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TOV Forums > General Talk > > Re: Harley's Demise

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CB77
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Harley's Demise    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-23-2018 21:32
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My, my...how the mighty have fallen, Harley that is. Looks like that bubble has finally burst. It must be an especially bitter pill for those guys in KC to swallow, with production being moved offshore.

You can probably see those "Make America Great Again" hats blowing down the freeway in Kansas City.

HD catered too much to guys my age, and they are all quitting riding...plus the millennials have no interest in motorcycles, or cars for that matter.

One of the Honda service reps said something to a dealer when we were on a joint dealer visit about enthusiasm for motorcycles that I have always remembered. He said: "When I was 16, I would have done anything for a motorcycle...and it didn't matter what it was, as long as it made noise and moved forward". Ha!

Guess the guys at HD can now join my fellow Honda retirees, in talking about the salad days.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/harley-davidson-took-its-tax-cut-closed-a-factory-and-rewarded-shareholders/ar-AAxD6bK?li=BBnbfcN&ocid=mailsignout

CB77
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Re: Harley's Demise    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-23-2018 21:38
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Try this one...


http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/harley-davidson-took-its-tax-cut-closed-a-factory-and-rewarded-shareholders/ar-AAxD6bK?li=BBnbfcN&ocid=mailsignout

sadlerau
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Re: Harley's Demise    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-24-2018 02:29
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CB77 wrote:

HD catered too much to guys my age, and they are all quitting riding...plus the millennials have no interest in motorcycles, or cars for that matter.



I think we are a dying breed, we motoring enthusiasts. Sure there will still be young'ns who will thirst for the sound and speed, but there are fewer and fewer of us, with each passing generation it would seem.

HondaForever
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Re: Harley's Demise    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-24-2018 07:21
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sadlerau wrote:
CB77 wrote:

HD catered too much to guys my age, and they are all quitting riding...plus the millennials have no interest in motorcycles, or cars for that matter.



I think we are a dying breed, we motoring enthusiasts. Sure there will still be young'ns who will thirst for the sound and speed, but there are fewer and fewer of us, with each passing generation it would seem.


You are very right. I think when the history of the automobile is written, it will turn out that three things helped kill the car and motorcycle culture:

1. Cost: When 40% of Americans cannot come up with $400 in an emergency, committing to pay $400 per month in car payments almost in perpetuity is something a growing number are choosing to forgo. This is especially true for the young'ns. When I hear about motorcycles costing as much as Honda Civics, I wonder what has happened to common sense.

2. After forking over that much money, you end up sitting in traffic, going nowhere for hours, because we all have elected not to tax ourselves to build the roads that will accommodate the cars we all chose to buy. And there is nothing more lethal to motorcyclists than our traffic clogged highways.

3. Pollution: Yes, we old farts may think the roar of an old fashioned V8 is what makes the world go round, but this generation of kids see in those twin exhaust pipes, a world whose climate is changing right before their very eyes.

The irony is that those of us who love cars and motorcycles and would wish to see them around for a while ought to be the ones pushing hard to minimize these negatives that will kill the motorcycle and their car cousins in the long term. Sadly, most of us choose to be the obstacles to reasonable compromises that will allow these pleasures, partly curtailed perhaps, but that will still allow them to be around in one form or the other long into the future. Sad...




https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/05/25/the-shocking-number-of-americans-who-cant-cover-a-400-expense/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.24b8c784df26










CB77
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Re: Harley's Demise    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-24-2018 09:22
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HondaForever wrote:
I think when the history of the automobile is written, it will turn out that three things helped kill the car and motorcycle culture:

1. Cost: When 40% of Americans cannot come up with $400 in an emergency, committing to pay $400 per month in car payments almost in perpetuity is something a growing number are choosing to forgo.


Yes, I agree. It would have been good if the recent massive tax cuts could have been aimed more at the middle class, to help ameliorate this trend.




CarPhreakD
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Re: Harley's Demise    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-24-2018 10:57
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Harley thought that the Boomer cash-money train would forever keep them viable, but clearly that is no longer the case. They've made significant enough improvements to some of their lineup that even I was interested for a while... but I can't really justify the price to fun ratio with those bikes, not when Yamaha and the Europeans have my attention at the moment.

Speaking anecdotally, there is a lot of fresh 'blood' coming into the sport of motorcycle riding, because every week there are new graduates from Learning Curves (Ontario's pretty much defacto motorcycle riding program). A lot of these people are young (actually a lot of them are just yuppies, period), and increasingly, women.

