Posts tagged with "Harley Davidson"

Not your dad’s midlife crisis: Motorcycle brand tries to woo new generation of riders

August 11, 2022

Motorcycling is developing an increasingly archaic image. Indeed, in recent years, manufacturers such as Harley-Davidson have reported falling sales amid an aging demographic, reports Adweek.

But now, multinational motorcycle brand Royal Enfield, based in India, wants to change that. Its new global campaign, created by U.K.-based agency New Commercial Arts (NCA), aims to attract a younger, more diverse audience–particularly women.

The campaign more closely resembles a fashion ad than one for a motorcycle company—and it promotes Royal Enfield’s new Hunter 350 model, which targets a younger demographic living in urban environments. The bike is smaller and lighter than many traditional motorcycles and “designed to make you look great on your social posts,” according to the brand. 

In the film, a group of young and stylish Hunter riders gather and traverse the streets of east London, while photographing themselves at each stop. Notably, the cast is diverse and includes female riders, who are largely underrepresented in motorcycling. 

The spot’s soundtrack is Richard Hawley’s 2007 song, “Tonight the Streets Are Ours.” Adriaan Louw directed the film through production company Familia.

Other parts of the campaign—social, digital, and outdoor ads—comprise the photos that the friends captured on their ride.

“Forget about the old guys in their Belstaffs,” NCA co-founder and Chief Creative Officer Ian Heartfield said in a statement. “This is about wearing what you like, standing out from the crowd, looking like you could be on the front cover of a fashion mag—while having the time of your life on two wheels, not four.”

Royal Enfield made its first bike in 1901 and is the oldest motorcycle brand in continuous production.

Research contact: @Adweek

Americans want U.S. goods, but won’t pay a premium for them

July 11, 2018

Fully 70% of Americans say they love to buy products that are “Made in the USA,” based on findings of a Reuters/Ipsos poll. They are less enthusiastic, however, about paying a premium for them.

The poll, fielded in late May, gathered responses from 2,857 people nationwide, including 593 U.S. adults who made less than $25,000 annually; 1,283 who said they earned between $25,000 and $74,999 per year; and 805 who claimed they earned more than $75,000.

Out of that sample, more than one-third (37%) of respondents said they would refuse to pay more for U.S.-made goods versus imports. Of those who were willing to shell out slightly more money, 26% said they would only pay up to 5% more to buy American, and 21% capped the premium at 10 percent.

Lower-income Americans were the most enthusiastic about buying U.S. goods, the poll showed, despite being the least able to afford paying extra for them.

Indeed, the biggest U.S. retailer is well aware of the priority that buyers place on price, above all else. A spokesman for Wal-Mart Stores told Reuters that its customers are saying “that where products are made is most important, second only to price.”

The good news for U.S. factories is that Americans like the quality of many domestic goods. Thirty-one percent of respondents said American-made cars are the best in the world. German cars were voted best by 23% of respondents. What’s more, 38% said U.S.-made clothes were best.

Still, domestic manufacturers could be in trouble if they fail to capitalize on perceptions about the quality of their products while also keeping a tight lid on costs. Factors such as cheaper domestic freight and a desire among retailers to carry lower inventories can help make up some of the cost differential.

To be sure, some manufacturers can command a big premium for American-made products. Klein Tools—a privately held company based outside Chicago with annual sales of $500 million—makes hand tools that are highly sought after by electricians and other workers. A pair of 9-inch Klein pliers sells for about 30% more than a comparable import.

But betting on the allure of American-made goods can be risky. In 2012, High Point, North Carolina-based Stanley Furniture brought back production of cribs and other baby furniture from China to a U.S. plant—wagering that parents worried about a string of Chinese factory quality scandals would pay $700 for cribs nearly identical to imports selling for $400, the pollsters said. Customers refused to bite, however, and the High Point factory closed in 2014.

Still, Stanley’s CEO Glenn Prillaman said the Trump administration’s emphasis on American-made goods is a hopeful sign that resonates with “people that work for a living,” because they can see how it impacts their own jobs. “The lower-end consumers certainly care, and that’s a good thing,” he said. “But they’re also not in a position to pay the premium.”

Indeed, U.S. President Donald Trump rode into office on promises of bringing back manufacturing jobs and boosting economic growth; and has criticized companies—most recently, motorcycle producer Harley-Davidson—that move their own production overseas, Reuters reported.

Research contact: maurice.tamman@reuters.com

Trump huffs as Harley-Davidson heads overseas

June 27, 2018

Facing mounting operational costs estimated at $100 million annually, iconic American motorcycle brand Harley-Davidson announced on June 25 that it will further curtail its U.S. operations—manufacturing and selling more of its bikes abroad in coming years.

Not only is the company worried about the aluminum and steel tariffs that the Trump administration is imposing on its G7 allies—which the motorcycle maker believes “will drive up costs for all products with these raw materials, regardless of their origin, “ Barron’s reported—but it already had been forced to close a factory in Missouri and build one in Thailand, after Trump pulled the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.,

Now, Bloomberg divulged on June 26, Harley joins other quintessential American companies, including Levi Strauss, in getting caught in the middle of the Trump administration’s trade skirmishes with major trading partners.

Indeed, the European Union’s retaliation against the White House’s steel and aluminum levies will cost about $2,200 per motorcycle shipped to Harley’s second-biggest market in the world, the company estimated in a filing on June 25. So it’s shifting production of bikes for European riders overseas.

Harley plans to eat much of the cost increase tied to the EU’s tariffs, Bloomberg said, because trying to pass it on to dealers or customers would make an “immediate and lasting detrimental impact” on its business, it said in the filing.

“A company that is as connected to America, and Americana, as Harley is probably going to be laying off U.S. workers in favor of foreign workers and going to be losing money as a result of this,” James Hardiman, an equity analyst with Wedbush Securities, told Bloomberg this week, of the trade battle between the U.S.A. and the EU. “There’s a lot of irony here, to put it mildly.”

The reaction from the POTUS was immediate and incensed.

“Surprised that Harley-Davidson, of all companies, would be the first to wave the White Flag,” President Donald Trump tweeted Monday. Trump said he had “fought hard” for the company and said it ultimately won’t have to pay the tariffs, urging it to “be patient!”

He further threatened, “A Harley-Davidson should never be built in another country-never! Their employees and customers are already very angry at them. If they move, watch, it will be the beginning of the end—they surrendered, they quit! The Aura will be gone and they will be taxed like never before!”.

In 2017, Harley sold nearly 40,000 new motorcycles in Europe, accounting for more than 16% of the company’s sales. Revenues from EU countries were second only to those in the United States.

Research contact: media@harley-davidson.com