Harley Davidson seeks federal bailout
January 25, 2009 at 12:22 am #15980
Unfortunately for H-D, they do not have a large economic footprint like GM, Ford, or Chrysler, so justification for a bailout is weak. H-D will probably survive long term but they will have to make some serious business decisions and be more competitive. For example H-D’s lowest cost bike is the naked Sportster at $7,000, and a Yamaha V Star Silverado is just $7490 – which a tourer with lots of extras.
Only time will tell….January 25, 2009 at 12:51 am #15981
I can’t see why anybody would pay good money for a Harley. They are waaaay overpriced for a bike that is underpowered compared to a metric cruiser. Harleys are slow and handle poorly in comparison. Also, they are not nearly as reliable. It is all about a name and status symbol with HD. You can go buy a bolt at a hardware store for $1 but if it has HD on the head it costs $25? I guess some people just have more money than cents! Maybe if HD would acknowledge technology and begin to build a “better” and “more reliable” bike and keep the price competitive with Japanese cruisers, then they would not be in such “financial strains”. Just my opinion…believe it or disprove it!January 25, 2009 at 4:28 am #15985
Granted if everyone bought on quality, life expectancy etc. they would lean more to metrics…for the time being. However the folks that are mostly HD riders are nostalgic, raw, and yes even “brand” critics.
You think the guy/gal restoring the 69 Stingray cares that it doesn’t handle like 09 B-mer? Or how about the guy/gal floating around in a Sopwith Camel instead of a Leer Jet? No … handling and so called quality is definitely not in the “why I buy ” list….for most. To be honest I plan on getting me one after the kids are out on their own. I grew up around Harley’s….drooled over them, then got over the fog of the “lifestyle” but found a renewed interest via memories and styling.
My problem is more now every company is out with an open hand saying “wheres mine?”January 25, 2009 at 12:41 pm #15987
Honestly I do like the nostalgic look of the Harley’s and they do represent an era and a way life. Saying that the only way i would buy one if I had extra cash to burn – which I dont. However, HD could keep thier classic lines but create at least a small line of metric competitive bikes. This way they appeal to two types of markets.
And yes companies asking for bailout money is ridiculous. It basically says companies can be irresponsible and there would be no consequence to poor business decisions.
I really hope they make it through tough times without a bail out. The rest of us have to.January 26, 2009 at 3:53 pm #16028
But I doubt they’re going to get it. HD’s historic problems with reliability hurt them, and their price hurts them a lot. With most of their bikes selling for over $15k, I’d have to think long and hard about buying one. Especially when the top of the line Honda VTX sells for less than $15k.January 27, 2009 at 12:13 am #16041
Companies who dont adapt to the times usually dont make it through the decade:
all had business models that did not keep up with the times or it was too late…they all relied on branding instead!!January 27, 2009 at 2:09 am #16044
HD will get the bailout then go back to the same practices that got them in trouble in the first place. It’s the American way of life! Help the rich and feed all others to the wolves!January 27, 2009 at 2:10 am #16045
Not that I’m a fan of these bailouts because I’m not (just read that Citi just bought a $50mil plane) but it’s not Harley the Motorcyle Manufacture aka GM and Chrysler asking for a bailout. I’ts Harley’s financing arm like GMAC which is asking for money so they can make loans to finance the bikes that Harley sells. Just like GMAC got classified as a bank so they could get money. With the credit market locked up tight the financing arms of these companies are having problems getting lines of credit to extend loans.February 14, 2009 at 1:01 am #16485
There is always a “loophole” to be found in this and with anything. Hopefully Harley can find a way to make some changes if they do indeed make it through. Personally, if you gave me a Harley for free, I would sell it and use the money to buy a metric and still have some cash left. Even with that though, Harley is an American iconic brand and I hate to see anything happen to the company or moreso to the jobs of the people employed with them. It has a trickle-down effect that will go as far reaching as the Mom and Pop bike shops that service them and would impact many, many people. Good luck to them and may they find the means and sense, if given a second chance, to turn their line around. Bikers are much more embracing of metrics nowadays anyway.January 2, 2016 at 8:48 pm #29980
More competent on two wheels?
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