Blog: Dave LeggettHog overtakes The General

Dave Leggett | 21 March 2005

It is pretty amazing to think that Harley-Davidson Inc is now bigger than General Motors in market capitalisation terms (after the lastest GM share price decline) isn't it? Harley is an interesting marketing case study to be sure. A 'cult brand' that has broadened its appeal over the years (bike gangs still ride 'em, but accountants can also dress like James Dean at the weekend and also indulge themselves in Harley's high-margin accessories). Any special lessons for GM to be drawn from Harley's turnaround and recent success? Not really - beyond the obvious generic business stuff (identifying GM's problems is not so difficult - doing something about them is the difficult part). There is though perhaps a small irony in the fact that many of the professional types who buy Harleys for weekend excitement and Easy Rider fantasy fulfilment are probably in their late 40s and might also have a Buick parked on the driveway. A kind of yin and yang perhaps.

GOLDING'S TAKE: General, the car in front is a bike


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