More Shake Up at Harley-Davidson | Victory Motorcycles: Motorcycle Forums

More Shake Up at Harley-Davidson

Discussion in 'Victory General Discussion' started by Denny Pink, Oct 26, 2020.

  1. Denny Pink

    Denny Pink Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2016
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Fort Collins, CO.
    Type of Motorcycle Currently Riding:
    Victory Crossroads and BMW R1100RSL
    Interesting read in the October 25 Wall Street Journal. New H-D CEO Jochen Zeitz has decided to change company strategy by cutting 500 mostly overseas jobs, dropping small bike production, concentrating on big expensive bikes, cutting 10 models, reducing around 100 under performing dealerships, and abandoning plans to appeal to younger riders. H-D 3rd quarter results come out tomorrow, Oct. 27. Should be interesting!

    DP
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Informative Informative x 1
  2. IndyVictory

    IndyVictory Active Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2020
    Messages:
    611
    Likes Received:
    213
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    Type of Motorcycle Currently Riding:
    2012 Victory Cross Country Tour
    Yeah he also doesn't want to offer any discounts, limit production to intentionally reduce inventory, sell only big full $40k bikes.

    Not even attempting to appeal to younger riders.

    Cruise control set to run Harley full speed off a cliff.

    Someone will buy the name in a few years when they go under. Probably Amazon. They can sell Harley clothing.
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
    • Like Like x 2
  3. BP6666VR

    BP6666VR Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2013
    Messages:
    3,431
    Likes Received:
    1,378
    Location:
    World Citizen
    Type of Motorcycle Currently Riding:
    VICTORY JACKPOT 2013 & Cross Country Tour 2014
    Hey I still buy Victory clothing and parts on Aliexpress, ha ha ha
     
    • Funny Funny x 2
    • Informative Informative x 2
  4. Known1

    Known1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2012
    Messages:
    4,380
    Likes Received:
    1,408
    Location:
    Cement Slab, MN
    Type of Motorcycle Currently Riding:
    2013 Cross Country Tour
    Wow, it sounds like the new CEO is intentionally driving HD into the ground and doing everything he can to ensure that they have no long term future. I think it was @iabob that first pointed out that HD and Indian are in the midst of swapping spots. Indian was once the brand that would disapear and constantly change hands while making/selling very few bikes. It sure does seem like HD is headed in that direction.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  5. Alwhite00

    Alwhite00 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2020
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    65
    Type of Motorcycle Currently Riding:
    Victory
    Do you have a link for this? I can not get to it without a subscription. Can you copy and paste it here?
     
  6. bikendad

    bikendad Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Messages:
    6,811
    Likes Received:
    1,137
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    Type of Motorcycle Currently Riding:
    2010 Victory Cross Country
    • Useful Useful x 1
  7. Alwhite00

    Alwhite00 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2020
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    65
    Type of Motorcycle Currently Riding:
    Victory
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. bikendad

    bikendad Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Messages:
    6,811
    Likes Received:
    1,137
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    Type of Motorcycle Currently Riding:
    2010 Victory Cross Country
    Harley-Davidson Inc. is going back to the basics of making big, expensive motorcycles for its most devoted customers, abandoning a decadelong quest to reach new types of riders.

    New Chief Executive Jochen Zeitz, a German-born former head of Puma SE and collector of African art, is scaling back overseas expansions, shrinking Harley supplies in the U.S. and delaying or abandoning new models that were intended to appeal to younger riders.

    It is a hairpin turn from the strategy pursued by his predecessor, Matt Levatich, who tried to expand into new markets with smaller motorcycles.

    Mr. Zeitz has said Harley must cut expenses and make its motorcycles more desirable. He is cutting about 30% of the models in the lineup and encouraging dealers to close some stores.

    Harley’s workforce is getting smaller, too. The Milwaukee-based company has laid off 500 workers globally, or around 10% of its workforce, and, according to people familiar with the matter, that group included some on product teams developing new motorcycle models. Mr. Zeitz also has brought in outsiders to run the finance, digital, marketing and merchandise departments.

