Fast Motorcycle Industry News

fastnewscyrilhuzeblog21111[1]In the US, a whopping 367 print magazines closed in 2009. As you know, some digital magazines like the Cyril Huze Blog have had explosive growth since day one 3 years ago with a readership already 4 times larger than the #1 motorcycle print magazine. The reason? Not the recession but a complete change in the way readers want to get their news – fast, credible and free – with the possibility for them to participate and interact. Logically, most advertisers have fled print magazines and followed their potential clients where they are, in cyberspace… – Because California accounts for 10% of all U.S. motorcycle sales, it is logical that the new Indian Motorcycle company wanted to get its models cleared by EPA for sale in this state.

Indian bikes passed the tough emissions standards and the company can now open new dealerships in California. This spring the 2010 Indian Chief will be sold via 2 dealers, one in Harbor City (California Harley and Indian of Los Angeles) and the other one in Fresno (based out of a Subaru Dealership) – The last 2010 produced Buell along with 11 several other past models produced at the company’s East Troy, Wis, factory, have been donated to the Barber Motorsports Museum in Leeds, Alabama – As you already know, Harley-Davidson is continuing  to secure permission for setting up its retail outlets in India. Concrete reports state that Harley is expected to have an assembly plant in this country at the end of 2010 or 2011. Until then, the “All American Bike” manufacturer will have to pay heavy import duties.

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12 Responses to “Fast Motorcycle Industry News”


  1. 1 Len Hanger Dec 27th, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    Amazing how the blogs & web have changed readers. Great post on trends. Thanks!

  2. 2 fuji Dec 27th, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    Harley-Davidson
    Duplication in China next ?
    Will American [ Harley } plants be a thing of the past or for assembly only to label the hog as American made ?

  3. 3 Dave Blevins Dec 27th, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    Topic 1… Great going Cyril !
    Topic 2… Great going Indian !
    Topic 3… I have no problem with HD producing bikes in India for foreign buyers, but I would never want to own a Harley built in a foreign land, it just wouldn’t be the same. One can only hope this is not HD’s ultimate goal.

  4. 4 fuji Dec 28th, 2009 at 9:44 am

    Dave Blevins
    Topic 3…
    A – I have no problem with HD producing bikes in India for foreign buyers,
    B – I would never want to own a Harley built in a foreign land, it just wouldn’t be the same. One can only hope this is not HD’s ultimate goal.

    I’m not taking issue with you but just talking.
    Assuming that Harley’s quality control “India’ is on par with US built bikes and I’m sure it will be, would owning a Harley be less significant.
    My point being is/are people from other country’s buying the bike, or are they buying the American made Harley culture or both.

    With all due respect to US jobs how many more US Harley employees will lose their positions for lack of offshore shipments if and when India comes on line. I can see more pain coming to Harley employees in the US

    Here is a statement made buy a stock investor back in October this year that I found to be interesting.
    Harley { hog } has a goal of 40% international sales by 2014. Is it possible that they could reach that mark without any significant sales growth overall . International sales are very critical for the Co

  5. 5 Lyle Dec 28th, 2009 at 10:26 am

    Congrats to Indian! But why a Subaru based dealership? Wouldn’t you want to buy your new bike from motorcycle savvy people?

    Regarding HD’s Indian assembly, isn’t it just good business to create a plant in India where they can bypass the tariffs? Indian used to have a Canadian plant back in it’s early days.

    But I would have to agree, HD should keep it’s USA sales to USA produced bikes. The question is: What will the Europeans think of an Indian produced HD? I wouldn’t think there’d be enough sales in India to support an entire factory….But what do I know.

  6. 6 Dave Blevins Dec 28th, 2009 at 11:30 am

    Fuji
    I was only making the point that I prefer to own (whenever possible) a product made in the USA. And yes, I realize there are parts of Harley bikes made outside the US, but still the bike is an American machine, built in America. I like that other nations appreciate Americana (blue jeans, rock-n-roll, Harleys, etc), it’s just a shame that unfair tarrif laws require mfg offshore to compete… which brings us to Lyle’s point, is a Harley made outside of the USA really the same? I suppose time will tell.

  7. 7 Darin Maltsberger-Instructor@MTI Dec 28th, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    Cyril,

    Excellent work is always rewarded. You bring the news the way we want to hear it. fast and to the point. I still get several printed periodicals and I am always a littje disappointed when I see information that is 6mos. old being touted as “breaking news.”

    As for Harley-Davidsons’ move towards manufacturing in India, I have to agree with many of the other posts here wanting to see bikes sold in the U.S continue to be built in the U.S. I do however have a little insight into why they are doing this. Last summer I was invited to the east coast for a training session with a company which produces hand-held products and is a major supporter of Mitchell Technical Institute Powersports program.( I utilize their two-stroke technology in my teaching) This manufacturer is the leader in their industry, very similar to the position that H-D holds in the motorcycle industry. While at this training session I was able to have dinner with a member of their marketing team and other key individuals in their distribution department. I was shocked when they casually mentioned that they would be opening a manufacturing facility in China to build two new models of their product.
    Being the ever curious person I am, I asked them why?. These gentlemen explained the vast number of “knock-off ” products being produced in China and being imported into the U.S. They even had several examples back at the office. Without a production facility in China, the company has no grounds to argue pattent infringements in China or try to control the imports of poor quality copied equipment. Now it made sense. I was also told that these models would be low end, entry level products, not the high end products with the convenience features that U.S. customers demand.
    I don’t know that this is what H-D is up to, but I would think that their products are probably being copied internationally as well. I will be curious to find out how this all plays out.

    -Darin

  8. 8 Knucklehead Dec 28th, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    This still is not like a magazine. I still enjoy reading one. There is a lot to one. Where here I have to search back and forth. Good reads here but it ain’t the same.

  9. 9 fuji Dec 28th, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    Darin Maltsberger-Instructor@MTI
    I don’t know that this is what H-D is up to, but I would think that their products are probably being copied internationally as well. I will be curious to find out how this all plays out.

    China has been copying small bore Hondas for years. Honda took the position of forming an alliance with some Chinese manufacturers rather than a legal posture which would have taken years to resolve while those manufactures continued to sell knock offs.
    Honda built new models using Japanese technology and Chinese parts because they could be produced cheaper. Labor / wages were half of Japanese labor. Give and take

  10. 10 maroco Dec 28th, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    Hope the magazines can survive at this new world of information, the big problem it´s the information can be copy or change in bad way.
    The readers needs solid information from the experts and from good sources like this blog.
    Good mags. have to adapted, and keep provide us whit good news.

  11. 11 just my opinion Dec 28th, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Darin;
    I don’t believe for a minute that the reason American companies would move their operations to China is for patent protection. First off if these companies have chinese patents they would be inforcable whether the company’s are physically in china or not. Secondly even if there was knockoff parts coming into the USA from china we have very strong laws here that allow for ceasure of knockoff products that are patented. Let’s just be honest the reason for moving a company to china is purely monitary plain and simply. China will allow companies to polute the air and land. The united States will tax the hell out a company for doing so. Chinese people are allowed to work 12 hour shift without over time pay. And lets not forget that our USA government in their ultimate wisdom will allow these companies to import these cheaper made products back to the states for little or no fees or taxes. There are many more reasons to build in china all of which have to do with saving money. Nothing more or nothing less.

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