Harley Davidson SWOT Analysis [Update 2022] ❤️

Harley Davidson SWOT Analysis 2022

Harley Davidson SWOT Analysis: Harley Davidson is arguably the most famous and well-known motorcycle brand that has ever existed. 

The company has a long record of excellence and remains faithful to its roots. Do you think Harley Davidson is capable of pivoting in spite of its 120-year-old age, into a digital age? 

Do you think Harley HOG’s history proves it’s still survived the years? Let’s examine the strengths as well as the weaknesses, opportunities, and dangers.


The company was founded in Wisconsin in 1903. They currently manufacture in other locations, including Brazil, India, Pennsylvania, and Brazil. 

It has its own merchandise based on the motorcycle line. Their customization style is what led to the creation of the chopper bike.

The military has also used Harley Davidson motorcycles, the most notable being during World Wars. The US bought around 20,000 Harley motorcycles during the First World War. 

They provided over 90,000 motorcycles for the allies and around 30,000 for the Soviet Union during the Second War. They were also used in the Korean War.

The Great Depression in the 1930s was one of the most difficult times any company has ever had to face. 

This period of turmoil was a sign that your company was well-positioned to succeed. Despite all the difficulties, Harley used certain strategies that helped them to keep up during the Depression and continue sales afterward. 

Harley and his team also designed new motorcycles and developed industrial powerplants that were based on the engines.

Harley’s history isn’t without its dark moments. They have had bad reputation, decreased sales, and suffered from declining quality. 

They were even close to bankruptcy. They have managed to successfully restructure their businesses and emerge from these periods.

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Harley Davidson – At A Glance

Company Name Harley-Davidson, Inc.
Industry Motorcycle
Founded 1903
Founders William S. Harley, Arthur Davidson, Walter Davidson, William A. Davidson
CEO Jochen Zeitz
Headquarter Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S
Annual Revenue $5.647 Billion (FY 2017)
Website www.harley-davidson.com

Introduction to Harley Davidson

Harley Davidson is a well-known brand of motorcycle. The motorcycle manufacturer is an American company that dates back around 118 years ago. 

This brand is not only an important player in India’s market but it is also one of America’s most enduring motorcycle brands.

Harley Davidson Development Timeline

1903 Arthur Davidson and William Harley, two brothers, founded their first motorcycle company.
1909 During this period, the first V-twin engines were introduced.
1936 The Knucklehead was introduced. It was the first overhead-valve engine in the company. The company survived the severe depression.
1941-1945 This period saw the manufacture of more than 90,000. The U.S Military uses the motorcycle.
1957 During this period, the new model, XL Sportster Model, was introduced.
1971 This year saw the introduction of FX Super Glide.
1984 The Evolution V-twin engine was introduced. Softail was launched.
2001 The V-Rod was equipped with a liquid-cooled motor by the brand.
2003 The 100th anniversary of the company is celebrated.

SWOT Analysis for Harley Davidson

Harley Davidson is a well-respected motorcycle manufacturer. To maintain their position, Harley-Davidson SWOT analysis is required. 

It is vital to identify the company’s strengths and weaknesses. A company’s strength can lead to increased revenue. 

The company can help improve its actions by analyzing its opportunities and threats. This can be done with the Harley Davidson SWOT analysis.

Strengths for Harley Davidson in SWOT Analysis

  • With 117 years of company history, Harley-Davidson has strong brand recognition and a position of leadership in motorcycle innovation within the US. Scarrow (2021) stated the fact that Harley-Davidson motorcycles are distinctive in design, features, and innovative design, customized with a distinctive sound, high-quality, and dependability, making it a legendary ‘brand cult’.
  • Harley-Davidson has impressive product innovative capabilities that allow it to maintain its position as a market top motorcycle manufacturer. The company in 2021 introduced adventure bikes in order to compete with Honda or BMW. Hyatt (2021) stated that the company had introduced sleeker and smaller bikes like the Electric bikes and Serial-1 across the US.
  • In the market for heavyweight motorcycles (engine displacement of more than 600 cubic centimeters), the Harley division controls half of the US market by manufacturing and selling the most prestigious motorcycles. The cult brand of Harley-Davidson established in American consumers’ minds continues to draw and keep customers (Harley-Davidson 2021).
  •  Harley-Davidson has a strong dealer and distribution system for customer retention and satisfaction. The availability of parts, motorcycles, and accessories as well as financing, merchandising, and insurance via the global dealer network is regarded as to be a competitive advantage. The company, as of 2020 owns 1379 dealerships of which 630 are located in the US and 370 in Europe along with 281 dealerships in the Asia Pacific region.
  • As per Forbes (2021), Harley-Davidson retains a substantial customer base that is loyal to the brand and feels proud of owning the brand’s motorcycles. The company has a huge brand community across the US which is managed through clubs, events, and museums.

