Russ Brown News: Indian Looks to Take a Chunk out of Harley
Bankrupt, and nearly left for dead, Indian Motorcycles couldn’t help but lose market share to competitors—most notably Harley-Davidson. Recent decades saw continued growth at Harley and continued decline at Indian.
Bouncing between different owners, different & ineffective strategies, Indian became a shadow of its former self as it searched for salvation. It seems that the elusive “savior” may now have been found and there is a very bright light at the end of the long tunnel in which Indian has been languishing. That savior, Polaris, certainly has the financial power to attempt a strike back at the market in an effort to reclaim its former glory and brand recognition. But can it take a chunk out of motorcycle industry leader Harley-Davidson?
Indian certainly hopes so—and, they are confident that they will. Solid and stable ownership has allowed Indian to get back to designing and making motorcycles that are both pleasing to the eye, cutting edge and affordable—essentially blending the past and present. The all new 111 cubic inch Thunder Stroke engine was designed to be the power plant anchor for the 2014 model year bikes and the all new, classically designed Chief model is said to sport a look that harkens back to Indian’s glory days. The bike has not been officially revealed at this point and is scheduled to make a splash at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally next month at an official unveiling ceremony.
However, Harley has excelled at creating bikes that blend modern engineering with a rich history and tradition in their looks and is clearly the market leader in that area. The task of biting into that market will not be an easy one and some think not likely at all. There are believers though like Mike Wolfe, of TV’s “American Pickers” who thinks that Indian does have a shot. “Will Indian take Harley-Davidson down to its knees? No, at least not right away,” said Wolfe, stressing Indian’s need to establish a firm grasp on the market. He added “But now there’s a choice.”
Indian has gone to great effort to convince the public to make the choice to switch, going so far as to air an ad that features a Harley-Davidson bike that holds a “For Sale” sign. But will some of the world’s most loyal buyers ever actually dismiss the brand they hold so near and dear? Time will only tell, but Indian is certainly making a strong push to convince them that the best choice is an Indian motorcycle.
Time will tell as this battle begins and who knows how it will end up…will Indian make inroads at Harley Davidson’s expense? Harley likely won’t stand by and allow that to happen—almost certain to defend its place atop the market. One thing is for sure though; we once again have a clash of the titans atop the market and that usually bodes well for motorcycle riders.
Sound Off – What do you think?
Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys®