Did You Know? Harley-Davidson Is Looking For More Dealer Diversity.

hd-dealerHarley-Davidson is working to broaden its appeal to a more culturally diverse clientele with models easier to afford if you are young and easier to ride if you are female.

But the mostly old white men, dominantly owners of Harley dealerships in the US, don’t match very well with the combined growing population of minorities and diversity of those who are today riding a motorcycle.

Recently John Nowicki, Harley’s manager of dealer development, declared that he would like to attract to the brand more culturally diverse and younger applicants. There are 694 Harley dealerships and secondary retail locations. 19 are currently available.

29 Responses to “Did You Know? Harley-Davidson Is Looking For More Dealer Diversity.”


  1. 1 Greybeard Aug 19th, 2015 at 9:04 am

    They should have thought about that when they had Buell!
    Damn fools could have slid their water boilers in without so much as a raised eyebrow.

  2. 2 billyraycyrus Aug 19th, 2015 at 9:42 am

    “:mostly old white men running dealers” translate, “we’ll be changing the ownership of dealers to more closely reflect the current PC environment and embrace the progressive movement in the US for gender diversification and acceptance of transgender transplant motorcycle ownership by selling non gender based leather goods and building motorcycles with no masculine hints, you know, a honda”

  3. 3 Heavy Metal Aug 19th, 2015 at 9:50 am

    Maybe Bruce, I’m sorry I meant Caitlyn would like to run a dealership. If I need PC environment I tune in MSNBC.

  4. 4 Steal Your Face Aug 19th, 2015 at 9:51 am

    Sounds like reverse discrimination for white guys, again.

    Why does everybody think white guys have it so good? I’m a broke ass biker. Many people live as good or better than I do while collecting welfare. I ride to work and work to ride.

    So I can’t be a Harley dealer now because of my paint job? Oh it’s because I’m older and male too. As if I could afford to buy a dealership anyways. What happened to best qualified for the job gets it?

  5. 5 Calif Phil Aug 19th, 2015 at 11:15 am

    If fat old white guys own most dealerships they should be best suited to deal with the fat old white customers that are buying the products.

  6. 6 Woody's Aug 19th, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    Hi Phil- Hey, I resemble that remark, nyuck nyuck nyuck! This is a pretty lightweight story from the MoCo, as regardless of what the dealership’s owner looks like, the sales and service staff can and will continue to be a representation of what persons are attracted to and qualified for the available jobs. Is it a conspiracy that a majority of service dept. employees are older white males? Hardly, more a reflection of what the majority of long-time wrenches happen to be. Change takes time, and the thing that will make dealerships more diverse is the product lines and advertising slants.

  7. 7 NoH2oh Aug 19th, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    I remember as a young child, growing up in a middle class blue collar Illinois suburb, when our neighbor Rick across the street would have his “dirty biker” friends over. Rick had a Sportster that was loud and fast and I thought he was the sh#t. His “old lady” was fine as well. I fear HD wants the collective population to forget that history. Forget that HD is an AMERICAN motorcycle, with American ideals. I remember when you did not meet “the nicest people” on a HD and that was fine with me. Now the moco wants to get on the diversity and PC train. Well good luck with that. Never forget your core audience. Thank G-d the aftermarket is so strong.

  8. 8 Rush Aug 19th, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    NoH2oH. The core audience has changed. Fortunately. Harley & its dealers are adapting. Yes, they try to keep baby boomers as long as possible, but boomers are not the future of Harley. So, your nostalgia is worth zero in terms of marketing. The job of Harley is to grow and make more money, not to please its past core clientele.

  9. 9 1550tc Aug 19th, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    Some of the old fat white guys have some great kids running their stores…….i have seen some eceptional 2nd and 3 rd gen female GM in some stores

    Cali Phil i agree
    and you forgot SHORT fat old white guys with weak legs!!!!!!!!!

    haven’t you seen seen all the LOW LOW LOW models in their line up???

    for stop lights and getting going all they need now is self actuating training wheels hidden in the saddle bag extensions!!

  10. 10 1550tc Aug 19th, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    Guys are we forgetting about this new core of customers ??

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erSrEIuOwX4

  11. 11 richards Aug 19th, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    To the above…Aren’t you the same guys that are always whining about the Harley clientele being old “wannabes”. Now they are trying to capture more of the younger and more diverse customers… you find fault with that. In the least that’s a huge contradiction, at most it hypocritical.

  12. 12 John J. TEXAS Aug 19th, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Like I say… I am sooo glad I grew up in a time of Evel…PERIOD!

  13. 13 U think U know me Aug 20th, 2015 at 5:35 am

    1550- I saw on the web awhile back they have those self actuating wheels, they come down from under the bike when the bike comes to a stop for better balance.

  14. 14 hdrider Aug 20th, 2015 at 7:08 am

    Just more politically correct BS.

