First time I got this question. It came from a friend who is a long time biker and successful professional investor, 2 criteria that Harley-Davidson absolutely love from its prospective dealers. So, even if you don’t intend to be like Harley says “a keeper of their unique culture” by investing millions in what the company also call in their website “the opportunity of a lifetime”, maybe you want to know the process by which your dealer became your dealer.
But first, in this economic situation, is Harley-davidson looking for new dealers? Answer, yes. Either to buy out some existing dealerships, or in geographical territories where a dealership may have been forced to close or representing a large or dense potential market. At this day April 11th, 2011 the webpage Becoming A Dealer offers opportunities in Wisconsin (4), Indiana (1), Minnesota (1) and Ohio (1) Of course you can also buy out any dealer but still will need approval of the big wigs in Milwaukee.
Now, you are going to ask, how much money? It depends… Harley states that “In order to be considered as a potential Harley-Davidson® dealer, a candidate must meet the minimum eligibility requirements set forth by Harley-Davidson Motor Company. If such requirements are met, the candidate’s information as submitted on the Prospective Dealer Application may be maintained in Harley-Davidson’s prospect database for one year, in the event opportunities become available that meet candidate criteria submitted.” and ” Although a prospect may meet Harley-Davidson’s minimum financial requirements, this does not imply that the candidate will automatically meet the financial investment necessary for a particular dealership for sale.” Ready to apply? Just fill out the Harley-Davidson Dealer Application.