MGT499-Module 4 Case- Harley-Davidson-Strength & Weaknesses

Topics: Motorcycle, Harley-Davidson, Strategic management Pages: 7 (1384 words) Published: October 26, 2014


To complete Module 3 Case Assignment, please read the information in the background material, look for more information (from previous modules and library resources), and then write a 4- to 5-page report answering the following questions:

What are H-D's top two or three strengths for moving forward in the competitive motorcycle manufacturing and sales environment?

Describe what you consider to be two or three of the weaknesses that are likely to have the greatest impact, and what H-D is doing (or should be doing) to overcome these weaknesses.

Wrap up by overviewing the more salient points of your entire SWOT analysis (from your Module 3 and 4 Case Assignments) and give your impressions in relation to whether you think the corporation will continue to be competitive and be able to continue to meet its mission.

An introduction stating the thesis, position, or central theme of your paper, a main body focusing on the key assignment specifications, and a conclusion concisely stating the main points of your analysis and the conclusions you reached.


Harley-Davidson, Inc. is a U.S. based motorcycle manufacturer which was founded in 1903 and still remain one of the best American companies. Over the years, Harley-Davidson has adopted different strategies to promote their products in order to maintain its profitability and presence in the U.S. and International market. This paper will include the internal analysis identifying the company strengths and weaknesses and my personal impression is the company will be able to continue to be competitive and able to fulfil its mission.


Harley-Davidson, Inc. is a recognized brand legend, not just in the United States but all over the world, representing value, great designs, strong performance, durability, exclusivity and great customer service. Harley-Davidson has been in business since 1903 and has endured the constant market changes and customers' demands for new products. The President and CEO of Harley-Davidson, Mr. Jim Zeiner, in 2005 have expressed the main reason of the company success: "A strong emotional tug draws people to Harley-Davidson. Emotions play a huge role in every customer relationship". Mr. Zeiner believed that "Our sense of purpose-in other words, our focus on growing demand by offering great products and unique experiences" have been one of the constants of company success (Harley-Davidson, Inc., 2005).

In order to maintain their business competitive in the motorcycle manufacturing and sales environment the company had to evolution along with these changes. One of the ways to accomplish the constant demand for new and innovative products, Harley-Davidson has created and maintained a strong research and development unit to create new innovative designs. Another feature available for Harley-Davidson customers is a webpage where customers can customize motorcycles appearance and performance, giving additional ideas to create new designs (models), attracting existing and new customers to buy Harley-Davidson bikes.

Harley-Davidson's operational excellence allow the company to reduce waste, improving quality and increase customer satisfaction by reconfiguring layouts and processes to gain capacity, reduce work-in progress and handling 50 percent, and reduce three operating shifts to two (Harley-Davidson, Inc., 2005). Through all Harley-Davidson facilities the operational excellence strategy has facilitated the workflow which allowed the company to increase their capacity of production processes. Harley-Davidson management is constantly finding ways to improve processes including standard financial software platforms that service all business units creating ways to improve forecasting for new performance accessories (Harley-Davidson, Inc.,...

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