But not all of them end up actually getting a bike. There's probably the factor that while getting the bike itself is cheap, insurance and the like are not. I don't think the bikes themselves are a factor, seeing as there has been a significant uptick in entry level bikes particularly coming out of the financiapocalypse.

The yuppy factor is probably telling. I think it really is just a lack of money for most people. And that doesn't simply mean the cost of bikes, rather I think it's the cost of LIVING, since everything else including car, housing, and living expenses take up a lot of disposable income.

Many people in my generation seems to have skipped from the living-at-home-with-parents phase straight into parenthood, having a lack of disposable income to have actually enjoyed their teens and 20s. Motorcycles in North America are not seen as anything more than toys for the majority of people, and so they are the first to be cut out.

I don't think it's for lack of interest, because there was the whole cafe racer craze a few years ago, which consisted almost entirely of fabulously dressed people in their early 20s.

Unfortunately, it's too late to talk about my generation at the moment. The next time you'll see us make any significant impact on the market is when we become empty nesters (so, maybe 1.5-2 decades). You have to look towards gen Z.

NorCalSales
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Re: Harley's Demise    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-24-2018 17:28
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Stop thinking millennials don't buy cars... that narrative died years ago. They don't sign onto huge lumps of debt as freely as older generations but that's simply the result of growing up during the crash a decade ago. They buy a ton of cars.
cksi1372
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Re: Harley's Demise    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-24-2018 18:16
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CB77 wrote:
HondaForever wrote:
I think when the history of the automobile is written, it will turn out that three things helped kill the car and motorcycle culture:

1. Cost: When 40% of Americans cannot come up with $400 in an emergency, committing to pay $400 per month in car payments almost in perpetuity is something a growing number are choosing to forgo.


Yes, I agree. It would have been good if the recent massive tax cuts could have been aimed more at the middle class, to help ameliorate this trend.





They could have directed all of the tax cuts to the middle class and I bet that 40% number would barely budge. Most people don't understand basic finance, so it's spend now and worry about later...or "charge it"...or keep up with the "Jones's", etc. Basic finance/budgeting/savings/etc. should be a required course in at least high school, IMHO.

As for cars/motorcycles, I tend agree that millennial's couldn't care less about vehicles like past generations, but they still need transportation. They just aren't as "gung-ho", especially for motorcycles. Hell, not sure I can blame them. I'd love a Harley/Indian/Triumph/etc., but where I live, between the awful drivers and awful roads, I might as well put a target on my back and kiss the better half good bye as soon as I purchase one. :)

Grace141
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Re: Harley's Demise    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-24-2018 19:04
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cksi1372 wrote:
CB77 wrote:
HondaForever wrote:
I think when the history of the automobile is written, it will turn out that three things helped kill the car and motorcycle culture:

1. Cost: When 40% of Americans cannot come up with $400 in an emergency, committing to pay $400 per month in car payments almost in perpetuity is something a growing number are choosing to forgo.


Yes, I agree. It would have been good if the recent massive tax cuts could have been aimed more at the middle class, to help ameliorate this trend.





They could have directed all of the tax cuts to the middle class and I bet that 40% number would barely budge. Most people don't understand basic finance, so it's spend now and worry about later...or "charge it"...or keep up with the "Jones's", etc. Basic finance/budgeting/savings/etc. should be a required course in at least high school, IMHO.

As for cars/motorcycles, I tend agree that millennial's couldn't care less about vehicles like past generations, but they still need transportation. They just aren't as "gung-ho", especially for motorcycles. Hell, not sure I can blame them. I'd love a Harley/Indian/Triumph/etc., but where I live, between the awful drivers and awful roads, I might as well put a target on my back and kiss the better half good bye as soon as I purchase one. :)


It's not a popular topic to discuss but an income tax cut of a point or three for the true middle class families of the US would barely register on the average houseghold income. If a family of four suddenly has an extra $50 or $100 in the budget each month it's doubtful they're going to buy a $25k Harley.

notyper
Profile for notyper
Re: Harley's Demise    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-24-2018 20:53
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HondaForever wrote:

You are very right. I think when the history of the automobile is written, it will turn out that three things helped kill the car and motorcycle culture:

1. Cost: When 40% of Americans cannot come up with $400 in an emergency, committing to pay $400 per month in car payments almost in perpetuity is something a growing number are choosing to forgo. This is especially true for the young'ns. When I hear about motorcycles costing as much as Honda Civics, I wonder what has happened to common sense.