    ADVERTISEMENT
    , just as Harley is putting fewer bikes out of its 37 models on the market.


    “I’ve heard now so often that our consumer is aging out. Well, I’m aging, as they say, and I feel like riding right now,” Mr. Zeitz, 57 years old, told analysts earlier this year.

    ADVERTISEMENT
    {"transport": {"beacon": false, "xhrpost": false},"requests": {"amp_btr": "https://securepubads.g.doubleclick....U&sig=Cg0ArKJSzAQ4WAuMYC-wEAE&urlfix=1&adurl="},"triggers": {"b2r_iniLoad": {"on": "ini-load","request":"amp_btr"}}}{"transport": {"beacon": true, "xhrpost": false},"requests": {"ampeos": "https://pagead2.googlesyndication.c...lScrollDepth}&msd=${maxScrollDepth}&avms=ampa"},"triggers": {"endOfSession": {"on": "visible","request": "ampeos","visibilitySpec": {"reportWhen": "documentExit","selector": ":root","visiblePercentageMin": 50}}}}googqscp.init([[[[null,1000,99,2,4,null,null,null,1],[null,500,99,2,9,null,null,null,1],["5,5,5,5",null,99,2,null,null,null,null,1]]],null,null,null,null,null,null,null,null,null,null,1]);

    (function(){/* Copyright The Closure Library Authors. SPDX-License-Identifier: Apache-2.0 */ 'use strict';var e=this||self;function f(a,b,c){return a.call.apply(a.bind,arguments)}function h(a,b,c){if(!a)throw Error();if(2=b||0>=c||0>g||0>d?!0:g>=this.a.left&&b-g>=this.a.right&&d>=this.a.top&&c-d>=this.a.bottom}}b||(a.preventDefault?a.preventDefault():a.returnValue=!1)}};function q(a,b){b||(b="");b=new p(b);b.b=a;a=b.b;var c=k(b.c,b);a.addEventListener&&a.addEventListener("click",c,!1);return b}var r=["googleInitIc"],t=e;r[0]in t||"undefined"==typeof t.execScript||t.execScript("var "+r[0]);for(var u;r.length&&(u=r.shift());)r.length||void 0===q?t&&t!==Object.prototype?t=t:t=t={}:t=q;}).call(this);googleInitIc(document.body,'10,10,10,10');{"uid":0.5959832008669259,"hostPeerName":"https://www.wsj.com","initialGeometry":"{\"windowCoords_t\":0,\"windowCoords_r\":412,\"windowCoords_b\":718,\"windowCoords_l\":0,\"frameCoords_t\":3417.5714111328125,\"frameCoords_r\":356,\"frameCoords_b\":3667.5714111328125,\"frameCoords_l\":56,\"posCoords_t\":2771,\"posCoords_b\":3021,\"posCoords_r\":356,\"posCoords_l\":56,\"styleZIndex\":\"\",\"allowedExpansion_r\":112,\"allowedExpansion_b\":468,\"allowedExpansion_t\":0,\"allowedExpansion_l\":0,\"yInView\":0,\"xInView\":1}","permissions":"{\"expandByOverlay\":true,\"expandByPush\":true,\"readCookie\":false,\"writeCookie\":false}","metadata":"{\"shared\":{\"sf_ver\":\"1-0-37\",\"ck_on\":1,\"flash_ver\":\"26.0.0\",\"canonical_url\":\"https://www.wsj.com/articles/harley...perations-to-restore-hogs-luster-11603648802\",\"amp\":{\"canonical_url\":\"https://www.wsj.com/articles/harley...perations-to-restore-hogs-luster-11603648802\"}}}","reportCreativeGeometry":false,"isDifferentSourceWindow":false,"sentinel":"0-36178248321871792155","width":300,"height":250,"_context":{"ampcontextVersion":"2010132225002","ampcontextFilepath":"https://3p.ampproject.net/2010132225002/ampcontext-v0.js","sourceUrl":"Harley’s New CEO Bets on Leaner Operations to Restore Hogs’ Luster","referrer":"https://www.googleapis.com/auth/chrome-content-suggestions","canonicalUrl":"Harley’s New CEO Bets on Leaner Operations