Harley to directly supply Canadian dealers

Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson Inc. has announced it will end its distribution agreement with Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada and begin directly distributing to independent Canadian dealers.

The change is scheduled to take place at the end of the current Deeley contract, on July 31, 2017, but the companies are in talks to move up the date to as early as the third quarter of this year. Deeley has been Harley’s exclusive Canadian distributor since 1973, distributing Harley products to more than 1,460 independently owned dealerships.

The motorcycle manufacturer has been shifting its global distribution model to directly distribute its products to independently owned dealers across its footprint. Harley has direct distribution in place in Brazil, Australia, Italy and the Scandinavian countries. Under the model, Harley manages sales to dealers, marketing, dealer recruitment and retail capabilities, consumer events and other in-market activities, often through its subsidiaries.

“The contributions of the Deeley organization to Harley-Davidson’s customers and the business in Canada have been tremendous, and we have the highest regard for the entire Deeley team,” said Mike Kennedy, vice president and managing director of Harley-Davidson North America. “Deeley has achieved a level of success that has made Canada one of the largest international Harley-Davidson markets over time. We have made this decision to transition to direct distribution in Canada after long and careful consideration, and solely growing out of our global business strategy. We will work closely with the Deeley organization as we finalize a roadmap for the future and look forward to leveraging the many opportunities to fulfill dreams of personal freedom for customers.”

“We have a long and proud relationship with Harley-Davidson, marked by Deeley’s commitment to excellence – to our associates, customers and retailers – and that will continue to be our priority throughout the transition,” said Malcolm Hunter, president and chief operating officer of Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada. “It has been a true honor to be part of this business we have all built together. We have accomplished so much and are proud of Deeley’s legacy and our enduring contribution to motorcycling in Canada. The entire Deeley organization will work closely with Harley-Davidson to ensure a seamless transition and ensure that Canadian customers continue to enjoy an outstanding Harley-Davidson product, service and support experience. “

Don James, co-founder and majority owner of Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada, is a director on the Harley-Davidson Inc. board.

In other Harley news, riders from around the world have the chance to add their voices to help shape the future of Project LiveWire, Harley-Davidson’s first electric motorcycle, as the company’s Project LiveWire Experience tour expands globally in 2015.

While not for sale, the Project LiveWire motorcycle was specifically designed for the purpose of seeking insight into rider expectations of an electric Harley-Davidson motorcycle. The Project LiveWire Experience invites customers to test ride and learn more about the story of the motorcycle and provide feedback on their experience.

For more information on Project LiveWire, visit projectlivewire.com.

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