Strategic Management  Essay Assignment Paper

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 Strategic Management  Essay Assignment Paper


Place yourself in the role of a market manager at Harley Davidson. Your company, Harley-Davidson, has chosen to compete in various country markets in Europe and Asia using an export strategy. Read the sections of its latest annual reports from 2009 and 2010 at related to its international operations. Why does it seem that the company has avoided developing production facilities outside the United States?

Harley-Davidson is a company of many strengths, from their dedicated and loyal customers, to the quality American engineered engines, and their strong culture with roots that go deep. The popularity of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle might have begun here in America but it definitely did not stop there. From Canada to the UK and now Europe and Asia…no one has been able to replicate the powerful cruiser motorcycle design so many Harley-Davidson riders respect. “We see it in the motorcycles they ride, the individuality they express and their dedication to the ultimate riding experience. When you have such an expansive and devoted global community of riders, it’s more than a business advantage; it’s an obligation we take very seriously to exceed expectations” (Anonymous, 2009). Harley-Davidson’s senior management wisely revised their business strategy to encompass its’ opportunity for global expansion and growth. By reexamining their strategy to meet the transnational demands of global consumers, Harley-Davidson has increased its global footprint and overall sales. Developing a global strategy involves the company employing the same basic competitive approach in all countries where it operates, sells the same product, in our case motorcycles, everywhere, striving to build and maintain their global brand, and coordinating its actions worldwide with strong communication and control (Thompson, 2012). <o:p></o:p>

Student 1 response

Companies that are successful at translating their company’s brand globally, are ones that take into account other cultures and tailor their product to meet their needs. Examples from the text include Unilever developing single load detergent packets versus a large quantity product to impoverished countries where they only focus on buying what is needed for the immediate use. Unilever surveyed the country, its culture, and how consumers operate and then set out to create a product that would meet the needs of the consumer. The result was an overwhelming success. From the 2009 Annual Report of Harley-Davidson, the company outlined its goals for global outreach: “A disciplined, systematic approach is also key to growing our global family in places like India, where we are taking a primary role in defining the emerging leisure riding market. We’ve studied the <o:p></o:p>

market in depth, laid the groundwork and will start selling this summer. And<o:p></o:p>

consumer enthusiasm is greater than we ever imagined” (Anonymous, 2009). Expansion to the European market was met with great success as well. From 2009 to present, Harley-Davidson has been a major player in Europe, climbing up to the number 3 spot for heavy weight motorcycles. <o:p></o:p>

Harley-Davidson’s one hundred year iconic history and culture, coupled with state of the art engineering and craftsmanship in their motorcycles, has been key to their success in the past and onward for the future. Their short term goal is to have 40% of their total international retail unit sales of Harley-Davidson motorcycles by 2014. With their history of fine-tuning their business strategy to meet the needs of the economy, the demands of their customers, and the needs of different international markets, I have no doubt Harley-Davidson will live on for at least another hundred years to come.

Student 2 response

Beginning in 1907, Harley Davidson was put together by two friends, Arthur Davidson and William Harley, who wanted to develop a motor-powered bicycle (Harley Davidson History, n.d.). The company has since evolved into a multinational multibillion-dollar company.

Over the years, Harley-Davidson has expanded into a number of different markets and countries; however, they have not shipped production overseas. The executives at Harley Davidson explicitly explain why production overseas would not be a financially sound decision. International sales reflect regional riding seasons, and dealers tend to stock less inventory during the off seasons (Harley Davidson, Inc., 2011, p. 9). With seasonal sales being an issue, Harley Davidson explains that international production would not be level throughout the year. Also, international sales total approximately 33 percent of total sales, more data supporting the idea that international production is not a sound business decision at this point (Harley Davidson, Inc., 2011, p. 6).

Regulation also plays a large role in any American company’s decision to move production to other countries. Not just regulations from the U.S. government but also regulations from the host country are considerations. Moving production would reduce the production needs from home facilities supplying international inventory, limiting time and/or jobs in U.S. factories.



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