2. After forking over that much money, you end up sitting in traffic, going nowhere for hours, because we all have elected not to tax ourselves to build the roads that will accommodate the cars we all chose to buy. And there is nothing more lethal to motorcyclists than our traffic clogged highways.

3. Pollution: Yes, we old farts may think the roar of an old fashioned V8 is what makes the world go round, but this generation of kids see in those twin exhaust pipes, a world whose climate is changing right before their very eyes.

The irony is that those of us who love cars and motorcycles and would wish to see them around for a while ought to be the ones pushing hard to minimize these negatives that will kill the motorcycle and their car cousins in the long term. Sadly, most of us choose to be the obstacles to reasonable compromises that will allow these pleasures, partly curtailed perhaps, but that will still allow them to be around in one form or the other long into the future. Sad...




1. Non-sequitur. That people don't know how to budget and save money does not mean cars cost too much. I bought a brand new Integra GS-R in 1994 for $21000 (out the door including tax) while I was earning $37,500/year, living on my own (no roommates to defray expenses) and generally having a good time (was not eating ramen).

If you look at average income in the US by age group, you'll see that even the 20-24 cohort can afford a brand new entry level car (quality cars like Civic, Mazda3, etc) and by the time you reach 25-34 age range they can afford something much better.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/24/how-much-americans-earn-at-every-age.html

And that's not even considering what they might have to trade in when they go to buy. My first car at age 16 was worth about $400, but I worked and saved and kept moving up so that each time I bought another car my payments weren't that bad because I had retained value from my previous vehicle.

2. Again, non-sequitur. You assume that traffic problems are due simply to not taxing people enough to build roads. Yet some of the worst traffic problems are in states with the highest taxes - especially gas and vehicle registration taxes (cough, California, cough). The money is there, but it is typically misappropriated or misused. Furthermore, you can only build so much road, so when poorly thought out zoning laws restrict construction of market demanded properties (be they multi-unit dwellings, or whatever) you end up forcing people to commute longer and longer distances and you reach the load carrying capacity of your transportation arteries.

3. Yes, the indoctrination seems to have temporarily worked with a subset of the younger population. But as each prediction of doom falls by the wayside unfulfilled, as the climate often does exactly the opposite of what the "experts" predicted, as word gets out that climate agencies and researchers have been gaming the numbers (artificially reducing past temp data), that same cohort is tuning out the doomsayers. That's why climate change simply isn't a priority for most Americans anymore. They realize that its a money/power grab and that whatever changes are happening are small, gradual, and often largely natural.

The car market is undergoing a change. It has done so many times in the past. There will be winners and losers. As enthusiasts we need to vote with our wallets and voice our views in the ballot box. Hopefully we'll keep getting what we want, not what some bureaucrat thinks we _need_.

SC

HondaForever
Profile for HondaForever
Re: Harley's Demise    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-24-2018 22:14
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notyper wrote:
HondaForever wrote:

You are very right. I think when the history of the automobile is written, it will turn out that three things helped kill the car and motorcycle culture:

1. Cost: When 40% of Americans cannot come up with $400 in an emergency, committing to pay $400 per month in car payments almost in perpetuity is something a growing number are choosing to forgo. This is especially true for the young'ns. When I hear about motorcycles costing as much as Honda Civics, I wonder what has happened to common sense.

2. After forking over that much money, you end up sitting in traffic, going nowhere for hours, because we all have elected not to tax ourselves to build the roads that will accommodate the cars we all chose to buy. And there is nothing more lethal to motorcyclists than our traffic clogged highways.

3. Pollution: Yes, we old farts may think the roar of an old fashioned V8 is what makes the world go round, but this generation of kids see in those twin exhaust pipes, a world whose climate is changing right before their very eyes.

The irony is that those of us who love cars and motorcycles and would wish to see them around for a while ought to be the ones pushing hard to minimize these negatives that will kill the motorcycle and their car cousins in the long term. Sadly, most of us choose to be the obstacles to reasonable compromises that will allow these pleasures, partly curtailed perhaps, but that will still allow them to be around in one form or the other long into the future. Sad...




