Oxford (04 May 2012) - After almost 50 years as head of styling, Willie G. Davidson has officially retired from Harley-Davidson. The Senior Vice President and Chief Styling Officer is widely recognised as a legend in the world of motorcycling and motorcycle design. And, although officially retired, he will continue his involvement with the company as an ambassador at motorcycle rallies and events and through special design projects as Chief Styling Officer Emeritus.
Grandson of one of the company’s founders, William A. Davidson, and son of William H. Davidson, its second president, Willie G joined the company as its first head of styling in 1963. With responsibility for the look of all Harley-Davidson motorcycles, landmark motorcycles to emerge from Willie G’s styling studio team include the Super Glide, which established the factory custom category in 1971, Low Rider, Heritage Softail Classic, Fat Boy, V-Rod and Street Glide. He is one of 13 Harley-Davidson executives who purchased the company from AMF, Inc. in 1981.
Willie G has long served as ambassador of Harley-Davidson at rallies around the world – meeting riders, talking to customers, lending his famous signature to jackets, and setting an example of being close to the customer that has become one of the hallmarks of the company.
“Throughout my life, I have been truly fortunate to have the opportunity to marry my passion for design with my love for this amazing brand that runs so deeply in my veins,” said Willie G. “What’s most rewarding has been to see the impact our motorcycles have on the lives of our customers. Everything we do in styling is based on the notion that form follows function, but both report to emotion.
“It has been my privilege to work alongside many incredibly talented people at this company and I have great confidence the future of Harley-Davidson’s design leadership will continue to grow in its pre-eminence. I look forward to spending time with riders at rallies and to my involvement in special design projects.”