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Good read here on where Harley-Davidson sits at the most macro level and it isn't good:


The S&P 500 is usually considered the best measure of how the American economy is doing. The index includes companies like Chevron, Microsoft, and JPMorgan Chase, companies worth billions that are intended to be representative of the American economy. The S&P 500 also includes Harley-Davidson, though not for much longer.

On Friday, S&P Dow Jones Indices announced that it was booting Harley and two others from the list, effective June 22. It was doing so, it said, “ensure each index more appropriately represents its market capitalization range,” which is a nice way of saying that Harley simply isn’t a big enough player anymore to be placed alongside America’s biggest corporations.

Harley will now be listed in the S&P Midcap 400, alongside companies like Dick’s Sporting Goods, Papa John’s, and Gamestop. Harley’s current value is a little under $4 billion, and one requirement to get into the S&P 500 in the first place is to be worth more than double that.

This is all mostly a shot at Harley’s pride, as being among the S&P 500 doesn’t confer companies with any special privileges, it’s more just that a committee of people thinks your company is big enough to be there, which Harley, these days, simply isn’t.

For Harley’s new CEO Jochen Zeitz, that, going forward, is somewhat by design, as Zeitz plans to refocus the company on its core customer base, which are Americans who buy heavy motorcycles. Harley under Zeitz also wants to trade on exclusivity again, both positions running opposite to the goals of Zeitz’s predecessor, Matt Levatich, who thought Harley could go bigger globally.

Zeitz also won’t care much about being in the S&P 500 at the end of the day, since a job well done for him mostly means boosting Harley’s stock price and its profitability. For enthusiasts, a job well done will mostly be keeping Harley alive, period.
 

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Focusing on exclusivity and working on a smaller scale should be the right move for HD. They need to get back to providing high quality bikes and not worrying about mass volume.
 

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Focusing on exclusivity and working on a smaller scale should be the right move for HD. They need to get back to providing high quality bikes and not worrying about mass volume.
Focusing on the core customer base is a very bad idea. The core customer base is an aging group. This group will be going from 2 wheels to the retirement home. Who will replace this group? Certainly not Millennials who are not interested in any kind of motorcycle brand. It will be a hard road for Harley to survive in the coming years.
 

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Focusing on the core customer base is a very bad idea. The core customer base is an aging group. This group will be going from 2 wheels to the retirement home. Who will replace this group? Certainly not Millennials who are not interested in any kind of motorcycle brand. It will be a hard road for Harley to survive in the coming years.
For sure, I'm not saying that they should go back to their old ways and focus on an aging demographic. They need to tap into younger riders. I'm just saying that operating on a smaller scale allows them to put more focus on quality.
 
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