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Posts Tagged ‘Wish List’

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.

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