1. Non-sequitur. That people don't know how to budget and save money does not mean cars cost too much. I bought a brand new Integra GS-R in 1994 for $21000 (out the door including tax) while I was earning $37,500/year, living on my own (no roommates to defray expenses) and generally having a good time (was not eating ramen).

If you look at average income in the US by age group, you'll see that even the 20-24 cohort can afford a brand new entry level car (quality cars like Civic, Mazda3, etc) and by the time you reach 25-34 age range they can afford something much better.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/24/how-much-americans-earn-at-every-age.html

And that's not even considering what they might have to trade in when they go to buy. My first car at age 16 was worth about $400, but I worked and saved and kept moving up so that each time I bought another car my payments weren't that bad because I had retained value from my previous vehicle.

2. Again, non-sequitur. You assume that traffic problems are due simply to not taxing people enough to build roads. Yet some of the worst traffic problems are in states with the highest taxes - especially gas and vehicle registration taxes (cough, California, cough). The money is there, but it is typically misappropriated or misused. Furthermore, you can only build so much road, so when poorly thought out zoning laws restrict construction of market demanded properties (be they multi-unit dwellings, or whatever) you end up forcing people to commute longer and longer distances and you reach the load carrying capacity of your transportation arteries.

3. Yes, the indoctrination seems to have temporarily worked with a subset of the younger population. But as each prediction of doom falls by the wayside unfulfilled, as the climate often does exactly the opposite of what the "experts" predicted, as word gets out that climate agencies and researchers have been gaming the numbers (artificially reducing past temp data), that same cohort is tuning out the doomsayers. That's why climate change simply isn't a priority for most Americans anymore. They realize that its a money/power grab and that whatever changes are happening are small, gradual, and often largely natural.

The car market is undergoing a change. It has done so many times in the past. There will be winners and losers. As enthusiasts we need to vote with our wallets and voice our views in the ballot box. Hopefully we'll keep getting what we want, not what some bureaucrat thinks we _need_.

SC


1. Whatever the reason may be, if you cannot afford something, then relative to your purchasing decision making, it's unaffordable, meaning it costs too much as far as you are concerned. The fact that you or I may find that same product inexpensive has nothing to do with their perception of its relative cost. One would think this is common sense.

I could get into a long debate on the other points you raise, but my response to your point number 1 shows that we are operating on different logical planes and so I will not waste my time any further on this.




HondaForever
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Re: Harley's Demise    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-24-2018 23:08
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CB77 wrote:
HondaForever wrote:
I think when the history of the automobile is written, it will turn out that three things helped kill the car and motorcycle culture:

1. Cost: When 40% of Americans cannot come up with $400 in an emergency, committing to pay $400 per month in car payments almost in perpetuity is something a growing number are choosing to forgo.


Yes, I agree. It would have been good if the recent massive tax cuts could have been aimed more at the middle class, to help ameliorate this trend.





"AS prices for new vehicles continue to rise, the cost of an average new car may be a stretch for typical households.

A new analysis from Bankrate.com found that a median-income household could not afford the average price of a new vehicle in any of the 50 largest cities in the country, though cars are more affordable in some cities than others.

“The new reality is that cars are becoming more expensive,” said Steve Pounds, a personal finance analyst for Bankrate. “People are having to make tough decisions about financing.”


https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/02/your-money/new-cars-are-too-expensive-for-the-typical-family-study-finds.html

notyper
Profile for notyper
Re: Harley's Demise    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-25-2018 00:42
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HondaForever wrote:

1. Whatever the reason may be, if you cannot afford something, then relative to your purchasing decision making, it's unaffordable, meaning it costs too much as far as you are concerned. The fact that you or I may find that same product inexpensive has nothing to do with their perception of its relative cost. One would think this is common sense.

I could get into a long debate on the other points you raise, but my response to your point number 1 shows that we are operating on different logical planes and so I will not waste my time any further on this.



Ooh, the logical fallacy, it burns.

Look, if someone can't budget or save, and is caught up in the cycle of instant gratification, they won't be able to afford much of anything. That's why those sorts of people end up with $10s of thousands of dollars in credit card debt and a debt to income ratio through the roof.

But the problem is your assertion that cars cost too much. Yet, they don't. If you look at inflation adjusted car pricing the avg price of a new car has been going down since the 90's. Real income (inflation adjusted) has also dropped somewhat over that time as well (in the US at least, rebounding only recently), but the ratio is relatively constant over that time. So if cars cost too much now, they must have cost too much in the 90s, yet the relationship between car prices and income suggests otherwise.

