Harley Davidson was founded in 1901 by William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson in Milwaukee, Wisconsin when Harley designed a 116cc engine and attached it to a bicycle frame.
In 1903, the first real motorcycle was created with a 405cc engine.
In 1905, they began selling their engines to people via magazine advertisements.
In 1906, a factory was built on Chestnut Street.
Harley-Davidson provided about 15,000 motorcycles to the war effort in WWI.
By 1920, Harley-Davidson was the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world.
Harley-Davidson was one of only 2 American motorcycle manufacturers to survive the great depression.
The company has undergone several sales and many changes since WWII. The company is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol: HOG. In 2013, the company reported revenue of $5.25 billion.
The company began producing and selling their motorcycles in India in 2010.
In June 2019, Harley announced it was teaming with a Chinese firm to produce small motorcycles for the Chinese market to be sold in 2020.
CEO Matthew Levatich stated in a June 2019 interview that it would be difficult to return manufacturing to the US and that Europe’s response to Trump’s tariffs has been detrimental to many American companies.
Today, the company produces over 150,000 motorcycles per year and enjoys a very high brand loyalty. The Harley-Davidson corporate office is still located in Milwaukee.