More Problems in the History of Harley Davidson

Travels with Harley

Over the past few weeks Travels with Harley has shared the History of Harley Davidson coming up with some amazing facts and stories that you probably weren’t aware of. This week we will take you from the late 1990’s to 2007 in the History of Harley Davidson

The first overseas Harley Davidson factory opened in the free economic zone in Manaus, Brazil in 1998. The location positioned Harley Davidson in the Southern Hemisphere motorcycle market, securing another notch in the History of Harley Davidson.

Travels with Harley

During the 1990’s and early 2000’s, the History of Harley Davidson saw its demand peak and began a program that expanded its dealerships throughout America. During that same period, existing dealers were waiting for new inventory for up to 12 months for some of its more popular models.

Travels with Harley

Just like car manufacturers, Harley Davidson will record a sale when it is delivered to the dealer, not when a customer buys the product making it possible for a manufacturer to inflate the sales numbers. This requires Harley Davidson dealers to accept more motorcycles than they want or need. Known as channel surfing, it means that there could be a dramatic decline in stock prices, which is exactly what happened to Harley Davidson.

Travels with Harley

In April of 2004, Harley Davidson Owners Group shares fell from $60.00 to under $40.00. Just before the decline, CEO Jeffrey Bluestein saw a profit of $42 million prior to his retirement. This was followed by a class action suit filed by Harley Davidson stockholders, who claimed that they were intentionally duped and defrauded by directors and management.

Travels with Harley

In 2000, several United States Police departments began reporting problems when it came to instability at high speeds. In fact, the California Highway Patrol reported weave and wobble instability while testing on a track in 2006. This problem was quickly dealt with at the factory providing another interesting chapter in the History of Harley Davidson. However, Highway Patrols across the country started to go with BMW instead of Harley Davidson.

Travels with Harley

In January of 2007 more than 2,700 Harley Davidson employees from the York, PN plant embarked on a strike after the company failed to agree on health benefits and wages. The company shut down the plant after negotiations broke down. In February of that same year, an agreement was reached. However, the strike disrupted the national production of Harley Davidson causing a layoff of 440 employees. This also affected suppliers who were forced to lay off Harley Davidson workers because of the Harley Davidson strike.

Travels with Harley

Next week Travels with Harley will share the last chapter of the compelling History of Harley Davidson from 2008 to today.