Many people don’t know where Harley-Davidson came from or who owns it. So, who owns Harley-Davidson? If you have a Harley-Davidson or are thinking about getting one, it makes sense that you would want to know who owns the company.
In 1903, Walter Davidson, Arthur Davidson, William Davidson, and William Harley started the company Harley-Davidson. Harley-Davidson is now a publicly traded company, which means that it is not owned by just one company. Instead, it is owned by many people, but it is still called Harley-Davidson Inc.
Who is Harley-Davidson? A quick look back
Harley-humble Davidson’s beginnings were in a wooden shack that was 10 feet by 15 feet. But the company has never forgotten where it came from. It still has its headquarters at the same place in Milwaukee where the first Harleys were made.
Many people have asked us if Herley Davidson was a real person. In fact, William S. Harley was one of the two people who started H-D. In 1901, he made a bicycle engine that started it all.
Here are some of our favorite Harley moments from the past:
- 1903: Harley and William S. Davidson make the first H-D bike together.
- 1905: A 15-mile race in Chicago is won by a Harley-Davidson bike in just over 19 hours.
- 1907: A new, bigger factory helps Harley and Davidson make more bikes.
- 1909: Harley-Davidson makes the famous V-twin, 7-horsepower motorcycle for the first time.
- 1913: A group of U.S. There are now more than 200 dealers for Harley-Davidson.
- 1919: Nearly half of the bikes made this year are sold to the military for use in World War I.
- 1928: Bikes in the JD series get engines with two cams. This lets them reach top speeds of 85 to 100 mph.
- 1945: During World War II, Harley sells more than 60,000 WLA model motorcycles to the military.
- 1955: An H-D model wins the Daytona 200 for the first of seven times in a row.
- 1957: The “superbike” Sportster is made.
- 1969: Harley briefly joins the American Machine and Foundry Company (AMF).
- 1973: H-D moves its assembly work to a new 400,000-square-foot plant in York, Oregon.
- In 1981: 13 top managers at H-D buy the company back from AMF.
- 1990: The legendary FLSTF Fatboy® is born.
- 2009: Harley-Davidson begins making motorbikes in India.
Who is the current owner of Harley-Davidson?
In this situation, it’s natural for people to wonder who owns Harley-Davidson, especially since this has changed more than once over the years. This is a simple question with a simple answer, which is good news. In the end, Harley-Davidson is a public company right now. So what is a public company? It refers to a type of business that has a separate legal existence from its owners. They are recognized as owners because they have stock shares in the business. Shares of stock in public companies are owned by people from the general public. Those stock shares can be traded freely on stock exchanges and over-the-counter markets.
In other words, a lot of people own Harley-Davidson because the company has a lot of shareholders. When it comes to corporations, it is important to remember that some shareholders are more important than others. After all, having more shares gives you a bigger say in a lot of important decisions. In fact, most shareholders won’t affect the day-to-day running of corporations. In any case, everyone knows who the biggest Harley-Davidson shareholders are. As of November 24, 2021, Boston Partners Global Investors, the Vanguard Group, BlackRock Fund Advisors, H Partners Management, and Beutel, Goodman & Co. are the five biggest shareholders:
- The Vanguard Group, Inc: 8.89%
- H Partners Management LLC: 8.55%
- BlackRock Fund Advisors: 7.83%
- Boston Partners Global Investors: 6.78%
- Beutel, Goodman & Co. Ltd.: 4.89%
Beutel, Goodman & Co. owns the least of the company, with only 4.89 percent of the outstanding shares. This is a lot less than the other members, which each own more than 7 percent but less than 9 percent. Still, each of these groups owns Harley-Davidson stock worth hundreds of millions of dollars, which makes sense since the company is worth close to $6 billion on the stock market.
Are there any other entities that have owned Harley-Davidson?
As we’ve already said, Harley-Davidson has had more than one owner over its long history. At first, it was owned by its founders, which led to the founders’ families taking over ownership. Then, in 1965, Harley-Davidson went public. But the company soon started to have trouble, so it started looking for a merger or a buyout. In 1969, it became a part of American Machine and Foundry (AMF). People might not know what that name means. If so, they should know that AMF had its own problems in the late 1970s and early 1980s due to old buildings, problems with quality control, and a wide range of products that were hard to keep track of. So, it sold everything it owned before going out of business in 1985.
Any way you look at it, that move helped Harley-Davidson stay in business through the 1970s. By the end of that decade, the company’s leaders were thinking about leaving, so they made an offer to buy back the company. It was accepted and completed in 1981.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where do Harley-Davidson motorbikes come from?
So, where exactly in the United States are Harley motorcycles made? The company now has seven factories around the world that make bikes for customers all over the world. But all Harleys that are sold in the U.S. are made at three factories in:
- York, Pennsylvania, USA
- Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, US
- Tomahawk, Wisconsin, US
When you start talking about parts and components, things get a little more complicated. From Austria come the engine pistons, from Japan come to the suspensions, from Italy come the clutch and brakes, and from Mexico and China come different electronic parts.
Where is the main office for Harley-Davidson?
With so many dealerships in the U.S. and around the world, it can be hard to find out how to get in touch with the company’s headquarters. We mean, where do you even begin? Well, you can get in touch with HQ.
Harley-Davidson was started in Milwaukee, WI, in 1903, and that is still where the company’s headquarters are. If you need to go in person, the offices are at 3700 W Juneau Ave, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 53208, United States.
What are Harley-Davidson parent companies?
Harley-Davidson Inc. is owned by two other businesses:
- Harley Davidson Motor Co Group LLC
- Harley-Davidson Motor Company Group, Inc
The main parent organization is Harley Davidson Motor Co Group LLC. They have several subsidiaries, including ones that make medical equipment and drivetrains. Harley-Davidson Inc. also has a subsidiary called Harley-Davidson Motor Company Group, Inc.
It’s not clear how much these parent companies affect their subsidiary. After all, a parent company can choose to either have an influence on or stay out of the way and let the subsidiary run itself.
Does Harley-Davidson have any subsidiaries?
It’s quite a bit difficult to understand now because Harley-Davidson Inc, which has two parent companies, also has its own subsidiaries. Let us make it simple for you. The company owns the four following subsidiaries:
- Harley-Davidson EMEA
- Harley-Davidson Brazil
- Harley-Davidson India
- Harley-Davidson Asia
They are in charge of the business side of the brand in other countries. Therefore, if you want to open a Harley-Davidson dealership in India, Brazil, Africa, or Asia, all you have to do is talk to the subsidiaries above.
Does Kawasaki own Harley-Davidson?
Some people might have heard that Kawasaki bought out Harley-Davidson. If so, they should know that this story started as an April Fools’ joke. It has reached a surprising number of people and lasted a surprising amount of time.
More things to think about
Harley-Davidson is currently a public company. But it’s interesting to know that a public company can become a private company. How? A private group can basically go to the shareholders and offer to buy their shares at a certain price per share. If most of the shareholders agree to the offer, it will go through. As a result, the public company will become a private company.
The problem with a public company going private is that a private group needs to be ready to pay a lot of money. This kind of thing can happen, but it’s not common. Therefore, it is possible that a private group can buy the company at some point in the future, but it is hard to say when that will happen.