If you ride a motorcycle, you know it all. But our numbers are dwindling. Fewer and fewer people in the United States drive today. We become a culture obsessed with security. Sitting on something with two wheels that accelerates faster than a car and has no seatbelts, airbags, or climate control does not appeal to as many people as it used to. That made it hard for any company to sell motorcycles in the US, especially Harley-Davidson.
Between the first quarter of 2017 and 2018, Harley-Davidson sales declined 1
This is the market Harley-Davidson is struggling with. An American icon that is not so hot at home but is growing internationally. That's good news, because every growth is good news.
Harley is so typically American that when Donald Trump decided on a trade war by adding tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Europe, the US rewarded the taxation of the most American things: Levi's, Jack Daniels and Harley-Davidson. The company expects that the cost of bicycles from the US to the EU will increase by $ 2,200.
"In order to cover the significant costs of this tariff burden in the long term, Harley-Davidson will implement a plan to shift the production of motorcycles for EU targets from the US to its international facilities to avoid the customs burden," the company said.
That's a smart business decision. One that leaves the light on and allows the company to continue to produce motorcycles for an American market and the rest of the world. Trump has created a situation that has put the motorcycle manufacturer in a difficult position. So it has adapted.
Then Trump got angry. He wants to tax the motorcycle manufacturer and later record via Twitter that he has done " so much " for the company. Honestly, I do not know what he's done, except to create a situation where an American icon is damned (and most likely will fold) if she keeps all her production in the United States and condemns her starting production abroad because the president does not seem to grasp the economic realities of international trade.
What's worse is that Trump's tweets could actually hurt the motorcycle manufacturer's record. Harley drivers like to know that their motorcycles are made in America. If the president calls the company's loyalty to the United States, he must reject potential buyers.
This is the opposite of the small government's republican platform. It is the commander-in-chief who pursues a firm because she has made a difficult decision. Something it has to do because the president has decided to start a ridiculous trade war.
Here's the thing; Harley-Davidson motorcycles sold in the United States continue to be built in the United States. So you can still feel patriotic when you buy from Milwaukee. In other countries, such as India, there are already production sites where bicycles are sold.
In recent years, Harley Davidson has made smart decisions. It turned out that not everyone could or wanted to afford one, when it came to his cruisers and that it had to address a much younger market. Entry-level road bikes that appeal to new drivers are now part of the lineup and the bikes have been used in X-Games contests. Besides, it gets electric. In 2014, it surprised everyone with the presentation of its LiveWire e-bike.
While one can not yet buy an electric Harley, the company takes it seriously and invested in the electric motorcycle start-up Alta to "work on electric motorcycle technology to develop new products."
The legendary motorcycle company There is still a lot to do to persuade younger drivers to switch to a brand typically associated with retirees who re-live their dreams Easy Rider . But it is tried, and if the Trump government does not want to buy a couple of hundred thousand softails to make up for the dwindling US market and EU tariffs, maybe it should get an American icon to sell the freedom on two wheels drive the rest of the world.