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Harley Davidson Case Study Swot Analysis

A public Limited company, Harley Davidson was originally founded in 1903. It is an American company that manufactures motor cycles. It is commonly known as HD or simply Harley in America. The reason why the company stands out to be one of the tycoons in motor cycle production is because it was successfully able to thrive in the periods of the ‘great depression’ and was able to compete against the Japanese manufacturers. As calculated in 2011, the annual revenue of the company was$5.31 Billion, with more than 6000 employees working for the company. The upcoming paragraphs will give you a brief analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the company.


The company was calculated to have an overall majority in controlling the market. By 2011, the company had control of more than 70% of the market of motorcycles, and specifically heavy bikes.

Secondly, Harley-Davidson has a dual source of income, one from manufacturing motorcycles and the other, from providing financial service. The business is sort of diversified, and conglomerate in nature of operation because it operates in two entirely different industries.
The company is on excellent business terms with the supplier, because of which, the raw materials put utilized are of very high quality and a lower cost, giving the company an additional benefit.


Although the company is quite well known for its high quality, quite fashionable and fast motor bikes, its foremost weakness becomes the price charged for one complete unit. In comparison to other motor bike manufacturers, Harley’s charge a rather higher price.

Although, the company stands out in US, it is constantly reported to have been losing the market control in Europe. As predicted for the future, there will be a decrease in the demand for the heavy bikes, because of which, the company is experiencing a constant mismatch of demand and supply, therefore disturbing the entire process. Also, the international position and marketing campaign is not very effective to attract foreign customers.


As compared to the whole world, the demand for Harley Motorbikes is found to be most in Europe, therefore, the first chance and opportunity for expansion would undoubtedly be the European Union. Additionally, virgin motorcycles markets in developing countries like India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, etc. can be jackpots for the company sales.


Being a giant in an industry automatically means that you are the target to most threats. This is the case for Harley-Davidson. The people now tend to buy themselves means of travel that are cheap, economical and not very pompous. None of the aspects mentioned above are present in the company’s products. This means, that in the future, the company would be left with a very narrow target market.
Many small businesses are already into the automobile industry, and the high price of HD is a big opportunity for them to invade the market, because the cheaper the goods are, the more attracted the people become towards that business. Therefore, Harley might have to reconsider its price, which, so far is its biggest strength and the weakness too.


SWOT Analysis of Harley Davidson with USP, Competition, STP (Segmentation, Targeting, Positioning) - Marketing Analysis

Harley Davidson

Parent Company

Harley Davidson





Tagline/ Slogan

Escape; Respect; Life is a highway; Cage Free Humans


Harley Davidson is the most popular branded cruiser motorcycle with a popular brand legacy

Harley Davidson STP


Men looking for cruiser bikes and motorcycles

Target Group

Affluent upper middle and upper class men in metros


Harley Davidson is a bike for the men who want to have respect in life and on the road

Harley Davidson SWOT


1. Harley Davidson is a leader in motorcycle innovation
2. Harley Davidson has a strong brand equity and brand loyalty
3. The company has a strong financial position owing to good sales worldwide 
4. High quality products are manufactured by the company 
5. Social Media, biker groups and merchandising has made Harley Davidson a very popular iconic "cult" brand
6. Good product range offered by the company

7. Harley Davidson is available in more than 60 countries worldwide

8. The brand has excellent marketing and branding across the world


1. Strong competition from other motorcycle manufacturers means limited market share growth for Harley Davidson

2. The company often faces allegations over polluting the environment


1. Emerging markets and expansion abroad can be a big opportunity for Harley Davidson
2. Product diversification and services expansion can increase its business 
3. Expanding demographics can be a way to expand business


1.Competition from other manufacturers can affect Harley Davidson's business
2.External changes (government, politics, taxes, etc)
3.Lower cost competitors or imports
4.Product substitution is a threat for Harley Davidson as many motorcycle brands are available



1.Royal Enfield
2.Suzuki Boulevard


The table above concludes the Harley Davidson SWOT analysis along with its marketing and brand parameters.

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