When it comes to motorcycles, the one brand that truly stands out is Harley Davidson. If you want to get the epitome of a good bike, then you seek out the chance to get a Harley. It is one of the few brands that reaches every generation, every age bracket, and is expanding into new core demographics.
As of 2013, Harley Davidson was the #1 seller of motorcycles in every demographic for the 6th straight year.
Harley Davidson Riders
It doesn’t matter the size of motorcycle being purchased either. Harley Davidson dominates at every CC level. With 118 new dealer locations internationally in the last year alone, everyone is climbing on board and getting excited about this brand. When you hear a Harley on the road, you know it. The only question is this: how long is it going to take you to grab one for yourself?
- Harley Davidson sold 4 times the amount of motorcycles to the 18-34 age demographic in 2013 than their nearest competitor.
- When including all displacements, Harley Davidson still sold twice as many motorcycles to the 18-34 age demographic than any other manufacturer.
- Caucasian women above the age of 35 are 9 times more likely to purchase a Harley Davidson motorcycle than any other brand.
- Across all demographics, women are 7 times more likely to purchase a Harley Davidson.
- African Americans are 5 times more likely to purchase a Harley Davidson than they are a competitor’s brand.
- Hispanics are 6 times more likely to purchase a Harley Davidson when they need a motorcycle than a different brand.
- Since 2008, Harley Davidson has reduced the nearest competitor’s share of the Caucasian male 35+ demographic to under 7%.
If you ever want to take a look at what brand saturation really means, then you’ve got to take a look at what Harley Davidson has done. They don’t have a monopoly on the motorcycle market, but they have certainly dominated the competition since 2008. When asked about the brand, most people associated a Harley with tremendous quality and power. Other bikes might provide a higher level of reliability, but when it comes to prolonged value, nothing beats a Harley. Nothing. That’s why it continues to be the most dominant brand there is on the market right now.
How Successful Is Harley Davidson In Real Terms?
- Since 2006, Harley Davidson has experienced a 30% drop in overall sales, with just 247k sold in 2012.
- With the target demographic being Baby Boomers and beyond, sales are expected to decline before they rise again with the maturing of Generation X and the Millennials in the coming decades.
- Sales to Harley’s outreach demographics grew at twice the rate of their core demographics.
- While trading at a stock premium, the Harley Davidson stock currently yields just a 1.3% return.
- The percentage of Harley Davidsons that are sold outside of the United States: 34.7%.
- Although international sales are up 3%, domestic sales are down 52%.
- Sales have declined overall for Harley Davidson since 2007 with the exception of 2013, when sales increased overall by 4.4%.
As the economy goes, so does the average business. With the target audience for Harley Davidson being middle class white Americans, they just can’t get around the fact the household wages for their target demographic have been static for nearly 30 years. They’ve certainly seen increases in sales since the time they were near the brink of bankruptcy, but this century-old company looks to be facing hard times once again. In the next 5 years, international sales could outpace domestic sales. That would normally be a good thing… except that international sales represent just a third of the company’s business. To be fair though, all companies have the same worries that Harley does to some extent. There are simply fewer homogenous markets that can be targeted as there were in the past. With new bikes on the market and a new philosophy in their pocket, Harley Davidson could be poised to do something great.
Is Now The Time To Invest Into Harley Davidson?
- Total revenues for Harley Davidson in the last year topped $5 billion.
- The total net income for Harley Davidson in 2013 was $734 million.
- The value of all US motorcycle exports in the last year was $1.7 billion.
- In California alone, there are over 800k registered motorcycle users.
- Harley Davidson is still the only US company that has ever requested to have an early tariff termination for competitive motorcycle makers.
- Because of the speed of the Harley, there are several bikes that are used by law enforcement personnel around the world. There are currently 20k bikes being used by military personnel today.
- The 2013 growth occurred when domestic expansion grew at just 2%, meaning that Harley Davidson doubled the overall industry growth.
- Despite seeing 3% losses in Europe for their brand, the overall motorcycle market in Europe declined by 6%, so again Harley Davidson was able to double the industry with their sales.
Baby Boomers might be driving the sales now and that drive might be ending, but there are new markets for Harley Davidson to explore. As they continue to penetrate into new demographics and explore more sales options, there are numerous military and law enforcement applications that could be employed to increase sales and further their brand awareness. Since the early 1900’s, pretty much everyone has wanted to own a Harley if they wanted to have a bike. Although sales have slipped over the past decade, there is still a lot of potential for growth in place. All Harley needs to do is continue their strong push and they’ll be able to get there. Then, when the next generation hits the peak buying age, they’ll likely see huge growth numbers once again.