Link to CNN/Money story: http://money.cnn.com/2010/09/17/auto...tune/index.htm
Contrary to its headline, the story's about more than aging bikers ÔÇö which seems to be a BMW problem too. Beyond that, the story gets into things about HD's loss of appeal to riders, declining sales, wage concessions and worker layoffs.
"There is a lesson here for companies that become the flavor of the moment -- and then use that as a base from which to make forecasts for the future. Harley's famous brand couldn't buffer it from the downturn once owning a Harley stopped being cool. Tattoos didn't move motorcycles."
I wonder what changes to their brand image and their motorcycles will result from their sales decline and aging buyers. BMW has certainly responded to changing demographics by aiming more of their marketing and their motorcycles at younger audiences. HD, on the other hand, seems to be pulling back to their shrinking core audience given their sale of MV Agusta and the end of Buell. I wonder if we'll see any of the progressive thinking, engineering and design of these former side brands somehow incorporated into the main HD line.