Harley-Davidson (H-D) Incorporation, a more than one hundred (100) years old company focuses on manufacturing preferred motorcycles in the international market (Cullen and Praveen pg. 210). In 2207, the company reinvented its mission mentioning its focus on providing motorcycles to both motorcyclists and the public reliable customized products and services (11). The company focuses on manufacturing motorcycles, a luxury product to its North America and international market. Typically, the choice of a market has minimal downturn since the customer focus revolves social class, recognition, preservative approach and value for money. The company has experienced sales growth and fall in its domestic market has laid out a recovery plan aiming to increase its market share, profitability, and customer experience (210).
The International Market
Collectively, the international market for luxury market tends to have a smooth incremental index. Typically, the nature of goods has increased demand irrespective of the customers’ similar increase in income. As such, the demand has a smooth increase and companies eyeing on such customers has an undivided focus on quality, performance, styling (customization) and price worthiness (212). Studies have revealed an increase in the market segment for luxury motorcycles in America, Europe, Asia, Japan, China, and India.
Specifically, the international market for heavyweight motorcycles has increased significantly with various markets having different considerations for choosing a specific brand. For instance, H-B gained its product dominance due to its sociocultural nostalgia and preserved traditional affiliation with America designs (211). However, the aspect varies significantly in the international market. Various brands in the market as well have different approaches and as such contributing significantly to both H-D domestic and international competition.
The international market for the heavyweight market remains quite sensitive particularly due to customers’ variant perception and approach towards quality, reliability, price and also performance. H-D’s strongest competitors include Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, BMW, and Ducati (212). The competitors approach the market differently and as such making them individually unique and making competitiveness in the in the heavyweight motorcycles hypersensitive.
For instance, Ducati focuses on technological advancement from manufacturing to selling and collectively targets younger and with moderate financial ability. Importantly, the company has a strong approach to quality and performance. BMW as well focuses on product sophistication and safety on basis of technology (213). Honda, a strong competitor also focuses on quality and automation of its products. The company as well has heavily ventured in product diversification. Collectively, other competitors focus on environments tailored products like Yamaha and Suzuki.
H-D incorporation experienced significant challenges in the year 2008 triggered by the economic recession in America. Though the company international sales increased by twenty-five percent, its domestic sales decreased by twenty-eight percent due to adopted operation strategies. In addition to the economic downturn, the company’s financial center launched a credit facility which resulted in a huge loss on sales due to default (213). The strategy also led to a decrease in the H-D motorcycles value retention level due to increased supply in the market at bargainable prices.
Such challenges led to the proposed interventions in assisting the company to stabilize and increase its performance in both the domestic and international market. Enhancing product diversification to meet the various customer needs takes the lead with a focus on strengthening the H-D brand (214). It also aims at enhancing its operations and importantly reduce its costs and also funding the HDFS as a competitive element. H-D also aims at strengthening its approach through employee compensation, motivation, and promotions. It also focuses on enhancing its market approach and increasing its partnerships with suppliers not only to cut cost but also enhance efficiency in operations.
H-D collectively is employing the cost leadership and focus strategies. The company intends to reinvent its operations including optimizing production costs by shifting major production to areas with minimal cost implications. By cutting costs at an operational level, the company aims at optimizing its price competitiveness in the market. The focus includes including its partners and suppliers in cutting cost as a strategic approach in taking up cost leadership (213). Strategically, the cost focus aims at reaching the market segment with the moderate financial capability to competitively afford the luxury H-D heavyweight motorcycles.
In the international market, the needs of customers, abilities of suppliers and initiatives of competitors remain dynamic. As such, it remains critical for multinational companies to take into consideration threats posed by new entrants, substitutes, the power of buyers and suppliers and collectively triggering industrial rivalry. H-D initiatives as such centrally focus on creating a competitive edge by strengthening the brand, partnering with suppliers and also customizing and diversifying their products to meet the various customer purchasing power. Moreover, research and development serve a critical part of understanding the international market and making strategic decisions and initiatives to counter threats present in the market (214).
H-D stands a competitive in face of its competitors. The company not only focuses on the America tradition but has also factored in the needs and expectations of the international market. It’s stylish, custom branding and product differentiation giving it an advanced competitive advantage. Collectively, the company holds a significant percentage of the market share for the market segment and posing a significant increment in light of the proposed changes and approach.
Work Cited Page
Cullen, John B., and K. Praveen. Parboteeah. Multinational Management: a Strategic Approach. 6th ed., South-Western Cengage Learning, 2014.
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