If you wanted to assert that people have less money to spend on cars today because other things are eating up their income, then you'd have a point. For example, starting in 2010 we started mandating that young people had to buy health insurance. There were a number of reasons for this, but the biggest is to get people on health insurance that won't have much need for the services. The young and healthy subsidize the old and sick. It's how any insurance pool works. The problem is that many of those young people wouldn't have bothered. But a 23 year old male making $30k/year working some part time jobs now had to worry about paying out $100-$200/month (or more) for health insurance premiums. They were no longer able to prioritize buying a Honda Civic over having health insurance.

We can argue about whether or not this is a good thing, but the point remains that it has nothing to do with car pricing. The car industry didn't price themselves out of a sale. In fact, they've been working hard to offer more features, better economy and better performance and a constant or decreasing inflation adjusted price.

SC

Nick GravesX
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Re: Harley's Demise    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-25-2018 05:38
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Car price comparisons are often clouded by the fact that cars constantly grow bigger and more sophisticated over time. This is akin the the way FREDs have become smaller and fallen in price over time.

You can now get a compact smartphone (unless you're an iDIOT) that is cheaper and more powerful than your desktop.

The only car comparison I have realised is to compare the prices of a Porsche 944 back then with a Toyota 86 now. The cars are almost identical on paper.

As for Harley, it's a very niche market. It certainly returned as a 'fashion accessory' of late and fashions change. One might argue the same with small sports cars a few years ago. MX-5s, Z3s and S2000s everywhere.

Unless the Gen-Zs suddenly develop a cult for 'Easy Rider', I'm not sure Harley's market is likely not to continue to dwindle.

Grace141
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Re: Harley's Demise    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-25-2018 07:23
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The last time we saw Peter Fonda I think he was driving a Mercedes-Benz. I've always thought that movie to be strange. I find it simply brilliant but utter trash at the same time unless a person can get into the context. Maybe too much time has passed. Maybe Gen-Z will never get it. The music is great.

Harley's sales are down from their peak days but they are still moving bikes. We should be asking where all of the bits and pieces are made. One fellow I know at work bought a $25k Harley and then another $20k in go-faster chrome beauty bits.

HondaForever
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Re: Harley's Demise    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-25-2018 09:05
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The interesting thing about Harley is that it touts itself as this great symbol of American freedom and free enterprise. It is the symbol of the "do not thread on me" crowd. Its riders are often to be seen with American flag bandannas wrapped around their heads and American flags flying proudly at the rear. Harley is, however, a shining example of conservative hypocrisy. It was bailed out in the 80's by that icon of American free enterprise capitalism, Ronald Reagan who imposed tariffs on Japanese motorcycles in order to keep Harley alive.

Ironically, Harley's current struggles only serve to bolster the very ideas conservative economists push .. that the free market does work, and that the market will always decide in the long term who should survive or disappear. They believe this until they have political reasons to interfere with it as Reagan did.


https://www.nytimes.com/1983/04/02/business/us-raises-tariff-for-motorcycles.html


HondaForever
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Re: Harley's Demise    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-25-2018 09:24
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..thread.. should be tread..
HondaForever
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Re: Harley's Demise    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-25-2018 09:25
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.. thread.. should be tread
HondaForever
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Re: Harley's Demise    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-25-2018 10:21
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Nick GravesX wrote:
Car price comparisons are often clouded by the fact that cars constantly grow bigger and more sophisticated over time. This is akin the the way FREDs have become smaller and fallen in price over time.

You can now get a compact smartphone (unless you're an iDIOT) that is cheaper and more powerful than your desktop.

The only car comparison I have realised is to compare the prices of a Porsche 944 back then with a Toyota 86 now. The cars are almost identical on paper.

As for Harley, it's a very niche market. It certainly returned as a 'fashion accessory' of late and fashions change. One might argue the same with small sports cars a few years ago. MX-5s, Z3s and S2000s everywhere.

Unless the Gen-Zs suddenly develop a cult for 'Easy Rider', I'm not sure Harley's market is likely not to continue to dwindle.


You are right. The real issue is that the "value quotient" of cars may be much better these days that in years past, as I believe you are saying. Unfortunately, while we can see the price per unit of a grocery item when we go shopping, and compare any two items to see which is better value, such a comparison, both to current competitive models and to the cars of yesteryear does not exist and so the increased value content cannot be taken into account when shopping for cars.

