Keith Wandell grabbed the handlebars of Harley Davidson in 2009 when it had the speed wobbles. Harley Davidson lost US$ 55 million (over 1.7 billion THB) that year, which was at the height of the global financial crisis, when many potential customers stopped buying motorcycles.
But the road ahead now appears clear and less bumpy. Keith Wandell has shed Buell and MV Agusta and changed the company's focus, relying less on middle-aged men in the US as consumers, and concentrating on the big, premium-priced Harley Davidson's. The result? A profit of US$ 624 million (19.4 billion THB) in 2012, the best return since 2008. With lower costs and more efficient production, Harley Davidson is well situated to grow with the economy and to withstand any future downturn.
Exports and new models will be the key to future success.