a lot in the last few years as they weren't backordered and the dealers weren't selling $2k to $4k above MSRP
 

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This is not a bad thing. As much as I love Harley Davidson they have aquired a swollen head in recent years. This will drive the used market back up again. Harley ruined it with their production numbers in the last three years. Harley will survive without the bailout funds. As a lot of big corps they just won't be as big when it is all over. The local dealer here went whole hog a couple years ago and built a 10 mil dealership. Now I see he is selling scooters to survive and closed his two sattelite stores. This will also be good for the small cycle repair places.
 

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Harley (the company) will survive. They will just be smaller for the next 2 or 3 years.

Some dealerships will close, but Harley motorcycles will still be the one that MOST riders want to own. Dealers will be more flexible (i.e. lower) on their pricing of new bikes. This will tend to hold down the price of used bikes too, but clean low mileage used Harleys will still sell well.

Easystreet
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I think if we look at this impersonally, (not as bikers) we will see that the H-D phenomenon was a bubble just like the dot com and housing bubbles.

It got a lot of air from yuppies who finally had some bucks, and a Harley was perceived as one of the trappings of success.

Not many of these individuals were true motorcyclists, as evidenced by the amount of trailers heading for Sturgis the last couple of years.

Saturation was already beginning to happen, since I saw dealers not wanting for inventory, and surcharges disappearing. The economy problems probably hastened the inevitable.

Motorcycles are an economical form of transportation in much of the world, but the Harley thing is not about economical transportation. economy transportation is a 250cc or smaller single cylinder bike.

My memories of the H-D shop were of bikes and guys wrenching their own machines, and where we went to get some cool jackets and caps, and studs for our engineer boots, not a boutique for milady to find the proper leather tank top. Lately you couldn't see the bikes for the clothing displays.

I guess H-D can save some money on image billboards to cajole wannabe types into buying, and the shops will have to cater to enthusiasts rather than RUBs(rich urban bikers).

cuban, you are correct. HD will survive, just in a different form.

And I know a lot of yuppies actually did become enthusiasts to a degree, I see them at the Nationals. The fans of this great sport never leave early.

Cutting out the fat may not be a bad thing.

HM
 

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I am one of those motorcyclist that actually don't want to own a Harley (typo corrected), my presonal preference is for sport touring bikes, but I try to keep up with the developements with bikes in general.

"The local dealer here went whole hog a couple years ago and built a 10 mil dealership"

The information I heard from several sources is that at least in this area, H-D basically dictated that their dealers do this or loose ther dealership.

The shop I deal with was a multi brand outfit, they have since moved the HD portion of the business to a "big box" store at a main intersection on a four lane highway. One H-D enthusiast at work, a long time rider, describes it as "too antiseptic" there at the new shop for his liking. A lot of the new shop space is taken up by clothing and other decorator & fashion items, much of it made overseas.

Two hours drive from here, the same thing happened, the HD shop moved from an industrial park in town to a stand alone, new "big box" store at an exit on the local four lane.

An hour west down the four lane from the last place, there was an H-D dealer with 5 decades of reputable history, he was in a rural area on a secondary highway. I do business in the area and here a lot of the local news, I understand he was told, "move to the nearst major highway exit and build the big box store, or lose the dealership". He chose not to, and lost the dealership. The local dealership is owned by someone else, in it's own new building, located at an exit on the four lane.
 

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Ok let me get this straight Harley Davidson has been around for what 105 or 106 years and that bubble would have to be rather large one for that would you not say halfmile. And rem 870tb before you knock us Harley Riders you really need to know how to spell Harley correctly. You don't have to be a Pagan, Outlaw, or Angel to ride a Harley. Everyone doesn't have to ride 10,000 miles to Sturgis if they don't want to. I'm a proud owner of a Harley Davidson 06 FXSTC. I saved my pennies for it I have a NYS Motorcycle license that I tested for and love rolling around on it. I didn't buy it because I wanted to save gas and I'm no yuppie by any means. If you want to roll around on those rice burners so be it. As far as I'm concerned they will never sound like a Harley ride like a Harley and will always and forever be just a wanna be Harley.

JMHO
 

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Widowmaker

I stated that I prefered a totally different style of machine than Harley offers for MY own riding, H-D makes nothing that looks remotely like what I ride; there actually are some of us aren't looking for something that sounds like a Harley, rides like a Harley etc.

I also stated some information I had heard about H-D's marketing practices. I did not alude that the information on the marketing practices was absolutely true, it was something I had heard from several completely different sources.

