Harley-Davidson Demographics. Update.

Harley-Davidson has a strategy in place to expand their global presence and reach new demographics in the U.S. and in international markets. Currently, a majority of their customers still reside in the U.S. However, international retail sales have been growing as a percent of total sales. In fact, Harley believes that by 2014 over 40% of their retail sales will occur outside the U.S.

Harley-Davidson is currently executing a multi-generational and multi-cultural marketing strategy in the U.S. The success of this strategy is measured by internally monitoring market shares within targeted customer segments of Core (Caucasian men 35+), young adults (men and women 18-34), women (Caucasian women 35+) and diverse men and women (African-American and Hispanic 35+).

Motorcycle registration results show Harley-Davidson is the segment leader in U.S. on-road motorcycle registrations, both in terms of heavyweight (651cc+) registrations and all displacement (all cc) registrations, across their targeted demographic customer definitions including: Core Customers, Young Adults, Women, Diverse Customers. (Based on national R.L. Polk & Co. motorcycle registrations 2006 through 2009)

Let’s wait for the 2010 data to see if all these trends are confirmed. I would say yes…(to follow)

19 Responses to “Harley-Davidson Demographics. Update.”

  1. 1 Derick Feb 18th, 2011 at 11:02 am

    Harley on the right path? Yes, with abroad sales.

  2. 2 Imaginethat Feb 18th, 2011 at 11:25 am

    From what I have seen from there “new” offerings they are rehashing old ideas, that others have already out out. I believe it may be time for some new stylists at the company.t

  3. 3 1550tc Feb 18th, 2011 at 11:54 am

    Their core demo is still like cadillac’s was 15-20 years ago …….good move going to other markets were owning some american products is cool, trendy and cult like……….

  4. 4 zyon Feb 18th, 2011 at 11:57 am

    This data is compiled from 2009 sales. We are headed into the third month of the first quarter of 2011 and Harley is still projecting off of 2009 sales. As an investor, I would be seriously bothered by this given the decline in sales over 2010. Harley seems to always be looking in the past and never at right now or the future.

    According to Harley, they took a 40mil plus hit in the 4th quarter of 2010 and lost a percentage point in sales. They lost 2.5% in international markets. Sales were steady compared to 2009 but 2009 was no banner year for the company. So how is Harley going to increase their market share in that short of a time frame with the same tired advertising and designs?


  5. 5 J Feb 18th, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Paralysis by analysis……..

  6. 6 Mike Tomas, Kiwi Indian MotorCycle Co Feb 19th, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Harley is an American Icon company well recognized worldwide. This is a company that can get stuck in and take a leadership role and do anything it sets its mind to. Cadillac did it and did an awesome job. It used to be an old foggies car but it set forth to reinvent itself and appeal to a younger demographic. Harley still needs some internal cultural changes but at least they are finally shaking the tree. “We can’t change the past but we can create the future”.

  7. 7 old skool Feb 19th, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    I think Zyon is right on. He offers the REALITY behind the numbers. I think there is room for satisfying the traditional Harley rider (who by the way exists in all categories) and also look to create a strategy and product that appeals to others. As for ethnic culture and politics, anyone in business knows that growth is based on creating and fulfilling demand (profitably) and part of that process is knowing the customers you are targeting and attempting to create demand by offering products that appeal to “them”. So if DJ can immaturely categorize Mexicans and Blacks by the type of seat or bobblehead they prefer, why cant a company do a little more in depth (and relevant) analysis in order to determine a growth strategy?

  8. 8 Doc Robinson Feb 20th, 2011 at 4:00 am

    DJ – shame on you for your racist comments! Cyril, I am surprised you left his post up!

  9. 9 DJ Feb 20th, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    Doc.. Shame on you for playing into this whole liberal hug a foreigner thing. Look- if you want to be equal then quit trying to make yourself seperate. I am tired of the race lines. The goal is to all be one race then everyone has got to start acting the same. You will never get passed all this race crap until then. As an American I say move on or move out. As a biker I say if you can’t move on then I will move you out

  10. 10 Old Skool Feb 20th, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    As an American who is black, I have to admit, I agree with DJ regarding “One Race”!!!! Too many of us are tainted by all of this race BS. Live right, live long and ride hard!!!!

  11. 11 Hark Feb 21st, 2011 at 8:45 am


    Again another great post. Few know what Harley-Davidson is really up to and never will. Each year they seem to find a way to come out with not only a new bike, but merchandise as well. I have yet to see someone with a Honda Tattoo.

