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Harley-Davidson Case Study

Case Study and Analysis Harley-Davidson, Inc. An Overview of Harley-Davidson, Inc. In 1903 William S. Harley and the Davidson brothers – Walter and Arthur – handcrafted their first three motorcycles in Milwaukee, Wis. William A. Davidson later joined the enterprise. In 1909 Harley-Davidson® introduced the first V-Twin engine. As America was drawn into World War 1 in 1917-1918 Harley-Davidson began production of 20,000 military motorcycles to serve the U.S. Allied forces. By the 1930s Harley-Davidson and Indian were the sole U.S. motorcycle manufacturers to survive the Great Depression. Between 1941-45 nearly all of Harley-Davidson’s manufacturing output supported the World War II effort of the U.S. and its Allies, with more than 90,000 motorcycles used by the Allied forces. To meet the exploding, postwar demand for motorcycles, Harley-Davidson, in 1947, acquired a second manufacturing plant – the Capitol Drive facility in Wauwatosa, Wis., and in 1957 The lightweight and sporty XL Sportster® model was introduced. Privately-held family ownership ended in 1965 with the first public stock offering, and in 1969 Harley-Davidson merged with American Machine and Foundry (AMF). 14,000 motorcycles were produced annually. As American values and needs began to change in the 1970’s, the FX Super Glide® model – a hybrid of the Electra-Glide® and Sportster® models – was introduced as a precursor to the “Factory Custom” motorcycle. Then, in 1973 Motorcycle final assembly was moved to York, Pa., to meet growing demand. The “Factory Custom” phenomenon was further established in 1977 as the FXRS Low Rider® joined the Harley-Davidson model line. In 1981 Thirteen members of Harley-Davidson’s senior management purchase the company back from AMF in a leveraged buyout and implemented new quality management and manufacturing methods. In 1982 Harley-Davidson successfully petitioned the U.S. federal gove...

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Harley-Davidson Case Study. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 21:14, August 27, 2014, from