  15. 15 Mot Aug 20th, 2015 at 7:29 am

    Reminds me of a story I was in the management meeting several years ago where we are or were going to get a company to take care some of our buildings they had brought in or someone had sit in, with U.S. . college kids and one was a young black lady seemed very smart and some great questions one of them was how diverse is your company and And the folks on the other side of the table who own the large company middle aged two younger white group they sit there and stare at her .. asked what do you mean ..so that’s company in America ,,

  16. 16 Woody's Aug 20th, 2015 at 8:29 am

    “How diverse is your company?” is a pretty stupid question for a “very smart” person to ask, unless somehow, “diversity” is one of the company’s products.

  17. 17 zipper Aug 20th, 2015 at 8:53 am

    If HD wants to capture the PC generation they need to develop a virtual motorcycle that can be ridden in the house. They will sell millions. Doesn’t matter who owns the store. ..Z

  18. 18 Jay Horton's Private Shop Aug 20th, 2015 at 9:36 am

    Remember that sticker, ” Fuck the Factory” -apropos. Best. Later Jay

  19. 19 Kroeter Aug 20th, 2015 at 11:07 am

    It’ll take generations to move to that diverse audience they are talking about. Most HD riders I know either grew up in an HD family, or are RUBs who have the cash to throw down for a new one. Both segments are primarily white Americans.

    To get diverse, you need smaller displacement bikes with a cheaper price tag. Look at Ducati, they are reaching a different audience with their Scrambler. But IMHO, smaller commuter bikes would take away from the big Harley badass mystique.

    They can’t have it both ways.

  20. 20 Kroeter Aug 20th, 2015 at 11:35 am

    It will take decades to reach the diversity they are aiming for. Most HD riders I know either grew up in an HD family, or are RUBs who have the cash to throw down on a new one. Both of those segments are predominantly white Americans.

    To get diverse you need smaller displacement bikes with a cheaper price tag. Look at Ducati, they are reaching a different audience with their Scrambler. But IMHO smaller commuter bikes would take away from the big Harley MoCo mystique.

    They can’t have it both ways.

  21. 21 richards Aug 20th, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    kroeter….Have you heard about the street 500 and street 750?

  22. 22 Chris Aug 20th, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    Good grief, this isn’t about being PC, it’s about aligning dealerships with their customers. Harley isn’t giving away dealerships, people. Fear and anxiety about brown people and women owning franchises seems really strange.

  23. 23 Woody's Aug 20th, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    “Fear and anxiety about brown people and women owning franchises” seems like a straw man nobody’s even talking about, ‘cept you.

  24. 24 Chris Aug 21st, 2015 at 7:26 am

    @Woody’s, if that isn’t the argument, then why all the nay-sayers?

  25. 25 mkv Aug 21st, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    Usually Fat old white people cater to other fat old white people like Calif said. Do you think they would approach an asian, mexican, and black person where that neighborhood the dealer is located predominately white?

    Also some dealerships still have that old school mentality and refuse service to people that didnt even buy their bike there.

    The culture is changing and most salesmen seem to realize that any person walking in the door may be a potential customer.

    Also, who has that kind of money to own a franchise like Harley. Im pretty sure OLD FAT White people do.

  26. 26 Kroeter Aug 21st, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    @Richards . . . yep, that’s a start.

  27. 27 Woody's Aug 21st, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    @Chris, I didn’t see fear or anxiety in the comments, only questioning (& borderline mocking) of the MoCo thinking anything needs to be done regarding the race/sex of prospective Franchise owners. I think it’s deflection to imply otherwise.

  28. 28 J Aug 23rd, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    Cue the black next CEO of Harley in 3…..2……1……….

    Sure- because the problems are all race-related- yeah, that’s the ticket.

    How about instead, Harley turns their design and engineering departments loose- let them build something interesting for a change, instead of the next dull, boardroom-dictated blip-

    They’ll never do it, however, because Harley is no longer in the bike business- it’s in the shareholder business, and their vision no longer extends beyond the next quarterly report.

  29. 29 Blackmax Aug 24th, 2015 at 6:47 am

    As i said in the last Confederate flag comment ,
    H-D is changing & their marketing is changing a new customer base.
    Whether you like it or not, look at who they are marketing to ?
    Blacks – Iron Elite
    Hispanic – Harleyistas
    Women & Hipsters
    There are only so many more Ultra’s & Electra glide classics
    to be sold to a generation that is getting too old to hold a bike of that weight and/or dying off.
    ( I include myself in this statement as i just turned 58
    & there are only so many more 800+ pound big bikes [1 or 2) left in my future..)
    To say that these group do not produce enough to keep Harley going is shortsighted & ignorant .
    All of them are buying bikes, buying Motor Clothes & buy accessories to trick out their bike(s) as well
    (if not better) than yours! Want proof, see the magazines especially “Urban Bagger”)
    So the group that supported H-D all of these decades is still there,
    but please, accept the fact you are not the primary focus any more !!!!
    So why not say (or look) to expand the dealer base to deal with the new customer base.
    There are Women Harley dealerships & I know there used to be more than a few black dealerships back in the day. So I guess we will see who in the future come up with the big bucks to own one ???
    As far as a Black CEO for H-D, I don’t see it happening, but Boy,
    I would be laughing my ass off, to see the reaction to that !
    Make the Flag flap look like a summer breeze!!!! LOL !!!!

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