Our nation loves an underdog.
It’s in our collective DNA because it makes us feel good.
Social scientists have a few theories as to why, and they range from schadenfreude (the pleasure we experience when others experience misfortune), to a sense of fairness, to the sense of hope that emerges from unexpected success.
I think it comes down to people believing that there’s a lot more to gain if there’s an upset.
It doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about sports or money; people consistently play to their emotions.
Take Harley-Davidson Inc. (NYSE: HOG), for example.
The legendary American motorcycle maker is in deep trouble.
Shares are off 55.41% from their all-time high of $75.87 on Nov. 22, 2006.
Shipments are the lowest they’ve been in years, and dealers can’t sell through the stock on hand at the speed they need to keep things moving – pun absolutely intended.
Plus, from 2014 to 2017, sales declined 9.33% – from 6.23 billion in 2014 to $5.65 billion in 2017.
Officially, the industry-wide story – at least as Harley tells it – is that the boomers are getting too old to ride, and the millennials just aren’t interested.
I don’t buy that.
Harley’s primary competitor, Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII), is growing revenue 15.40% a year by offering a “family” of motorsport vehicles, ranging from all-terrain buggies to snowmobiles, and– yes – motorcycles. Many of which are offered at far lower price points and, dare I say it, far higher quality with far better engineering than Harley – including the highly successful, recently relaunched Indian brand.
Harley CEO Matt Levatich doesn’t see things that way, of course.
He’s embarked on a program to launch 100 new motorcycle models by 2027 – a project that will have Harley spending millions on marketing, new ridership programs, electric motorcycle development, and more. The company’s adding dealership locations in China, India, Norway, Spain, and Thailand.
BIG, FAST PROFITS: This one pick paid 100% in seven days, then 205% the next day, and 410% by the next week. You’ve got to see how it’s done…
But what Harley really ought to be doing is what Polaris is already doing: producing leaner, smaller, and less expensive bikes for urban, younger, and increasingly female riders.
… like the Polaris 2019 Can-Am Ryker.
Polaris introduced the Can-Am Spyder a decade ago, and almost immediately redefined the riding experience. Chances are, you’ve seen more than a few of these three-wheelers in your neighborhood.
The Ryker is something entirely different.