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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.

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dear_santaWith Christmas fast approaching, I thought it was a perfect time to ask Santa to grant some of my motorcycle wishes. Here’s what I want this holiday season: 

  1. Santa, please save Harley-Davidson from the economic meltdown. I want Harley, the key American motorcycle manufacture and underdog, to overcome all of its issues and be restored to the high-flying innovative motorcycle manufacture it once was. I long for bigger blocks, tight cylinder liners, tight head gaskets, 4 valves per jug, liquid-and-air-cooled, more HP, more torque and fewer problems. A $55 stock price would be nice too.
  2. Put an end to those Japanese-Harley clones. Japanese manufactures: stop trying to copy Harley and instead come up with your own breakthrough cruiser that delivers a superb motorcycle riding experience. Even better, make sure your engines sound flawlessly “Harley-like” on the American highway system before you debut them.
  3. Help Harley’s SAMCRO motorcycle vision come true. I know there are a lot of naysayers that doubt an OMC vision of a limited edition motorcycle launch will come to fruition, but I’d like to see it happen. I think this savvy idea could challenge traditional branding business models and create much more buzz in the competitive co-branding market.
  4. Help Harley win an exclusive product placement in Ben Affleck’s film about Arizona Republic journalist Don Bolles. He was killed in 1976 while working on a story about political corruption and organized crime. Rumor is Clooney will be lead and he rides motorcycles!
  5. Help reduce the number of federally protected gray wolves shot in Wisconsin by Harley hunters during deer season.
  6. Please, please, please help Harley marketing. The “sex sells” strategy with Marisa Miller is not working. Emotions are clouding their judgment.
  7. Hold the line on Summerfest beer prices. A recession is no time to raise beer prices and we need to keep the “suds” charges low.
  8. Lastly, please provide riders prolonged exposure to the wind so that all may find extended periods of uncontrolled euphoria.

My list may not be long, but my wishes aren’t going to be easy to grant. I hope Santa has some business-savvy elves ready to buckle down and work on my list. Let’s not stop there — send your wish list or comments below.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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shopping_lineChristmas shopping is not the easiest task and finding deals without getting injured in the crowds can be a challenge. 

Yet, I grabbed my list of Harley items, Pet Rock’s, Webkinz and headed for the mall the other day. Walking out through the garage I notice a lot of fallen leaves.  I decided to do a quick spray off of debris on the walk way, but as I turn on the water hose, I looked over at the Harley and decided it needs washing.

I search for the soap bucket and notice boxes stacked on top of the recycle container that I had brought down earlier. I decide to cut down the boxes before I wash the Harley. I head to the tool box looking for the box cutter and notice the neon clock is off an hour. I pull out the step ladder to reach the clock and notice the new furnace filters sitting on the top shelf.  Not knowing when I last changed them this now becomes a priority.

I head toward the furnace, but notice a Diet Coke I brought down earlier is getting warm, and decide to put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold.  I head toward the kitchen with the Diet Coke and a limp plant on the end-table catches my eye — it needs water.  I put the Diet Coke on the counter and discover my reading glasses that I’ve been searching for.  I decide I better put them back on my desk, but first I’m going to water that plant.

christmas_wrap1I set my glasses back down on the counter, fill a container with water and then I spot the TV remote. I left it on the kitchen table and realize that tonight when I go to watch TV, I’ll be looking all over for it, but I won’t remember that it’s on the table, So I better put it back in the den where it belongs, but first I’ll water that plant.

I pour some water in the plant, but some of it spills on the floor.  I set the remote back on the table, use up the last of the paper towels to wipe up the spill. I head down the hall for another roll of paper towels trying to remember what was it I was planning to do today?!

At the end of the day there are still leaves piled up on the walk way, the Harley didn’t get washed, the furnace filters need replaced,  there is a warm can of Diet Coke sitting on the counter, the plant was flooded, no gifts purchased and I can’t find my glasses.  I’m feeling really tired and started wondering if I have an attention problem?  I pause briefly thinking about a time management class providing more clarity, but first I’ll check my e-mail…

Happy shopping folks.  There’s only a couple weeks left and if you’re one of those camp out, pre-dawn, stampede frenzied shoppers remember to look both ways before crossing the store aisle!

Shopping line photo courtesy of CNN.

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santa_hdEver wonder where Santa goes after delivering all those gifts?

  

Well here is a little ecard courtesy of Bikersvision that provides a “Christmas Carol” clue.

  

Enjoy.

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santa_badIt’s that time of year and I find myself mumbling songs like “Here comes Santa Clause, here comes Santa Clause……rumbling down the lane”. 

Or that other holiday tradition… “He knows if you’ve been bad or good…” so be naughty and saran-wrapped for goodness sake!

Something like that I think.  Being bad for badness sake?!

I’m having serious riding withdrawals.  The conditions have been wet, cold during the day (40’s) and lots of debris from gravel to tree branches on the roads.

At this point I welcome the snow because it would be a sign that winter is here and that spring can’t be too far in the future!  So, I’ve had to resort to watching YouTube videos of biker events and finding eclectic information for the posse.

First off for your pleasure is this Harley Davidson bad-to-the-bone Santa video.  Throwing that “fresh” meat covered bone to the dog is classic!

naughty_listAnd then there’s this: Jesse James, a distant relative of the outlaw from the 1880s and of West Coast Chopper fame  recently opened a healthy food diner called Cisco Burger, named for his one-toothed pit bull, whose portraits adorn the walls of the restaurant. The Burger joint is inside the James’ “compound” of metalworker’s dreams.

Lastly is an exerpt from the Hell Ride wiki: Hell Ride is a feature film from Larry Bishop being released under the “Quentin Tarantino Presents” banner.

jessie_cisco_burgerThe film promises to be a blood and sex-soaked tale of motorcycle revenge and retribution. Sounds like Pulp Fiction meets Wild Hogs and with the bike riding legend Dennis Hopper (as Eddie “Scratch” Zero) to star as members of the satanic biker gang the 666ersit should be a good one.

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