Weakness for Harley Davidson in SWOT Analysis

  • The track record for environmental consideration isn’t very encouraging. The Barker Harley’s track record in environmental concerns isn’t very positive. As per George Athanassakos, Reyer Barel, and Saj Karsan, this could result in a backlash from consumers because customers are now considering environmental protection as an integral the business process.
  • Customer Dissatisfaction although the demands for products have not decreased, however, there is a simmering sense of discontent among patrons at Barkar Harley. This is evident in the reviews on different online platforms. Barker Harley should be focusing on areas in which it can enhance the customer’s purchase experience and post-purchase customer service.
  •  Barker Harley’s company model could easily be replicated, regardless of the number of patents and copyrights that the company has. Intellectual property rights are difficult to put into practice in the field in which Barkar Harley is operating. As per George Athanassakos, Reyer Barel, Saj Karsan, Intellectual Property Rights are efficient in stopping competition of the same size but they are difficult to stop start-ups disrupting markets at different levels.
  • The process of Project Management is too focused on internal delivery, rather than focusing on the needs of other stakeholders. This could lead to bad public relations and even negative customer reactions.
  • The implementation of Technology in Processes – While Barkar Harley is integrating technology into the backend processes, they are not yet been able to harness the capabilities of technology in front-end processes.
  • A low Return on Investment While Barkar Harley is having a solid balance sheet, one of the measures that require attention is “Return on Capital Invested”. Based on George Athanassakos, Reyer Barel, and Saj Karsan in the areas of Financial analysis Accounting, Financial management, and Pricing Barkar Harley operates in the most reliable way to measure profitability. The best indicator is the Return on Invested Capital instead of the other metrics that are favored by financial analysts like Return on Equity and the Return on Assets.

Opportunities for Harley Davidson in SWOT Analysis

  • Asian and Europe Markets in Europe and Asia Demand in the emerging Asian and European countries is growing to Harley which means that there are a lot of (rather none) companies competing in this area. Therefore, it’s an excellent chance that could allow Harley to take advantage of these markets with a ferocious approach.
  • Lower CC bikes with their own group of loyal fans are able to attract young customers who it is able to launch low-end heavyweight vehicles (say 350CC) that will allow the company to expand its customer base.
  • Women and Young riders: Harley could benefit from its more aggressive marketing strategies to expand its customer base by targeting segments that aren’t being reached. In 2000, for instance, women were buying around 15,000 motorcycles each year. In only five years, sales to females increased to more than thirty thousand motorcycles annually. In 2006, females accounted for 12 percent of motorcycle sales.

Threats for Harley Davidson in SWOT Analysis

  • Davidson may be at risk of legal claims due to the change in market policies. The growing strength of local distributors can also pose a threat to certain markets, as competitors are paying higher prices to local distributors.
  • Stable profitability has led to an increase in the number of companies in this industry over the last two years, which has resulted in downward pressure on not just the profits but also the overall sales. The shortage of skilled workers in specific global markets poses an issue for the steady increase in earnings for Harley-Davidson in these markets. The need for highly profitable products is seasonal, so any unavoidable event during the peak season could cause a short or medium time impact on the profits of the business.
  • The company has created a variety of products over time, However, these are usually in response to the development of other players. Furthermore, new products do not provide regularly, so the quantity of sales in the past has varied greatly and slowly. The increase in wages can put an impact on the profits of Harley-Davidson, particularly for $15 per hour, and the rising prices of China. Due to the unstable political environment in various markets across the world, It is also subject to the fluctuation of currencies in a variety of nations.

