The advertising is a sign of falling sales which has hit all the automotive sectors because of job outsourcing and other dismal economic factors. In My Opinion
I don't think that job outsourcing has anything to do with falling sales (I am not so sure that sales are falling across all automotive sectors either... maybe moving from one type of vehicle to another, but one might easily argue that there are other factors such as gas prices rather than job outsourcing as the culprit); how do the two tie together? That and the remark about illegal aliens sound more like ethnocentric frustration than a valid argument (and no, I am not an illegal alien... just calling it like I see it).
The only reason they're not bringing in the young riders is their prices.
I can see your point Uesque, and I don't have any empirical data to support my contention, other than falling within the demographic myself, but my opinion is that young people don't buy Harleys because they don't identify with them so they don't see the value in overpaying for a bike (assuming they even have the money). IMO, Harleys are ridden by old diehards, or aging baby boomers who suddenly all "live to ride/ride to live" (yeah, right).
I am more interested in bikes that are fun to ride, and if Japanese steel is better and more affordable then that is where my dollars go. I actually like riding motorcycles that are fun to ride, not motorcycles that have a certain name brand.
Harley Davidson has bikes in a factory in China, conversely foreign parts are used on just about every American vehicle that rolls on American roads... it is hard to split hairs on just what "buying American" means anymore. Just my opinion.
I wish them luck...Indian tried for a comeback in the 70's with a line of small bikes made in Taiwan (if I remember rightly) up to about 125cc I think. They spent a lot of money, set up a dealer network and went belly up. It takes more than a name...it takes a quality machine. What they won't do is bring back the old INDIAN CHIEF exactly as it was back in the 50's... then improve on that. Coming out with a completely new engine means years of problems, redesigns and mistakes though it might look great to start with. If it makes it, it would have made it without the Indian name.
I remember reading a few times throughout the years about the rebirth and death of the Indian name. If I am not mistaken, their latest demise had more to do with investment money that dried up once the stakeholders got scared by a flat start. It didn't necessarily have to do with bike build(unless they started up and failed again since the last time I checked). And, at the risk of offending (which I hope this isn't seen as offensive), Harley hasn't exactly been considered a dependable bike to ride over the years. I know HD owners who will be the first to admit it. So it is safe to say that m/c companies don't necessarily fail because their bikes aren't the most dependable. At least not in the case of HD, who got a shot in the arm by the boomers.
But, I would venture to say that baby boomers are going to get older and older and lose interest in HD bikes, and I think that the company knows this. The original Harley buyers don't number high enough to float the company by themselves, which is why HD made the smart move to expand globaly. There are billions of people in China. If Harley can get their name to be as popular as Coke (hence the advertising campaign) they might find a new demographic overseas to help sustain sales. A lot of foreign countries love American branding. The days of an HD owner being a "lone wolf" are long gone. And Indian and others stand a chance at putting their feet back in the pool if they can build bikes that find their niche in the market too. Of course I could be completely wrong (it definitely won't be the first or last time).