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Harley-Davidson Case Study

Essay by   •  February 16, 2011  •  Case Study  •  478 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,120 Views

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Harley-Davidson Incorporated considers 1903 to be its year of founding, though the Harley-Davidson enterprise could be considered to have started in 1901 when William S. Harley, age 21, drew up plans for a small engine that displaced 7.07 cubic inches (116cc) and had four-inch flywheels. The engine was designed for use in a regular pedal-bicycle frame.

Over the next two years Harley and his boyhood pal Arthur Davidson labored on their little motor-bicycle using the northside machine shop of their friend Henry Melk. It was finished in 1903 with the help of Arthur's brother, Walter Davidson. Upon completion the boys found their little "power-cycle" unable to conquer Milwaukee's modest hills without pedal assistance. Bill Harley and the Davidsons quickly wrote off their first motor-bicycle as a valuable learning experiment.

Starting fresh, work was immediately begun on a new and much improved machine. This first "real" Harley-Davidson motorcycle would have a bigger engine of 24.74 cubic inches (405cc) with 9-3/4 inch flywheels weighing 28 pounds. The machine's advanced loop-frame was similar to the 1903 Milwaukee Merkel motorcycle. They also got help with their new engine from outboard motor pioneer Ole Evinrude. Elder brother William A. Davidson also lent a hand in the enterprise.

The Group's principal activities are classified under two business segments namely motorcycles and related products and financial services. The motorcycle and related products segment designs, manufactures and sells primarily heavyweight touring, custom and performance motorcycles and related parts. The standard and performance segments are served by the Group's Buell motorcycle line. The Group presently manufactures and sells 28 models of Harley-Davidson touring and custom heavyweight motorcycles. The financial service includes servicing wholesale inventory receivables and consumer retail installment contracts. The Group has operations in Europe, Japan, Canada and Germany. Motorcycles and related products accounted for 95% of 2002 revenues and financial services, 5%.

The Harley-Davidson Motor Company NYSE: HDI is a manufacturer of motorcycles based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, making it one of the two remaining American mass-producer of motorcycles (along with Victory Motorcycles). The company emphasizes heavy bikes designed for cruising, bikes



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