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Posts Tagged ‘Halloween’

Halloween Motorcycle Ghosts

As Halloween approaches, I decided to ponder: What strikes fear into the hearts of Harley-Davidson executives all over the land?

To answer that question, I peeked into a crystal ball, reviewed the Christine O’Donnell ad on “witches” and met with a couple carneys on voo-doo to peer into the subconscious of the motorcycle company’s most powerful execs and see what goes bump in their night.

To be clear: Some of these nightmares clearly stretch the bounds of reality, but some have a level of plausibility. They range from trivial worries to scenarios that could bring down an entire company. Read on to find out about Harley-Davidson executives’ nightmares:

CEO Starts Shooting Black-and-White Commercials: An attempt by Keith E. Wandell (CEO) to humanize the company, explain its brand value and reverse the damage which was done by the glaring hole in his garage when he admitted after being hired in 2009 that he didn’t ride a Harley-Davidson or even have a motorcycle endorsement — he has since rushed out and bought one, placed a yellow one on display in his office, obtained a “Rode Mine to Sturgis” patch and rumors are he’s ordered a 2011 model.  The CEO as pitchman in commercials is not exactly a new concept.  Just look at Sprint who seemingly cornered the market with classy, black-and-white appearances and what it did for them.

H-D Factory Employees Ride BMW: The nightmare manufacturing scenario is this: Matthew S. Levatich (President and COO) calls an all-hands meeting and scores of manufacturing personnel show up riding BMW’s new K1600. Not only would it be a rebuke of the company’s own philosophy, but it would be another sign that H-D’s bet on union workers in WI., was at a dead-end.

H-D Restarts Side-Car Manufacturing and No One Buys Them (Again): John A. Olin (CFO) doubles down on the H-D investment as the marketing efforts were not enough to sell a sidecar-challenged public the first time around, but this time side-cars will have a renaissance comeback.  Or the company hopes so.

H-D Brand Falls Off Top 100 List: Mark-Hans Richer’s (CMO) continued branding efforts to market motorcycles that boasts history over flash results in Harley dropping from the Top 100 Global Brands.  In 2010, H-D went from #73 to #98 — a 24% drop in popularity and brand value. Finding another Malcolm Forbes or Jesse James out there who can provide their personal endorsement will help improve the motorcycle brand value and might keep it on the top 100 list?  In the mean time more advertising is in the pipeline that will lead the public to think that if you own this product you too will be cool.

Fed’s Apply GM Like Pressure On H-D To Be Green(er): Jon Flickinger, (President & COO of Buell) says that H-D being a “tree-hugger” is not the first thing that comes to mind. But, just as President Obama has told our CEO during their lunch meetings, the greenhouse standards will become tougher and H-D will need to aggressively adopt new ‘green’ codes for its factory and dealer network inorder to meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s L.E.E.D. certification.  In addition they will add a new electric motorcycle to their product line, based on the Sportster Family.  Lastly and for good noise measure the company will implement California’s, SB 435 law early — on all 2011 models — which requires all street motorcycles built after 2012 to have EPA-labeled exhausts.

Secret Motorcycle Design Found At Museum Teambuilding Scavenger Hunt: Willie G. (Chief Designer) celebrates his design team accomplishments in an elegant 1920’s style glam and glitter – “the new beginning of the motorcycle” – party with everyone’s family in attendance that was hosted by the H-D Museum.  Some H-D employees dressed in the era of 1920’s to 1930’ in their caps, knee socks and knickers to remind people what it was like during the ‘roaring’ yesteryear. The feeling was eerie and mysteriously exciting all at the same time.  The employee’s children participated in a pencil and paper design contest of which an 8th grader defined the motorcycle shape that will be used to create all future motorcycle styles.

Merger Madness: Joanne Bishmann (VP Communications) is weaving a compelling story and spinning the news how Harley-Davidson is pressured into a merger in order to save the company from further manufacturing cuts and/or collapse.  H-D sells 49% of its shares to Daewoo Corporation in exchange for a much needed influx of capital and to pay off the $6B in debt.  Hyosung Motorcycle director, Mr. Ji Jas Ryong (pronounced “jus wrong”) says “We do not expect to change anything with the famous look of the H-D product, other than the logo, in fact we consider it an honor to include it along side Hyosung premium sport bike line.”

What are your thoughts?  Are there other H-D nightmares out there?

Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures (Ghost Rider) This blog post is satire and entirely fictitious.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog
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debrisIt happens this Saturday, October 31st.  Halloween falls on a Saturday this year and it’s a particularly deadly night due to impaired drivers.

The ODOT Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data reveals a startling fact.   It turns out that 90% of the fatalities (10) on Halloween night (6:00 p.m., October 31st to 5:59 a.m., November 1st) between 1998 and 2008 in Oregon occurred in alcohol and/or drug-involved traffic crashes.  And according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2008, 58 percent of all highway fatalities across the nation on Halloween night last year involved a driver or a motorcycle rider with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, which is illegal in every state.

Now let’s add the fact that Eugene and Corvallis will see a significant traffic increase associated with UO and OSU home football games.  All of this mixes with excitable trick-or-treaters, and costumed party-goers — we have the perfect storm of people taking the party to the roadways.

Everyone plays an important role in keeping the kids and roads safe.  Please be safe out there and enjoy the weekend.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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It’s that time of year.  Halloween, not home foreclosures.   But one could debate that this year’s home default rate is scarier than last when this comic first released.

It’s only a few days away and preparations have resulted in spider webs and jack-o-lanterns everywhere.  I’ve never been one of those people who need a dose of “pants-crapping terror” which seems to always occupy the movie theaters and TV shows this time of year.  I do enjoy giving out “treats” and seeing neighbor kids in the ‘hood’.  Kids bring a certain “life” to any neighborhood.  Besides it’s a nice break from the stock market swooning, home sales slumping and political talking heads bloviating future fears.  Even hundreds of flesh-eating zombies howling and lurching through the cul-de-sac is an improvement over talking heads!

The word ‘Halloween’ originates from ‘All Hallows Eve’. This night is November 1, and called “All Hollows Day” (or “All Saints Day”). It stems from the Catholic religion and was a celebration of saints. The American version of Halloween has its origin in the ancient (pre-Christian) Druid fire festival called “Samhain”, celebrated by the Celts in Scotland, Wales and Ireland. In Scotland, the celebration was known as Hallowe’en. This Celtic celebration was thought to be an end to summer and that the “veil between the worlds” was at its thinnest, and the dead could communicate with the living.  The “trick-or-treat” custom comes from America in the 1930s. The custom was intended to control and displace disruptive pranks. Good children were encouraged to go door to door and receive treats from homes and shop owners, thereby keeping troublemakers away.

Since spooktacular is a Friday this year its important to rember how its a particularly deadly night due to drunk drivers.  The Oregon DMV site states that in 2006, 44% of all highway fatalities across the nation involved a driver or motorcycle rider with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher.

Be safe out there…

Haunted Houses photo courtesy of Rocky Mountain News and the talented Ed Stein.

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