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    Harley Davidson: Dealing with Challenges

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    1) What challenges/opportunities have this company had to overcome/capitalize on?

    2) What has made the company you have chosen successful today? Discuss value chain activities/improvements. Are they customer focused, quality focused, low-price leader focused?

    3) Are the company?s business functions integrated?

    4) What are the company?s future plans to ensure their success?

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    Guidance for Question 1
    Challenges/Opportunities for Harley Davidson
    The major challenges/opportunities for Harley Davidson are as follows:
    1) Maintaining the existing customer base : Harley Davidson has been facing difficulties in maintaining its existing customer base as recently the Michigan State Police decided to replace their inferior Harleys to BMW motorcycles and found that the performance of BMW motorcycles was superior to Harley Davidson Motorcycles (Taylor, 2012: Oct. 3). Maintaining the existing base is important for the company as it focuses on its loyal set of customers popularly called Harley Owner?s Group (Taylor, 2012: Oct. 3).
    2) Product Development : The company has to go for extensive product development and invest in R&D because it has lost its competitiveness on quality of the product due to which the customers are shifting . This is evident from the fact that the Harley Davidson bikes take 31 seconds to reach 100 miles per hour as compared to BMW bike which take 11 seconds to reach 100 miles per hour (Taylor, 2012: Oct. 3). Therefore, improving product quality is a challenge along with other challenge to reduce product development time by 30% (Taylor, 2012: Oct. 3).
    3) Women segment to be tapped : A major challenge faced by Harley Davidson is to tap women segment (Taylor, 2012: Oct. 3) especially in the Indian market where women generally do not prefer riding a bike (Economic Times, 2011: July 29).
    4) Expanding the motorcycle market in U.S : The motorcycle market in U.S is small with sale of only 3,46,331 bikes in third quarter ending September 2012 and the growth of the segment is just 1.3% (Madson, 2012: Nov. 5).
    5) Competitive Threat : Harley Davidson has been facing a tough competition from established brands such as BMW and other players such as Polaris who has emerged as a formidable rival for the company in the heavyweight motorcycle segment (Trefis, 2012: Oct. 24).
    6) Revitalizing its brand image to appeal to younger ...

    Solution Summary

    The solution discusses the major challenges and opportunities faced by Harley-Davidson, guidance on how value chain activities have been improved and integration issues along with company's future plans to success.