The Harley-Davidson Motor Company was founded in 1903. It became a public company, Harley-Davidson, Inc., in 1981 after a management buyout. The company went public in 1986 and its shares are still listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
The company manufactures motorcycles and they have an internal combustion engine with a displacement of at least 601 cc and less than 1900 cc. It produces and sells about 250,000 motorcycles annually, 60% of which in the United States. This country and Europe are the most important sales areas, where three-quarters of the total turnover is realized. Other important sales countries are Australia, Japan and Canada. In the US it has about half of the market for this type of motorcycle, in Europe the market share is around 10%. There are 1500 active dealers worldwide. As of December 31, 2017, there were 5,200 employees.
Its operations are divided between two business units, motorcycles, including parts, and a financing division, Harley-Davidson Financial Services (HDFS). HDFS is the smallest component with a contribution to the total turnover of about 15%. The profit margin is higher and the contribution to net profit was about 25% in 2016 and 2017.