by: Dick Stroud
We all know the story about Harley and how it was reborn on the sales from a tidal wave of baby boomers who decided to indulge their childhood fantasies and race around the roads like a bunch of hells angels.
Now, the company’s prospects look somewhat less assured – and the reason has to do with age
Whilst most boomer still have a desire to stay active it seems they are getting a more pragmatic outlook on life - like trying not to kill themselves.
So, what is Harley-Davidson doing in anticipation of tougher times ahead?
Earlier this month the company formed a partneriship with Lehman Trikes U.S.A. to build Harley-Davidson branded three-wheeled motorcycles. It seems the thinking is that if aging boomers can’t keep two wheels on the road perhaps three might be a bit easier.
Another potential market that is showing some promise is women. Already women represent 11% of all motorcycle registrations.
The writer of the article is not convinced that Harley has the formula to recapture its past glories: “While Harley-Davidson is clearly trying to adapt to the challenge it confronts due to the changing boomer demographics, I reckon that the glory days are over and that a lower growth is in store for the company”.