Of course, regardless of the much higher value content that a Bentley may have over an Accord, or even a 2019 Accord over a 2000 model, they may still be too costly, much too expensive for some of us, regardless of how well we manage our finances.

CarPhreakD
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Re: Harley's Demise    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-25-2018 10:36
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Adjusted for inflation, cars haven't really increased in pricing all that much. It's just that people's buying power isn't what it used to be (until the last couple of years). That is rapidly changing with the CUVpocalypse on hand.


NorCalSales wrote:
Stop thinking millennials don't buy cars... that narrative died years ago. They don't sign onto huge lumps of debt as freely as older generations but that's simply the result of growing up during the crash a decade ago. They buy a ton of cars.


People buys CARS because they're useful. It's no surprise that growing up during the crash and only recently becoming parents that millennials don't really want to look at buying a $20K Hardly Ableson.

CB77
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Re: Harley's Demise    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-25-2018 10:54
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I understand the arguments being made by some here that finances are not the reason for Millennials having little interest in cars or motorcycles. Is it just due to the skyrocketing cost of buying a car or motorcycle and its insurance, their obsession with computers and cell phones, or something more fundamental?

Of course those with an $80-$100,000 student loan to pay off and no good job prospects might have something to do with it. This downward trend started long before the ACA was passed, so that does not seem to be a real factor.

I also think the increasing complexity of both cars and motorcycles are having a negative effect. At one time, a 16 year old could buy an old car very cheaply and work on the engine himself to get it running (which probably many of us here did) and that can build an appreciation for cars and performance that lasts the rest of your life. That is not possible today, due to emissions requirements and the expensive, sophisticated test equipment needed to service today's cars.

If a headlight burned out on your 1970 Camaro, you bought a new one for $4.95 and installed it yourself...whereas Jeff has stated here that on a current Accord with LED headlights, you will pay $1,200 for an entire headlight assembly. And this is just one example.

And regarding the futility of aiming this massive tax cut more at the middle class...because "they will just piss it away". Well, since our economy is driven over 60% from consumer spending...that's just what we need, for them to "piss it away". The middle class spends most every $ they get their hands on, while the wealthy do not...they already have more money than they can spend.

And the massive tax cuts for businesses?

> Businesses do not expand just because they got a tax break, witness Harley, Carrier, Electrolux, etc., etc. All of whom took the tax cut, said "Thank you very much", then began downsizing and layoffs.

> Businesses do expand due to increased demand, which putting more $ in the hands of the middle class would create.


Nick GravesX
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Re: Harley's Demise    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-25-2018 11:20
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And businesses may be able to accumulate capital to invest in their future if they are not overburdened with tax, so may continue rather than enter a slow, inexorable decline without the continued investment.

Part of the overall decline in the motor cycle industry is also due to the products being cold, wet and potentially dangerous on today's SUV-infested roads. Many young people are straight into a small safety-laden car these days and never develop the 'taste' for biking.


CB77
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Re: Harley's Demise    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-25-2018 11:33
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Nick GravesX wrote:


Part of the overall decline in the motor cycle industry is also due to the products being cold, wet and potentially dangerous on today's SUV-infested roads. Many young people are straight into a small safety-laden car these days and never develop the 'taste' for biking.




Yes...Americans' willingness to accept risk has declined dramatically over the years, which has to be a factor in the continuing downward spiral of motorcycle sales.

I know the vast number of people texting and fiddling with their cellphones instead of driving has inhibited my willingness to ride motorcycles, as of late.


CarPhreakD
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Re: Harley's Demise    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-25-2018 12:27
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I don't think you can attribute a $700 phone or computer to a general disinterest in let's say, a Yamaha MT-07. Phones and computer are mostly commodity items, there's not much to get 'obsessed' over, other than general consumerism (or you're a DIY person building your own computer). I don't know why old people make this argument.

Bikes are still extremely simple. In fact I'd argue they've gotten simpler for entry level riders. A CB300R is a essentially maintenance free single cylinder bike. The poster-child for every day motorcycle is the Yamaha MT-07, a naked 2-cylinder bike. Previous to the financiapocalypse, most bikes that weren't the SV-650 are 4-bangers. The only thing that emissions has done is killed the carb (a good thing) and made uglier mufflers.

notyper
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Re: Harley's Demise    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-25-2018 13:02
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CB77 wrote:

I understand the arguments being made by some here that finances are not the reason for Millennials having little interest in cars or motorcycles. Is it just due to the skyrocketing cost of buying a car or motorcycle and its insurance, their obsession with computers and cell phones, or something more fundamental?