    Expect to see major changes in the York plant sometime this year. I don’t want to let the cat out….but what they are doing will save the Motor Company hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    With the reduction of bikes now being made by the Motor Company we should expect used bike prices to rise. How much is the question…maybe not what we saw over three years ago, but certainly reduced production will create a higher demand for used bikes. A very small dealership in Florida sold 50 bikes last month, 40 of those bikes were used. I see the waiting list for a new bike right around the corner…this is a great thing for investors.

    No bike sounds or compairs to a Harley. In most every case those who bad mouth Harley can’t afford to ride one. Keep on trying to make your Jap bike sound like a Harley…it is only a game Fools Play. When you take off…all the Harley Riders are laughing at you. You will never ever be able to copy the sound.REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

  12. 12 Richard Feb 21st, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Does it not say above that Harley is the leader in registrations across their targeted demographic customer definitions? It tells me that they must be doing more right than wrong; and that they obviously know the customer likes and dislikes better than most builders. Also, if they are antiquated etc., how come most of the asian manufacturers, have a Harley “look-alike” for most Harley models in their lineup?

  13. 13 dragon Feb 21st, 2011 at 2:40 pm


  14. 14 just my opinion Feb 21st, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    Just curious does anyone really believe this obvious HD propaganda? I like how they say.

    “Motorcycle registration results show Harley-Davidson is the segment leader in U.S. on-road motorcycle registrations, both in terms of heavyweight (651cc+) registrations and all displacement (all cc) registrations”

    Is that intentionally written to sound like HD out sells all other bike manufactures combined? It certainly looks that way, But the all telling truth comes at the end of that statement.

    ” targeted demographic customer definitions”

    So is HD saying that among “their customers” they out sell all other manufactures? WELL NO SHIT

    Using that approach Dodge out sold all foreign and domestic auto manufactures combined when it comes to selling cars to Dodge ownersand people that prefer Dodge over any other brand. I bet McDonalds out sells all other burger makers when it comes to selling Big Macs and I bet Coke out sells all soda manufactures when it comes to selling coke to those that prefer coke over any other brand.

    I am just curious. Does HD really think we are all that stupid to believe this obvious nonsense? Don’t take this the wrong way because I hope HD builds and sells a million bikes a year but putting stupid press releases like this out there won’t get it done.

    And did anyone else notice HD announced that they will be paying a dividend to their share/stock holders next quarter? Last I saw they are lossing money. How do you pay a dividend when your company has no profits and has had no profits for at least a couple years? I admit freely that I am not the smartest guy on the block but non of this makes any sense to me. Maybe someone could explain these things.

  15. 15 DJ Feb 22nd, 2011 at 5:11 am

    I see my post was taken down.. Awww Doc got his little feelings hurt! I guess this is the new american way. Everyone pretend issues don’t exist. Love your blog Cyril, too bad it fell victim to censorship-Net neutrality here we come!

  16. 16 Cyril Huze Feb 22nd, 2011 at 6:48 am

    DJ. Your comment was violating our terms and conditions.

    Net neutrality. You are confused. It has nothing to do with censorship of readers. Net neutrality is of concern for website owners, not for the readers. It already exists.


  17. 17 Grayhawk Feb 22nd, 2011 at 11:18 am

    A different insight from a different brand:

    Excerpt from the Japanese Brand Honda, financial report;

    Harley-Davidson maintains a large lead in its dominance in the US Heavyweight Motorcycle market as compared to Honda and others. Unlike Harley, Honda specializes in the full array of motorcycles, ranging from dinky scooters sold primarily in emerging markets to the heavyweights Harley is known for. This means that HOG and Honda’s respective sales react differently to economic changes. As Harley’s are seldom used as primary transportation, but rather as a recreational vehicle, HOG’s sales generally fall off during economic slowdowns as people have less disposable income. On the other hand, especially in emerging markets, Honda’s motorcycles serve as a primary transportation method for lower income individuals, meaning that growing wealth can drive consumers to automobiles, which the company hopes will be also made by Honda.

    Research indicates that Honda’s motorcycle dealerships rank well below both the industry average and Harley-Davidson’s number one position for customer satisfaction.[60]

  18. 18 DJ Feb 22nd, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    Net Neutrality IS 100% a back door attempt to censor what is posted and what information can and can’t be distributed. If you think it is anything else you are fooling yourself

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