Santa wasn’t good to the motorcycle industry in 2009. A weak economy, company layoffs, a housing melt-down, credit freeze, higher manufacturing costs and an ever discriminating consumer to boot. As Harley-Davidson executives ponder over what happen this year, I can’t help but believe there are some major things on their wish lists to Santa. So I’ve taken a scientific (parody alert!) guess of what some of H-D’s top executives want for Christmas:
Keith Wandell, CEO, Harley-Davidson: I got the head honcho job with the industry’s most iconic motorcycle manufacture in history, that has a cult-like following, with vendors tripping all over themselves to copy what we’ve done and I didn’t even have a motorcycle endorsement. I can’t think of anything more to ask for. Oh wait, all those government stimulus funds – listen up Santa, I’ve been to the White House twice for dinner. Have I not been nice enough? Please let the spinner land on my project.
Mark-Hans Richer, Sr. VP & Chief Marketing Officer: What the ho? Please, Santa send us Tiger Woods! As the leader of the world’s foremost authority on brand marketing, our team of cutting edge hoo-ha marketers developed a new strategy with Tiger as the spokesperson! It’s set to appeal to the outlaw in every man. We plan to dump that “ludicrous” campaign in favor of “Night of the Tiger”…complete with an exclusive Elin ghost flame paint scheme…
Bill Davidson, VP Core Customer Marketing: Please Santa let 2010 be the year for H-D in professional motorcycle racing. Nothing but wins – in the dirt or drag or NHRA Pro – whatever it says on my t-shirt. Wait, can you also help people forget about that botched firing of Anne Paluso. Really our plan is to go racing – go “team scream” or something like that.
John Olin, CFO: Motorcycle sales! Santa it’s not my fault. Please let me milk this “new in my job” for just a while longer. What do they expect? Miracles on Juneau Avenue! Doesn’t it matter that I’ve been here less time than Keith? I do have a motorcycle endorsement. And, my calculator is newer than Lawrence’s!
Matthew Levatich, President & COO: Santa please get the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to approve and recognize my heroic role in getting the special license plate commemorating Harley-Davidson through the political red-tape as the state’s official motorcycle. Yep, 2010 is shaping up to be a good performance review! Memo to Enrico… get the bottle of Chianti ready!
Lawrence Hund, President & COO of H-D Finance: A new platinum edition HP 12C calculator. The minus button on my last one quit working.
Gail Lione, EVP & General Counsel: Santa please tell us who is behind that NWHOG?! Send us that macrant email address. We have an important legal document gift we wish to serve send over to Northwest Harley Blog.
Paul James, Harley-Davidson Company Spokesperson: Please let me graduate the training class called “If the dream is big enough, the facts don’t matter” — a.k.a. the Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf school of bubbling optimism to distract the media and bloggers with superfluous BS so they ignore our fundamental problems.
James McCaslin, EVP Corporate Product Planning: Santa can you get me a copy of Keith’s industry information? I’ve never heard of “vendors tripping all over themselves to copy what we’ve done?” I do remember a blogger at the 105th Anniversary trying to take a photo of a plant tour and we ran his butt right out the building before he was able to take pictures of the lunch room.
Karl Eberle, Sr. VP Manufacturing: Please make Indian go away. We are tired of being embarrassed in our own back yard when it comes to American cruisers and we don’t want that company bragging about their superior performance anymore.
Enrico D’Onofrio, Managing Director – MV Augusta: I already got what I wanted. Thanks for the early Christmas present H-D! That sale notification surprised Wall Street… as you say in your home land… my golden shute is priceless. All this talk about motorcycles when the grape reigns supreme here in the zone of Tuscany… please pass the Chianti.
Jon R. Flickinger, President & COO of Buell: A job! Also could you unload some of those dusty Buell’s in the warehouse? My exit bonus is on the line.
Thanks for your readership during this past year. You may not have agreed with what I had to say at times, but it made for some lively discussions nevertheless. Merry Christmas, happy holidays and best wishes to you in 2010.
Photo courtesy of Flickr.