Yesterday Saturday April 30, 2011 Harley executives stated their objectives, answered questions of shareholders with their voting on some resolutions. I summarize the main important points of this annual shareholders meeting whose theme could have been “Times are changing. The past way to do business is fading. A new Harley way is coming”.
1- HarleyDavidson executives re-affirmed their objectives to pursue growth in international markets and by expanding into new markets: young adults, women, hispanics and African-Americans. 2- For year 2010 Harley-Davidson international sales represent 35% instead of compared to 25% 4 years ago. The company expects this percentage to be around 40% in the next 2 years.
3- Harley-Davidson was the most sold on-road motorcycle brand among Americans between the age of 18 and 34. 4- Assembly plants restructuring will continue to reduce production costs. For more flexibility in adaptation to market economic conditions and seasonal sales, outsourcing of non critical parts to build motorcycles will be expanded. 5- Several incentive plans for senior executives were approved by shareholders. A proposition to eliminate the “golden coffin”benefit for key executives was rejected (Harley offers death benefits to senior executives consisting of up to 3 to 4 times their annual salary in the form of insurance proceeds, plus reimbursement for taxes on the value of such benefits)