The changes, indicative of Harley-Davidson’s global business strategy, focus on product and brand awareness, growing sales, brand access and getting new products to customers faster.
“Our dealers have embraced the ability to work directly with Harley-Davidson, which brings them closer to our programs and product availability,” says Anoop Prakash, Managing Director, Harley-Davidson Canada. “We’ve also made our pricing more competitive and in line with U.S. pricing, and that was appreciated by customers and dealers.”
Bob Davies, of Davies Harley-Davidson in Richmond, Ontario, agreed that dealers are enthusiastic about the changes. “We’ve seen growth and believe that will continue. We’re very optimistic about the future of Harley-Davidson in Canada.”
Davies added that direct distribution has benefited riders as well. “Customers are lovin’ it,” he said. “They feel that they’re closer to the brand.”
And Harley-Davidson Canada customers are growing in diversity as well as in numbers.
“Canada is a very diverse country, both in demographics and geography. Fifty percent of the people who live in Toronto were not born in Canada. Our core rider is still very similar to the U.S., but here, we’re looking at new segments that include Chinese, south Asian and women riders, and young adults in cities,” Prakash said.
“We’re gaining young people in urban areas where new riders are looking for financially and physically accessible motorcycles that inspire them with the modern, contemporary style we’ve brought to our Dark Custom range.”
Davies said: “We’ve had a lot of success with the Harley-Davidson Street models. This bike is ideal for the urban commuter. The price point is right.”
Capitalizing on that urban market, Harley-Davidson plans to open additional dealerships in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. And, in late February, it will introduce the 2016 CVO™ Pro Street Breakout® and 2016 Harley-Davidson® Dyna® Low Rider in Toronto and Montreal.
“The core goals of Harley-Davidson are to lead in every market. In Canada, it’s not only about fortifying our leading market position but about extending and continuing to grow in market share and volume,” Prakash said. “We have a great start, and we’re excited to get into the new riding season.”