More Difficulties for Harley Davidson

The world’s best known bike company continues to struggle against adversity and has been dealt another blow with its long time advertising company Carmichael Lynch no longer wanting to work with them.  Carmichael Lynch have reportedly said they’ve basically exhausted their ideas to promote HD and are cutting their ties after 31 years of Harley advertising campaigns.  With sales still not recovering due to the economic circumstances, and rumors of a potential move from its home in Milwaukee to Kansas City, or further afield, to save costs, this is a critical time for Harley.

While still popular in America, where motorcycles and Harley Davidson are one and the same, there must be a significant impact internationally from Japanese and European manufacturers as the sheer numbers of bikes of all types for all abilities squeeze HD out of the market.

Price cuts in the UK have just been announced to try to stimulate interest, with £700 being cut from the Nightrod Special as one example.

The European Bike Week event taking place in Austria this week is a very successful Harley Davidson sponsored affair and is expected to attract some 100,000 bikers, with Harley bringing in Sturgis stars and others to showcase their machines.  However its hard to see a European riders swapping their Ducati road going missile for the comfort and chrome of a Harley.

HD is going to have to start thinking outside the box to turn things around.  Obviously, like every business, the recession has been very damaging, but perhaps they were a bit short sighted to cast off Buell in a rush, as there were some excellent machines due from their subsidiary which marketed right could have helped financially.  Or perhaps Harleys have reached saturation point in the market as they have been around for a hell of a long time now.  It’s always said that every biker should own a Harley at some point in their biking life, perhaps everybody has.

While it’s unlikely Harley will fail they’d better stop scaring us!

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