to Restore Hogs’ Luster","pageViewId":"3882","location":{"href":"Harley’s New CEO Bets on Leaner Operations to Restore Hogs’ Luster"},"startTime":1603795780906,"tagName":"AMP-AD","mode":{"localDev":false,"development":false,"esm":false,"minified":true,"lite":false,"test":false,"version":"2010132225002","rtvVersion":"012010132225002"},"canary":false,"hidden":false,"initialLayoutRect":{"left":56,"top":2771,"width":300,"height":250},"initialIntersection":{"time":4487.900000007357,"rootBounds":{"left":0,"top":0,"width":412,"height":718,"bottom":718,"right":412,"x":0,"y":0},"boundingClientRect":{"left":56,"top":2124.4285888671875,"width":300,"height":250,"bottom":2374.4285888671875,"right":356,"x":56,"y":2124.4285888671875},"intersectionRect":{"left":0,"top":0,"width":0,"height":0,"bottom":0,"right":0,"x":0,"y":0},"intersectionRatio":0},"domFingerprint":"3962670516","experimentToggles":{"canary":false,"a4aProfilingRate":false,"adsense-ad-size-optimization":false,"amp-access-iframe":true,"amp-accordion-display-locking":false,"amp-action-macro":true,"amp-ad-ff-adx-ady":false,"amp-auto-ads-adsense-holdout":false,"ampdoc-fie":true,"amp-mega-menu":true,"amp-nested-menu":true,"amp-playbuzz":true,"amp-sidebar-swipe-to-dismiss":true,"amp-story-responsive-units":true,"amp-story-v1":true,"chunked-amp":true,"doubleclickSraExp":false,"doubleclickSraReportExcludedBlock":false,"expand-json-targeting":true,"fix-inconsistent-responsive-height-selection":false,"fixed-elements-in-lightbox":true,"flexAdSlots":false,"intersect-resources":true,"ios-fixed-no-transfer":false,"pump-early-frame":true,"swg-gpay-api":true,"swg-gpay-native":true,"amp-ad-no-center-css":false,"analytics-chunks":true},"sentinel":"0-36178248321871792155"}}" height="250" width="300" title="3rd party ad content" data-amp-3p-sentinel="0-36178248321871792155" allow="sync-xhr 'none';" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" allowtransparency="" scrolling="no" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" sandbox="allow-top-navigation-by-user-activation allow-popups-to-escape-sandbox allow-forms allow-modals allow-pointer-lock allow-popups allow-same-origin allow-scripts" class="i-amphtml-fill-content" id="google_ads_iframe_2" >
    Mr. Zeitz has a film crew documenting his work as CEO, according to people familiar with the project. Harley said it regularly films its leader for internal and external communications as well as for its newly launched video platform, Harley-Davidson TV.

    Harley declined to make Mr. Zeitz available for an interview, saying he is still developing the new strategy.

    Adam Smith, the Texas-based owner of one of Harley’s largest dealer groups, said Mr. Zeitz’s strategy has allowed the dealership to concentrate on selling the most expensive and profitable bikes.

    “The brand is getting back to what we have always been,” Mr. Smith said. “We don’t make cheap, inexpensive, small-displacement motorcycles.”

    ADVERTISEMENT
    Mr. Smith, who said he discussed the strategy in a phone call with Mr. Zeitz earlier this year, said Harley is cutting its dealership footprint after concluding it had far more locations per sale than luxury auto makers.

