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The US motorcycle manufacturing industry includes about 70 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $4 billion. The industry, which is highly concentrated, is dominated by Harley-Davidson. Other industry participants include foreign-based companies with final assembly operations in the US, parts and accessories manufacturers, and custom builders who make built-to-order products for motorcycle enthusiasts.
Personal income and interest rates drive demand. Motorcycles are considered discretionary items in the US since few are used as a primary means of transportation. The profitability of individual companies depends on volume and sales of high-margin accessories and add-ons. Small manufacturers compete by offering highly customized products. The industry is capital-intensive: average annual revenue per employee is about $550,000.
PRODUCTS, OPERATIONS & TECHNOLOGY
Major products include street bikes, such as cruisers, sport bikes, standards, and touring motorcycles; off-road cycles designed for dirt and mountain terrain; scooters; and dual sport bikes designed for both road and off-road usage. Street bikes account for 73 percent of US unit sales, off-road cycles for 14 percent, scooters for 7 percent, and dual sport bikes for 6 percent, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC). Motorcycle engines are measured in cubic centimeters (cc) of engine cylinder displacement, and range from 50 cc to more than 2,000 cc. Heavyweight bikes have engines with 650 cc or greater.
Motorcycles are typically produced on assembly lines, similar to how the auto industry makes ...
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