It is true that many of the new style shops do dedicate a lot of their space to "lifestyle" items, that is apparent when you walk into one.

I did not tell anyone else what they should ride.

If that is knocking them, then some people have pretty thin skins.

As for the spelling "Harely" instead of Harely, that was a typo and nothing else was meant by it; quite a few people make spelling mistakes or typos on this forum, even with the attentions of the spell police. I will edit and correct that error incase others preceive that as knocking the brand.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Widomaker, I said bubble. And the figures wil bear me out. See if you can find the sales figures for the last 20 years and it will look just like the housing figures. The suddenexplosive expansion will be followed by a similar contraction, and that's what makes a bubble. Think of it looking like a snake with a reat's body visible in the middle. That's what the chart will look like.

I did not major in economics, but I have been following the investment markets for 30 years or so and paid my dues, Hilary was winning when I was losing in cattle futures. I think she got my money.

The Harley phenomenon is a bubble, pure and simple. Willie G. was a genius for rescuing H-D from the jaws of obscurity.

Some of the stuff they were making at that time was pure rank dog poo. The "Cafe Racer" was an example of what the Harvard Business School types thought would sell great to the American Public. Harley was doomed to obscurity, especially with the Italians and Japs bringing in reliable clean fast bikes for reasonable prices.

Willie got the product cleaned up and the marketing correct, and it was a match made in heaven. I recall seeing one billboard, LOL, that showed a bunch of biker uglies, and the caption read "Would YOU sell a defective motorcycle to these guys?"

But it is a bubble. They will contract along with the rest of the economy. And before it's over you will be able to buy some nice hogs at a very fair price.

And BTW, wido me boy, If you want to see my Dad's Picture on his 1927 H-D, I will scan it and send it to you. He was involved in racing before your father was born, probably. I don't need to be educated about H-D.

I had an acetylene headlamp from a motorcycle, and unfortunately someone stole it when they moved.

In the 50's there were 3 companies making V twins, Indian, H-D and Vincent. You can guess which was the most eye popping. By 1958 or so the Harley cowboy with the saddle bags, windshield, fringes, and spotlights all over was a laughingstock.

There's nothng wrong with the way the bikes evolved, and They're pretty decent these days thanks to modern engineering and Wille's foresight and efforts.

The company is just getting a dose of reality, that's all.

HM
 

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As for ridding to Sturgis.It all depends on what you ride.My 06 Ultra would not be bad.My 05 Ironhorse Legend would be a bitch.But neither one would carry enought stuff.Regards Randy
 

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Again let me get this straight. A dose of reality is a down turn in the Market place ? Harley Davidson is the most famous name in motorcycles period. The big three in Detroit are begging for money and Toyota reported a loss this year so what. I just don't see Harley folding anytime soon. I like my Harley Tee's and clothes my whole family wears some Harley Merchandise. I don't force them to wear it they want to. If you like your crotch rockets and rice burner cruisers thats great ride em and be happy but for real do you really think that this dose of reality that you speak of is because all of us Harley riders are going to run out and trade them in for a Honda ? I've said this before on this forum " you meet the nicest people on a Honda", but Harley Chicks Rule !!!!. Nothing better than a blonde riding 2 up in black Harley leather and lace.
 

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every inflated market and industry is going to have to make a realignment to cope with reality...a good thing for all in the end as those who survive will be leaner and stronger
 

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I have had several Harley's in my time. Last one I bought was a brand new Fatboy in 93. Sold it a few yrs later for more than I paid for it. I did love the bike though. As I always bought more glitter for it I seemed to noticed that more and more side junk was not american made but sold thru Harley.
I think the law now says if it is 75% assembled here in the states you can say american made. Well I don't much care for the wording it just don't seem to be ethical. I would probably get another one someday but what would make me buy quicker is really american made. It is proven that something well made here in the good ole USA that the public will buy if the price is not over inflated but honest. B12
 

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I have had several Harley's in my time. Last one I bought was a brand new Fatboy in 93. Sold it a few yrs later for more than I paid for it. I did love the bike though. As I always bought more glitter for it I seemed to noticed that more and more side junk was not american made but sold thru Harley.
I think the law now says if it is 75% assembled here in the states you can say american made. Well I don't much care for the wording it just don't seem to be ethical. I would probably get another one someday but what would make me buy quicker is really american made. It is proven that something well made here in the good ole USA that the public will buy if the price is not over inflated but honest. B12
 
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