    Mr. Zeitz aims to reduce the number of Harley dealership locations by at least 100 in the U.S., out of about 700 currently, said dealers and a Harley investor familiar with those plans. They said the company is paying dealers hundreds of thousands of dollars to close underperforming stores.

    “They are weaning out dealerships that are just getting by,” said Happy Craig, an independent sales representative for Harley dealerships.

    [​IMG]
    Harley-Davidson just debuted the world's first full-size electric sport bike. Auto columnist Dan Neil went to Portland, Ore., to take the LiveWire for a spin. Photo: Harley-Davidson[OBJECT OBJECT]

    Mr. Zeitz is also dismantling some international operations, including in India, where Harley’s factory opened in 2010. Harley’s sales efforts outside North America will now mostly focus on more-established markets like Japan and Europe, according to people familiar with Harley’s plans. Harley said it would concentrate its efforts on about 50 markets, primarily in North America, Europe and parts of the Asia-Pacific region.

    ADVERTISEMENT
    .



    The company’s introductions of new models over the years also failed to attract customers and left the current lineup loaded with slow-selling motorcycles. Eleven models combined accounted for about 6% of the retail-sales volume last year, while 10 popular models generated more than two-thirds of the sales, according to research from KeyBanc Capital Markets.

    SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

    What is it about Harley that attracts such a devoted following? Join the conversation below.

    Other motorcycle makers have found new customers by selling smaller and alternative types of bikes. Smaller motorcycles favored by younger riders have lifted U.S. sales in recent years for Harley rivals including Polaris Inc. Eicher Motor Ltd. ’s Royal Enfield brand, which specializes in smaller, inexpensive motorcycles, reported an 81% increase in North American sales last year, to 3,322 bikes. The India-based company’s global sales volume last year was more than 800,000 bikes.

    Harley’s U.S. bike sales, meanwhile, fell for five straight years through 2019. Overseas sales growth fell short of expectations.

    Mr. Levatich stepped down in February. Mr. Zeitz, a longtime company director, replaced him weeks before Covid-19 closed dealerships across the U.S. and idled the company’s U.S. factories.

    The factories remained closed for two months, an interruption that dealers say held Harley back from meeting the pandemic-driven demand for motorcycles this summer. Harley also deliberately throttled back production after the restart to keep fewer bikes on the market.

    “It’s momentarily painful, given where my demand is,” said Brent Laidlaw, a dealer near Los Angeles, adding that his sales are about 10% ahead of last year. “There won’t be an overabundance of motorcycles though, like there has been in the past.”

    Write to Austen Hufford at [email protected] and Bob Tita at [email protected]
     
    • Informative Informative x 3
    • Like Like x 1
  9. kaitiff

    kaitiff Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    Messages:
    6,810
    Likes Received:
    2,620
    Location:
    Keams Canyon Az
    Type of Motorcycle Currently Riding:
    14 XC/07 KPT
    It never ceases to amaze me, these 'too rich to fail' CEO's with golden parachutes and salaries in the stratosphere. Even lunkheads like us wage-slaves can see that this is the absolute wrong direction to take a marque like HD in if the goal is to be successful. I don't see anything wrong with continuing to produce the high end/high dollar bikes for those that want them.. but your bread and butter better appeal and be available to a LOT more people. Sometimes you just gotta wonder how some of these management types get to the top. I guess it's like the old saying, '**** and Cream both float, but the **** is a lot more obvious'.
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
  10. 53canuck

