With Harley-Davidson’s recent announcement it would move some of its production outside of the U.S. of A.—specifically to avoid steep E.U. tariffs—we looked into how this impacts the perception of the motorcycle brand.  

Considering Harleys have been manufactured almost solely in America since the company’s birth in 1903, it’s no surprise 37% of US adults say the move overseas changes their opinion of the household motorcycle name for the worse. Overall, those in the 37% ‘worse’ category are more likely to be between 35-54, compared to the general population:

We’re guessing right in that age group is HD’s target customer.

What about the 41% who say this does not impact their opinion at all? That’s a pretty strong group. Well, these folks are less likely to be interested in the idea of owning a motorcycle anyhow. More on that later.

Let’s look at overall motorcycle ownership status among US adults, tracked since 2015:

3% of US adults report they have a new motorcycle and 9% have one and need a new one, or plan to buy their first one soon. That combined 12% is a small but still powerful portion of the population.

When cross-tabbing the perception of the recent Harley-Davidson news, compared to those in the market for a motorcycle, you’ll see Harley’s announcement could have implications on who’s buying:

61% of those want to buy a motorcycle soon say Harley’s move makes their opinion of the brand change negatively.

How will this pan out? We’re guessing the Made in USA option will still be available, and of course, we don’t know all the details. But, based on our data, we do know this could change things for Harley-Davidson when it comes to who buys one and how consumers feel about it.