When Buell officials thanked the company’s customers, employees and dealers for an unforgettable ride, it meant that it’s was over for the only American sport bikes brand. After Erik Buell made his emotional good-bye speech, President Jon Flickinger said a limited number of motorcycles were available for sale through authorized dealerships and that production will end definitively on October 30. But is it really over? Since the dramatic news of Thursday October 15, many things have happened.
Last Friday, the Walworth County Economic Development of Wisconsin where Buell’s plant s located, sent a letter to Erik Buell to see if the Association could help him put together a business plan for Buell to continue manufacturing motorcycles. Practically, the association is proposing to help find investors to rescue the manufacturer and save 180 jobs in the city of East Troy. Think about it. Buell, although geographically away from Harley-Davidson, is so integrated with the mother company for its components that Harley didn’t and can’t sell Buell. Harley is just discontinuing its assistance in parts & technology. Without it, Buell Motorcycle Company is dead. Except if Harley-Davidson would both let Erik Buell continue to exploit the Buell name and its goodwill value, let him use the designs, models and technology acquired during the last 26 years, and Erik Buell finding the adequate pool of investors. The only reason I see for Harley-davidson to refuse would be if the company intended to enter later the sport bikes segment. As the opposite, Harley stated that the company wants to re-focus on its big cruiser & trike models. So, why not? FYI, my sources also tell me that Wandell is submerged under letters of Buell supporters asking him to reconsider his decision. I don’t believe it will happen, but Buell restarting smaller and stronger without harley and new partners is still a possibility. How many brands were born again & again & again…? What do you think? Buell Motorcycle Company