Docstoc

The_Competition_Between_Japanese_Manufacturers_And_The_Harley-davidson_Motorcycle

Document Sample
The_Competition_Between_Japanese_Manufacturers_And_The_Harley-davidson_Motorcycle Powered By Docstoc
					Title:
The Competition Between Japanese Manufacturers And The Harley-davidson
Motorcycle

Word Count:
533

Summary:
The motorcycle is widely regarded as a symbol of the rebel, a
representation of youth, and an icon of Americana. The first recognized
motorcycle design was made by a pair of German engineers in 1885, in what
was, essentially, a bicycle with an engine. While Japanese manufacturers
like Suzuki dominate the motorcycle market globally, in America, the
Harley-Davidson company has firm control over the market.

It was during the late eighties and early nineties that Japanese manu...


Keywords:
motorcycle, Harley-Davidson


Article Body:
The motorcycle is widely regarded as a symbol of the rebel, a
representation of youth, and an icon of Americana. The first recognized
motorcycle design was made by a pair of German engineers in 1885, in what
was, essentially, a bicycle with an engine. While Japanese manufacturers
like Suzuki dominate the motorcycle market globally, in America, the
Harley-Davidson company has firm control over the market.

It was during the late eighties and early nineties that Japanese
manufacturers such as Suzuki, Kawasaki, Honda, and Yamaha gained a
foothold in the worldwide motorcycle market that they have never let go.
They were designed and built with better performance, better handling,
and better quality. It is no secret that their promotional campaigns
during the early years also targeted the negative reputation of the
Harley-riding bikers and the public fear of biker gangs. While such
attacks ceased quickly, the tarnish it left in the reputation of the
Harley has not been removed. That alone is speculated to be the cause of
Japanese manufacturers holding such a strong presence, even with the
American buying public. Also, by reputation, the Japanese machines were
easier to maintain and the general public did not associate them with
leather-clad degenerates, though the biker stereotype is drastically
incorrect.

However, competition has not driven the main American manufacturer,
Harley-Davidson, into the background. After taking time to formulate the
proper strategy, the American manufacturer returned to take back its
market share. The company did so not by attempting to match the more
family-friendly reputation of a Japanese motorcycle, but by exploiting
the appeal of their older designs. Marketing the re-worked designs as
distinctly American machines, the company rapidly regained its former
customer base. They increased their hold further by appealing to
collectors, such as comedian Jay Leno, and making their machines easy to
customize and re-tool. In fact, it is the customization market that has
really allowed Harley-Davidson to stay so long in the game despite stiff
competition from the likes of Kawasaki and Honda. There is a saying that
goes to state that the rarest type of Harley one can find is one that is
completely stock; that is, one that has not been modified in any way.
Indeed, many Harley enthusiasts believe that the main weakness of
Japanese bikes is that they are not as easily customizable as a Harley
is.

Regardless of whether or not one believes the reputation of Harley biker
gangs or enjoys being able to customize their personal motorcycle, these
machines are here to stay. Production of both Japanese and American bikes
have not slowed down and there are, statistically, more bike owners than
automobile owners. That statistic holds especially true outside the US,
where a bike is a more common means of private transportation for the
average citizen than a car is. This embracing of the motorcycle is
happening despite the higher accident rate for bikes than any other
private land vehicle out there. It doesn't seem to matter what country
one goes to; the youth of every culture seems to view these two-wheeled
machines as symbols of teenage euphoria and thus, the adrenaline rush
associated with a bike ride is, as they say, like nothing in this world.

				
DOCUMENT INFO