Dreams within reach
Expanding the reach of our brand to bring dreams of personal freedom to more people everywhere
Revamping Rider’s Edge
Since 2000, our rider training programs successfully trained more than 400,000 new riders—offering an unprecedented experience for them to enter the sport in a comfortable and confident way.
In April 2014, we unveiled the Harley-Davidson Riding Academy—a revamped training program designed to maximize rider experience and confidence the way only Harley-Davidson can. Students now train on the Street 500, which offers the best opportunity to learn and allows them to practice on a bike that is more like the one they might eventually ride. Other new features include an industry-first power limit calibration that puts a ceiling on the vehicle’s low-gear speeds, and a vehicle protection kit that allays student fears of damaging the vehicle in a tip-over.
Learning to ride a Harley-Davidson motorcycle just got even cooler.
“...we're also bringing new riders to the brand—even those who never thought they could ride before.”
Sarah Lewis, Harley-Davidson International Rider Training Program Lead
Following the successful introduction of Riding Academy in the U.S., 2014 also marked the first full year the program was established internationally. Launched in three markets outside of the U.S. – Mexico, China and South Africa – Riding Academy has already made a profound impact in bringing new riders to the brand and the sport.
Every Riding Academy program is tailored to its country. This means understanding all laws and regulations to ensure the appropriate level of training is provided.
“In 2014 alone, we trained nearly 39,000 students,” said Sarah Lewis, Harley-Davidson International Rider Training Program Lead. “That means we’re not just putting more skilled riders on the road, we’re also bringing new riders to the brand—even those who thought they could never ride before.”
Since its launch, a survey to those who took a Riding Academy course shows an average customer satisfaction rate of 95 percent. Given the positive response to the program in the U.S. and new markets, plans are already in motion to launch Riding Academy in more places.
“Riding Academy doesn’t just teach students how to ride,” said Nigel Villiers, Harley-Davidson Director of Global Consumer Integration. “It gives them confidence to get out on their bike more...to fall in love with the road. We’re creating lifelong riders and brand advocates.”
Finance and insurance programs help our dealers make buying a Harley-Davidson motorcycle easier than ever.
Today, Harley-Davidson Financial Services facilitates 82 finance and insurance programs with local providers in 32 countries—more than double what was available in 2009. This means more customers around the world can walk into a Harley-Davidson dealership and ride out on their new bike.
We understand getting a loan to buy a motorcycle differs greatly by country. That’s why we’ve also added country managers and finance and insurance consultants on the ground in key markets to provide dealers with additional training and support.
In the U.S., HDFS provides loans to customers with strong credit, but also to those with more challenging credit situations. For customers with stronger credit, our automated credit decision system provides a loan approval in less than a minute. For those who are more credit challenged, our highly skilled underwriting team works closely with the dealer and the rider to develop custom solutions that meet the rider’s specific needs. Either way, our riders receive a trusted and personalized experience that helps get them out on the road.
“We’ve created an easier, more efficient process that enables riders to buy the Harley-Davidson motorcycle they’ve been dreaming about,” said Larry Hund, President and Chief Operating Officer of HDFS.
“We’ve created an easier, more efficient process that enables riders around the world to buy the Harley-Davidson motorcycle they’ve been dreaming about.”
Larry Hund, President and Chief Operating Office of HDFS
When you have an expansive portfolio of coveted products, ensuring the right one is available where and when it’s needed is crucial to a great customer experience. With that in mind, we made important progress in improving our manufacturing and global distribution channel for Harley-Davidson Genuine Parts & Accessories in 2014.
Last year in our EMEA region, we piloted a wholesale inventory management project that asked the question: for the same level of investment in the business, can we make more of the right parts and accessories available to customers? Prior to 2014, understanding which products a customer wanted was determined by historical insights and data collected at an aggregated EMEA level. Now, using new intelligence software, we’re able to extract data at a country level—closer to the customer’s interaction at the retail site. The software takes seasonal variation into account, allowing us to better understand customers’ unique demands for parts and accessories year-round.
“This program stands to significantly improve how we deliver products across the world.”
Harley-Davidson EMEA Operations Director
“This program stands to significantly improve how we deliver products across the world,” said Paul Barker, Harley-Davidson EMEA Operations Director. “This system allows us to segment our inventory and investment by whatever service level we think will maximize customer expectations.”
Such a bold move allowed us to reach the highest service level in company history in the EMEA region, at the same time achieving the lowest inventory in seven years. The business operated at a consistent 98-100 percent fill rate for critical parts and 95 percent for all remaining parts—all accomplished in a growing business and competitive global marketplace.