    53canuck Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2013
    Messages:
    1,697
    Likes Received:
    646
    Location:
    Left Coast, Canada
    Type of Motorcycle Currently Riding:
    2011 KP
    CEO's aren't in it for the long term commitment to build anything. It's take the money for as long as it lasts and then move on. Ego and $$$$.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 1
  11. slickvic

    slickvic Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2011
    Messages:
    10,378
    Likes Received:
    4,207
    Location:
    South Florida
    Type of Motorcycle Currently Riding:
    2011 Cross Country
    Yep been they that with the company I was planning on retiring from. Growing pains like HD. When you get too big it costs too much to stay alive. Imo this is a good move for them right now. They have always been that brand of big American motorcycles. Leave the money sucking little crap for the other companies that have been living off these bikes their whole life.
    Improve the Sportster to compete with the Scout and
    build a Dyna again for $12000. Build a $23k RG bagger to compete with the base Challenger. Build a base bagger under $20k and encourage the young buyer to wrench his own bike. Hold classes on adding accessories while you hand them an accessory catalog. Lastly ..... build those expensive CVO bikes ! They sell and yes rich people love them. It’s like owning a Rolex ! It’s just a watch / bike but to the wealthy they are status symbols.
    Now .....clothing and accessories? Offer deals like buy a pair of $85 jeans and get a free Tshirt lol.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  12. mister-g

    mister-g Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2012
    Messages:
    2,779
    Likes Received:
    1,538
    Location:
    massachusetts - 2014 vision tour
    Type of Motorcycle Currently Riding:
    2014 vision tour
    the poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer and they know it. disposable income of the masses is becoming a thing of the past. this may help the flooded HD used market retain a bit more value but in my eyes i doubt it. of course HD has never meant anything special to me just like so many other big brand names, keeping up with the Joneses,,, haha . hotdogs, beans, gas and beer over here :ride:
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  13. VicVisionBulldog

    VicVisionBulldog VOG Police Chief

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2011
    Messages:
    19,234
    Likes Received:
    8,685
    Location:
    Houston
    Type of Motorcycle Currently Riding:
    13' Vision Tour / 08' Vision Street Premium
    • Useful Useful x 1
  14. BrotherWind

    BrotherWind Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2015
    Messages:
    1,725
    Likes Received:
    1,208
    Type of Motorcycle Currently Riding:
    Vision tour 10th anniversary. #90
    Barnett HD, a very well established and large dealer, just closed here in Deming NM. They still own the dealership in El Paso, but this loss is a big deal here.
    My friend in FL just bought a nice RK. Traded is older one and got 1k more than he paid 2 years earlier. Also free backrest, 25000 mile free oil and service. Lifetime warranty on engine and transmission and a 1k discount. It's the 114 engine. Here's a pic. 31k list, paid $4500 two years ago for his old ride and out the door total, tax, title, doc crap... for 24k. Backrest not installed yet. Sounds like dealing there.
    16098.jpeg
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • Useful Useful x 1
  15. mrmegadeth

    mrmegadeth Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2012
    Messages:
    762
    Likes Received:
    143
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Type of Motorcycle Currently Riding:
    2009 Kingpin
    Why is this a wrong direction? Are you suggesting Aston Martin and Ferrari should start building grocery getters? There's nothing wrong with becoming a luxury good. If HD sees a loss of competitiveness at the sub liter and young demographics why not abandon it? If I was just starting out again, when I bought a 2007 Kaw Vulcan 900, why would I cross shop HD - even the sub liter bikers were waaaaaaaaaay more expensive than the Vulcan.

    Plus, it's an image thing. I won't buy an HD today because of the image - I want no part of it. You think a 21 yo in college wants a Harley? I don't. Big American bikes aren't en vogue now. I'm thoroughly enjoying the BMW, probably more than I ever did the Victory.

    I think, switching to their core is ok. The company will shrink in the short term, is anyway, and let them shave cost. Then HD becomes an aspirational thing again and in the long term they rebound as it becomes a status symbol....see Cadillac or Lincoln (which have chased their legacy for many years).

    If anything you'd think HD might pick up the model that many car marques use: target branding. For example, see Toyota....Scion (now gone) for smaller, cheaper, younger cars; Toyota for the middle; Lexus for the high end. Almost every big marque does this. Hell, we all hoped Polaris was gonna do this with Victory (performance) and Indian (heritage).
     
    • Like x 2
    • Agree x 2
    • Disagree x 1
    • Winner x 1
    • Informative x 1

Share This Page