Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Beverly Hills’

Gangnam Style Opening Ceremony In Penang Malaysia

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock because you’re scared to death of the politicians that want to destroy our Freedoms, then you’ve likely heard of the song Gangnam Style by the Korean rapper PSY (video HERE).  It’s hard to utter the words “Korean” and “rapper” in the same sentence and keep a straight face.

Gangnam Style was used for the opening ceremonies (Video HERE) for the $2M RM (2M Malaysian Ringgits = ~$700K U.S.) 8000 sq.ft. Harley-Davidson dealer in Penang, Malaysia this month.

It’s a crazy world when a Korean pop song (K-pop) is used to introduce an American iconic brand (which is the poster child for freedom) to Malaysian motorcycle enthusiasts.  In case you didn’t do the Google, Malaysia is a country where 60% (approx. 25M people) are Muslims and if I understand the ruling correctly, dancing is not something permissible.

Harley-Davidson Penang

The K-pop song shot to meteoric fame during the Olympics.  It got another boost when Justin Bieber’s manager (Scooter Braun) picked up the group and they recently performed on the Today show.   So the song is still lingering around.  PSY (real name is Jae-Sang Park) is a complete goofball.  He looks like someone you’d see at a late night Karaoke club who drank too much Soju (Korean alcohol). He’s singing off pitch, but the sunglasses make you look cool so roll with it and no one should take notice.  The video is like watching rainbows and unicorns in a train wreck. But, then you find yourself for the rest of the day saying out loud over and over…”GANGNAM STYLE”… followed by outbreaks of a goofy horse dancing move in your kitchen.  I mean, you not me of course.

You might be asking yourself the question, what is this Gangnam Style anyway?

Gangnam is actually a very affluent area of Seoul, South Korea.  Evidently it’s not unusual to find Mercedes, Porsches and BMW’s in the area as opposed to Hyundai and Daewoo like in the rest of the city.  ”Gangnam means, it’s like Beverly Hills of Korea.” PSY told ABC news.  Referring to the video PSY says, “But the guy doesn’t look like Beverly Hills. Dance doesn’t look like Beverly Hills. … And the situation in music video doesn’t look like Beverly Hills. But he keeps saying he’s Beverly Hills style. So that’s the point. It’s sort of a twist.”

I love it.

Korean Rapper – PSY

After going viral, PSY’s outrageous dance moves have led to numerous imitation videos, including one here in Oregon featuring the Oregon Duck, the University of Oregon’s mascot. In fact, there was a video released this week where the entire UO band got into the Gangnam Style act HERE during a half-time.

And speaking of Freedom… I like that I live in a country where people are able to work hard and chase whatever awesome dream they can think up.  Even if it’s a goofy dance video that goes viral and they make millions from it.  I want them to be able to order a 52 oz soda if that’s what they want to drink.  I want them to be able to buy a Harley-Davidson, Porsche or Hyundai or whatever it is that makes them happy.  I like living in a country so free that you can defy all the odds.  You can try things and screw up and begin again.  In short, success is an awesome thing.  And living in a country that promotes success and successful living should be trumpeted.  So go for your GANGNAM STYLE to your heart’s content.  We’re still free to dance in our kitchens!

And speaking of success.  Memo to H-D Marketing… please send me a GANGNAM STYLE Harley t-shirt when you get it designed.  I don’t want to buy a Korean knock-off.

UPDATE: September 27, 2012 — According to the Guinness World Records the Gangnam Style video has now become the most liked video of all time on YouTube.

Photos courtesy of H-D Penang, and Michael Kovac/Getty Images

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog
Advertisements

Read Full Post »

I was in L.A. last week driving down part of Route 66 towards the Santa Monica pier and through Beverly Hills enjoying the nice California  weather.

There were more yet-to-be licensed Benzes, Ferraris and Porsches over a three-mile stretch than I’ve seen in the past year.  And here I was in an ultra-cool Nissan Cube rental, arm out the window and for a few blocks co-mingling with the rich and famous.

Speaking of… did you read that the Harley-Davidson president and CEO, Keith Wandell, opted not to have his base salary increased in 2011, according to a proxy statement filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

On the surface this – “we’re all in it together” – grand gesture would make a person believe that a CEO who accepts a ZERO increase in salary is saying they’re a team player who wants to make a sacrifice for the good of the company.  After all wasn’t it Harley-Davidson management that laid-off hundreds of workers, closed plants and obtained impressive union concessions in a new multi-tiered workforce structure for the survival of the company?

Call me cynical, but when I hear about these it seems more like “camouflage” to deflect scrutiny off the extraordinary set of CEO benefits or at minimum to get publicity and produce significant positive short-term market reaction.

In fact, there are a number of reports which suggest these type of salary tactics are nothing but a ruse or smokescreen as a number of CEOs have adopted these pay schemes.  It’s the kind of opportunistic behavior from those wealthier, more confident, influential CEO’s rather than sacrificial acts they are ‘projected’ out to be.

I certainly don’t know if or what Mr. Wandell’s intent was, but we do know his total compensation in 2011 rose nearly 13% to about $7.2 million, compared with $6.4 million in 2010.  We also know the motor company paid Mr. Wandell a bonus of $365,639 in 2011.  He also received a base salary of $975,037 in 2011, equal to his salary in 2010.

And to be clear this post isn’t about wealth envy or whining about how it must be nice to be rich.  We all know that rich people and bankers are beating the system.  They’re writing off multi-thousand dollar meals with rare wines at places with unlisted phone numbers that you/I can’t get into.  Unless you just woke up in North Korea, then you know that in America, if you don’t like what you earn, where you work or what you do for a living then you’re entitled to leave (quit) and go start a company, further your education or do whatever the hell you want.  It’s clear that company’s exist to make a profit for their shareholders and if the shareholders don’t like what the CEO is doing, or earning then they can fire the board of directors to include the CEO.

But wait there’s even more.  Mr. Wandell received total cash bonus payments, both discretionary and performance-based, totaling more than $2.8 million in 2011, compared with cash bonus payments of about $2.3 million in 2010.  His stock awards were valued at $1.5 million, compared with $1.4 million in 2010, while his option awards were valued at $1.7 million, compared with $1.6 million the previous year.  He also received “other” compensation totaling about $175,000 in 2011, compared with about $84,000 in 2010. The payments included $29,600 in lieu of receiving certain perquisites and personal benefits, nonqualified deferred compensation plan contributions of $68,466, 401(k) plan contributions of $31,850, and life insurance premiums of $13,727. He also received additional benefits that totaled $25,478 consisting of financial planning services, personal use of company aircraft and clothing.

What’s the punch line?

Well given that Mr. Wandell has made things happen, meaning that as “Head Honcho” he made moves that H-D insiders historically shied away from.  He played hardball with dealers, shed crappy brands, cut labor contracts, made major job cuts and closed plants. Some folks were let go just prior to Christmas, but unfazed he continued to trim the fat and raised cash by selling some old investments, like Harley’s semi-secret test track in the Everglades.  He also challenged Harley’s own traditional norms by altering its marketing strategy to attract non-traditional segments, like women and minorities.  He also embarked on an international growth strategy that will eventually bring the all the products, the parts, the lifestyle, and the American V-Twin to enthusiasts worldwide.  The financial numbers speak for themselves.

All this from a guy who came to the Motor Company and did not even ride any kind of motorcycle!  He’s earned a raise.  How hard is it to understand… Harley success = Industry success.

Photo taken by author’s iPhone and post-processed in Snapseed (Nik Software).

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: