How Harley-Davidson is navigating new challenges after 116 years

How Harley-Davidson is navigating new challenges after 116 years

Harley-Davidson isn’t just the most famous motorcycle company – it’s also one of the most legendary and beloved brands in human history.

Harley-Davidson got its all-American start in 1903, at the dawn of the “Motor Age.” Two friends got together and combined bicycles with newfangled engines. Horses would never forgive them. Fast forward 116 years, and Harley’s market capitalization is nearly $6 billion.

That’s not to say that the past 100 or so years have been a completely smooth ride. Harley made it through two world wars and a very rough restructuring during the financial crisis. And now it’s up against new challenges as CEO Matt Levatich works to globalize sales amid a US market decline, recruit younger riders, and contend with the itchy Twitter finger of President Donald Trump, who has praised and penalized Harley in equal measure.

For more on the story, listen to the Harley-Davidson episode of our “Household Name” podcast.

Take a look back at Harley-Davidson’s long and illustrious history in the gallery above. 

© Getty Images


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