Summary of “How Harley-Davidson’s All-In Bet on Its Past Crippled Its Future”

“We’re in the fashion business,” Willie Davidson, the grandson of Harley co-founder William A. Davidson told People in 1981.
Brando rode a Triumph in that film, but Harley was so dominant postwar that it was cited by the Federal Trade Commission for “Monopolistic” behavior in 1949, by allegedly forcing dealers to exclusively trade in Harley bikes and parts.
Harley might have represented some kind of counterculture in the 1950s and 1960s, but Harley in 2018 is a commodified version of that culture, one of the biggest dangers being how quickly you can empty your bank account buying Harley merch.
Ad campaigns tried to rehabilitate the image of Harley riders, with one ad claiming that Harley riders had “More responsible job[s] than the owners of any Japanese motorcycle,” an unintentional self-own that also acknowledged the Japanese manufacturers had captured the youth market.
The tariffs had helped Harley get back on its feet, though they did not come without some unintended consequences, as the gulf between high-priced Harley and cheaper Japanese crotch rockets had only widened, which meant that consumers who might have in the old days graduated to a more expensive Harley found themselves priced out.
If you wanted to buy a brand-new Harley in 1993, for example, you could expect to wait three or four months for it to finally be delivered, still the case five years later, when Harley opened its Kansas City plant to increase output to a planned 210,000 motorcycles a year, as motorcycle sales rose again.
Days before the Harley White House visit, for example, Trump had withdrawn from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would’ve removed some tariffs between the United States and a host of Asian countries, and which Harley had supported.
Electric motorcycles can also be on the heavy side, owing to the battery, though Harley hasn’t said how much the LiveWire will weigh.

The orginal article.