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Limitations of the SWOT Analysis for Harley-Davidson

The SWOT analysis is a popular tool for strategic planning, but it does have some limitations.

  • Some capabilities or factors can be both a strength or a weakness of an organization. This is one of the main limitations of SWOT analysis. If the company is able to develop products faster than its competitors, changing environmental regulations could be a threat or a benefit.
  • SWOT is not a way to gain a competitive advantage. It should not be a goal in and of itself.
  • This matrix is just a starting point to discuss how strategies might be implemented. The matrix provided an evaluation window, but not an implementation plan. It was not based on the strategic competitiveness of Harley-Davidson.
  • SWOT is a static analysis – an analysis of the status quo that includes a few potential changes. The dynamics of a competitive landscape may change as circumstances, capabilities, threats, and strategies change.
  • The SWOT analysis could lead a firm to focus too much on one external or internal factor when formulating its strategies. SWOT analysis may not show the interdependencies between key internal and external factors. This could be a problem when devising strategies.

A SWOT analysis of Harley-Davidson that is weighted

Due to the previously stated shortcomings of the SWOT analysis/ matrix, the management of corporations has decided to assign an appropriate amount of weightage for every internal strength and weakness of the business. 

They also consider the likeliness of events that will occur in the near future and what the effect can be on the performance of the company.

This method is known as a weighted SWOT analysis. It’s better than basic SWOT analysis since With weighted SWOT analysis Harley-Davidson managers are able to focus on the most important aspects and eliminate the less important ones.

It also eliminates the problem of a long list which is when organizations make an extensive list, but none of the elements are considered to be important.

Key Points and Recommendations: SWOT Analysis of Harley-Davidson Inc.

The SWOT analysis of Harley-Davidson shows the need to reform the company. There are opportunities to grow the global motorcycle market, but Harley-Davidson has a narrow product range, limited market reach, and a restricted supply chain. 

The company must also address the environmentalism trend that affects the competitiveness and quality of gasoline-powered motorcycles. These are some suggestions for Harley-Davidson Inc. that will help to address the issues identified in the SWOT analysis.

  1. Expand the product range beyond current motorcycles by innovating and diversifying.
  2. Expand manufacturing and sales globally, particularly in developing markets.
  3. Global expansion of the supply chain is supported by the adoption of new strategies to adapt to changing circumstances.
  4. Innovate to make Harley-Davidson’s products and brand known for their environmental friendliness.


  • About Harley-Davidson.
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  • Harley-Davidson, Inc. – Form 10-K.
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  • Stoycheva, S., Marchese, D., Paul, C., Padoan, S., Juhmani, A. S., & Linkov, I. (2018). Multi-criteria decision analysis framework for sustainable manufacturing in the automotive industry. Journal of Cleaner Production187, 257-272.
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  • Valentin, E. K. (2001). SWOT analysis from a resource-based view. Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, 54-69.
  • Vlados, C. (2019). On a correlative and evolutionary SWOT analysis. Journal of Strategy and Management, 12(3), 347-363.

Harley Davidson SWOT Analysis: Conclusion

With the SWOT Analyse, we can see that Harley is an established motorcycle manufacturer However, there are particular threats that are still lingering. 

If the business fails to address these issues promptly and effectively, it could lose its place they are in.

Harley Davidson has stood the test of time to date. But, the conditions in the world of consumer products are changing rapidly. 

To see if the company is able to tackle the challenges it faces today, we need to allow it more time. They have the capability to tackle the issue; it’s all about whether they put their efforts into this area or not.

If you’re ever required to comprehend a company from a strategic horizon, this is where a SWOT Analysis can help tremendously. 

It’s an instrument that helps you determine strengths, weaknesses potential threats, opportunities, and weaknesses and then analyze them to better understand the business’s activities.

We’ve got a Template for SWOT Analysis as well as a variety of examples of SWOT analysis that could be helpful for anyone wanting to perform your own SWOT Analysis. 

The detailed SWOT analysis guide can aid in your understanding of the challenge that you have to complete.

A third and final instrument called another useful tool is the SWOT Table. The creation of a table such as this will give a quick but useful overview to anyone reading about the company.

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