BUSINESS STRATEGY

Overview of Harley-Davison Inc
Harley-Davidson is a publically traded company and is famous for motorcycles. It is known to provide heavy motorcycles mostly the ones designed for cruising. The company was founded in the beginning of the 20th century. It provides motor vehicles in United States which represent its image and spirit (Harley-Davidson, 2011). Harley-Davison Inc is basically a manufacturing company whose operating headquarters are located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in United States. In the New York Exchange, it is enlisted as Harley Owners Group. The mission of Harley-Davidson is to ride with their customers and apply this deep connection in every market they serve to create superior value for all of their stakeholders (Harley-Davidson, 2011). In addition to their mission, they have their core values which include (Harley-Davidson, 2011) telling the truth, keeping their promises, respecting the individual, encouraging intellectual curiosity and being fair.
The main product of Harley-Davidson is motorcycles which are designed in line with the American image. The final products of the motorcycles are assembled in United States but sometimes it is involved in outsourcing. Products by Harley-Davidson are very durable and the engines depend on size and power of the motorcycle. Types of motorcycles by category produced include; (Harley-Davidson, 2011) 2011 XR1200X™, 2011 Nightster®, 2011 SuperLow™, 2011 1200 Low, 2011 Iron 883™, 2011 Forty-Eight™, 2011 Street Bob®, 2011 Super Glide® Custom, 2011 Fat Bob®, 2011 Wide Glide®, 2011 Heritage Softail® Classic, 2011 Fat Boy®, 2011 Softail® Deluxe, 2011 Cross Bones™, and 2011 Road King® among others (Harley-Davidson, 2011).
The products of Harley-Davidson have a very high demand in the market due to their durability. Due to the completion which exists in the market by other companies like Suzuki and Honda, Harley-Davidson’s products are price elastic (Press Release, 2011). According to the market estimations of 2002, the overall market for Harley-Davidson is 22%. In United States, Harley-Davidson has a market share of 34.8% (Press Release, 2011).
According to the second quarter of 2010, the financial report showed a continued operation of $33.4 million or $0.59 per share compared to income of $33.4 million and a earning per share of $0.14 (Press Release, 2011). The worldwide sale of motorcycles decreased 5.5% in the 2010 second quarter as compared to the second quarter of 2009. In United States, retail sales were down by 8.4% and international market retail sales were down by 0.2% (Press Release, 2011). However, the income increased by 28.9%.
Harley-Davidson selected SAP’s automotive industry solution which was to act as flat form in its global organization (Milwaukee, 2006). In doing this it replaced its current financial applications, increase visibility and operational efficiency through utilization of globally standardized business process software solution (Milwaukee, 2006). SAP is being utilized by Harley-Davidson to improve its global operations.
SWOT Analysis
The strengths of Harley-Davidson include; (Rind, 2010) it heavy weight motorcycles have a market share of 70%, it operates in manufacturing motorcycles and providing financial services, it is the only brand in America manufacturing heavy weight motorcycles, its brand name is strong plus image of freedom and strength, it has Buell Riders Adventure Group which builds consumer loyalty, it gets a lot of revenue from motorcycle customization, it has excellent relationship with suppliers, strong relationship with employees, it has good will factor, (Rind, 2010) it supports Breast Cancer Network of Strength and Muscular Dystrophy Association, it has strong marketing and distribution channels in U.S, it is in fortune 500 and has established strong consumer loyalty.
It has weaknesses like, (Rind, 2010) high price for the products, lose of market share in Europe, they lack comprehensive analysis of future production of heavyweight bikes, poor marketing techniques hence don’t attract new customers in international markets, and people don’t like riding bikes. Opportunities Harley-Davidson include; their demand is high in Europe, they must market their products more in European markets, they have market opportunity in India, females and teenagers like riding bikes, (Rind, 2010) bikes have large international market than in U.S, customers value parts in the international market, and the opportunities are high at low economic places where bikes can be the alternative means of transport.
Threats for Harley-Davidson include; (Rind, 2010) loss in the recent years due to capacity restrains and supply shortage, their customers are mostly 42 years and above, environmental regulations are increasing, standards in European market are increasing, other companies are investing much on marketing their products, (Rind, 2010) competition is becoming stiff and Buell division has to continue being under Harley or otherwise it will lead to a lose.
Strategic Objectives
The strategic direction of Harley-Davidson is in designing, manufacturing and marketing heavyweight motorcycles. It also provides financial services to its customers. The goals for its strategic direction is (El Rincón del Vago, 2010) to keep and increase demand by producing over 200,000 motorbikes per year by 2003, improve the level of quality for their products, improve their information network, to improve their performance both in manufacturing and financially, and be a pioneer in co-determination practices. These objectives cannot be achieved without a well designed strategy. The strategies which Harley-Davidson set in order to achieve its objectives were based on products and marketing (El Rincón del Vago, 2010). They were to improve their product development, and come up more reliable strategies of marketing.
Plans in Place to Meet Objectives
The plans in place to meet these objectives involve increasing the number of employees and strengthen the relationships so that they can work tirelessly to increase production capacity to meet the increasing demand. They also plan to come up with new models of motorcycles which are of improved quality to attract more customers (El Rincón del Vago, 2010). Their performance is also planned to increase by ensuring that they establish new markets in areas which are not well covered by motorcycle dealers. They are planning to exploit all the opportunities provided their revenue increases. They also have a plan to improve their information networks to ensure that customers get information about their products (El Rincón del Vago, 2010). They are planning to publish more information and even make it available through the internet.
Forecast of Contingency Plans and Possible Risks.
The company may face risks of being outcome in the market where other companies dealing with motorcycles capture larger market shares. International markets may be occupied by other companies. Another risk is that people may stop riding motor cycles all together which can reduce revenues. The contingency plan which Harley-Davidson may be forced to take is starting manufacturing motor vehicles in order to capture a larger market.
Recommendations
The current strategy at Harley-Davidson is pretty good as it focusing on improving its products and markets. It is aiming at improving the quality of its products and increasing the number of motorcycles manufactured so that they can meet the demand of the world. They also aim at improving their information networks which is a pretty good idea. However, Harley-Davidson should ensure that it penetrates more in the international market rather that concentrating more on the United States market.

References
El Rincón del Vago. (2010). Harley-Davidson. Retrieved on June 24, 2011 from http://html.rincondelvago/harley-davidson_company-mortorcycling.html
Harley-Davidson. (2011). Culture at H-D. Retrieved on June 24, 2011 from http://www.harleydavidson/wcm/Content/Pages/Career_Opportunities/mission_and_values.jsp?locale=en_US
Milwaukee. (2006). Harley-Davidson Selects SAP to Fine-tune Performance in Global Operations. Retrieved on June 24, 2011 from http://news.thomasnet/companystory/Harley-Davidson-Selects-SAP-to-Fine-tune-Performance-in-Global-Operations-500757
Press Release. (2011). Harley-Davidson Second Quarter 2010 Results Show Continued Improvement in Key Areas. Retrieved on June 24, 2011 from http://www.harley-davidson/wcm/Content/Pages/HD_News/Company/newsarticle.jsp?locale=en_US&articleLink=News/0785_press_release.hdnews&newsYear=&history
Rind, C. (2010). Harley-Davidson SWOT Analysis. Retrieved on June 24, 2011 from http://www.freeswotanalysis/automobile/112-harley-davidson.html

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