Of course those with an $80-$100,000 student loan to pay off and no good job prospects might have something to do with it. This downward trend started long before the ACA was passed, so that does not seem to be a real factor.

I also think the increasing complexity of both cars and motorcycles are having a negative effect. At one time, a 16 year old could buy an old car very cheaply and work on the engine himself to get it running (which probably many of us here did) and that can build an appreciation for cars and performance that lasts the rest of your life. That is not possible today, due to emissions requirements and the expensive, sophisticated test equipment needed to service today's cars.

If a headlight burned out on your 1970 Camaro, you bought a new one for $4.95 and installed it yourself...whereas Jeff has stated here that on a current Accord with LED headlights, you will pay $1,200 for an entire headlight assembly. And this is just one example.

And regarding the futility of aiming this massive tax cut more at the middle class...because "they will just piss it away". Well, since our economy is driven over 60% from consumer spending...that's just what we need, for them to "piss it away". The middle class spends most every $ they get their hands on, while the wealthy do not...they already have more money than they can spend.

And the massive tax cuts for businesses?

> Businesses do not expand just because they got a tax break, witness Harley, Carrier, Electrolux, etc., etc. All of whom took the tax cut, said "Thank you very much", then began downsizing and layoffs.

> Businesses do expand due to increased demand, which putting more $ in the hands of the middle class would create.




I think you'll see that the middle class is still getting a nice benefit from the tax cut. Just looking at withholding changes, take home pay should go up 3-4% minimum. And while the govt can't force a wage increase when giving tax reductions to corporations (which, let's be honest, simply pass expenses, including taxes, on to customers), wages are up about 1% since the tax law went into effect. Giving someone an extra 4-5% more money a year is a pretty substantial change IMO.

In terms of what companies do with the tax cuts, we are seeing share repurchases (driving up share prices, which benefits those who invest, or who have retirement plans and this does leave out people who are younger and/or in the lower income brackets), bonuses (1 time probably, so not useful for long term impacts) and in the long run, repatriation of profits back to the US, and net increases in competitiveness due to more pricing flexibility, etc.

Remember, a corporation doesn't just sit on money (unless they can't repatriate due to high taxes - like Apple was doing). Reductions in costs means either prices go down, investment goes up, or shareholders get repaid. All positive things for the economy.

SC

CB77
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Re: Harley's Demise    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-25-2018 14:15
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Well, I think we have about exhausted this topic...


CB77
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Re: Harley's Demise    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-26-2018 09:53
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Guess Karma finally caught up with Harley. 35 years ago they convinced Reagan to impose a 49% tariff on Japanese motorcycles over 700cc's...in an attempt to cripple Honda. But Honda was much too smart for them...resorting to 700cc "750s" which ran even better than the real 750s did.


Waldo
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Re: Harley's Demise    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-26-2018 17:21
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CB77 wrote:

Guess Karma finally caught up with Harley. 35 years ago they convinced Reagan to impose a 49% tariff on Japanese motorcycles over 700cc's...in an attempt to cripple Honda. But Honda was much too smart for them...resorting to 700cc "750s" which ran even better than the real 750s did.


Maybe Harley should have diversified their product line a long time ago. We should be seeing HD garden tractors, farm machinery, generators, golf carts, electronics, even cars, whatever.

They concentrated on a product that a limited group wanted, but no one actually needed. Such a product falls under the general banner of "fad". Reagan didn't save Harley. The marketing people who created the desire among boomer lawyers and other professionals to don leathers and bandanas and become pretend "bad boys" on the weekends saved Harley. That's over. Only the actual bad boys are left, and that's not a market anyone wants.

CB77
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Re: Harley's Demise    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-27-2018 09:17
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I think they painted themselves into a corner that they could not break out of. Relying too much on the bad-boy, black T-shirt crowd.

A Harley PWC or Generator or Lawn Mower (or Jet airplane...Ha! I can already hear the jokes) would have been very contrary to this image they intentionally created for themselves. Live by the sword, die by the sword.


Nick GravesX
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Re: Harley's Demise    (Score: 1, Normal) 05-27-2018 13:11
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Yeah - radial & propellor or death!

 
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