Harley Davidson is one of the most iconic motorcycle brands in the world. Founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the year 1903, the company’s founder, William S Harley, was only 21 years old when he finished his first blueprint of the engine that would fit on his bicycle. Only two short years later, in 1903, did William Harley and his partner Arthur Davidson sell their first Harley-Davidson motorcycle. They created it in a shed that was 10 feet long by 15 feet wide with the words ‘Harley-Davidson Motor Company’ carved into the door. Little did they know, their company would become one of the most iconic and recognizable brands in America.
From those humble beginnings, the company continued to grow. In 1906, they moved into a slightly bigger premises that was 28 feet long by 80 feet wide. The company now also held six full-time workers. By the year 1912, the dynamic duo had been propelled into full business success as they began to build a headquarters that would eventually be six stories tall. The company worked hard to benefit the war effort during the First World War, and nearly half of all motorcycles sold were sold to the United States Military. By the year 1920, Harley-Davidson would become the largest manufacturer of motorcycles in the world, already selling their products in 67 countries across the globe.
Harley-Davidson was one of two motorcycle manufacturers to make it out of the Great Depression. During WWII, the company was revitalized when they made 90,000 motorcycles that were delivered to American troops as well as other allies.
Today, there are 696 full-service Harley-Davidson dealerships in the United States alone and 1,458 across the world. There is a Harley dealership in every major city in the United States. The power of Harley-Davidson is so appealing that even Bob Parsons’ profile, the founder of GoDaddy.com, includes the Scottsdale Harley-Davidson dealership. Traditionally purchased by white men over the age of 35, the company has started to diversify in an attempt to gain appeal in other demographics including young adults, women, Hispanics and African-Americans. The company’s efforts have paid off, and their motorcycles have come in as the number one seller of new motorcycles in each of these demographics.
As a group, Harley-Davidson understands the allure of a powerful brand image. No strangers to storytelling, the company remains relevant with each new generation by selling a lifestyle to Americans who have a rebellious streak and want to feel the wind in their hair. Even 100 years ago, Harley-Davidson knew that they were selling more than just motorcycles. Loyal fans are known for visiting major dealerships on every vacation, even making these dealerships vacation destinations. Harley-Davidson is more than just a brand that is socially trending. The lifestyle they promise causes lifelong devotion- so much so that enthusiasts are well known for tattooing the Harley-Davidson logo on their bodies. Whether they are young or old, American or Egyptian, people around the world love their Harley-Davidson motorcycles and the Harley-Davidson lifestyle equally