Two American Legends: Ford and Harley-Davidson

Jan 06, 2000, 00:00 ET from Ford Motor Company

    LOS ANGELES, Jan. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Two legends of the American road, Ford
 Motor Company (NYSE:   F) and Harley-Davidson Motor Company, are preparing to
 celebrate their centennials in 2003, and each company is proud of its rich
 heritage and contributions to American motoring.
     Both enjoy leadership positions in pickup trucks and heavyweight
 motorcycles, respectively, strengthened by customers who are fiercely loyal to
 their products.  In March 1999, Ford and Harley forged a powerful strategic
 alliance to celebrate their corporate heritage and their common centennials.
     "A strategic alliance between the Ford Motor Company and Harley-Davidson
 makes mutual historical and business sense," noted Gurminder Bedi, vice
 president, Ford North America Truck.  "Our common heritage as American motor
 vehicle manufacturers and our common centennials of 2003 were just too good to
 pass up as a natural business opportunity.
     "The partnership makes good business sense," Bedi added.  "The world
 recognizes both companies as original American innovators known for exciting,
 quality products."
     The strategic alliance between Ford and Harley-Davidson was announced last
 year during the famed Daytona Beach "Bike Week" festivities.  At that time,
 the two companies also announced that, with Ford's experience in racing, Ford
 would provide technical support and sponsorship of the Harley-Davidson AMA
 Superbike racing program.
     "There is a natural synergy and benefit to our loyal customer base," said
 Jeff Bleustein, Harley-Davidson chairman and chief executive officer.  "We
 each bring value to this strategic alliance."
     In August 1999, the two companies used the scenic backdrop of the Sturgis
 Rally & Races in Sturgis, S.D., to introduce the first product of their
 historic partnership -- Ford's limited edition 2000 Harley-Davidson F-150
 pickup truck.
     "This truck combines the quality and durability of the F-150 and the F-
 Series line, the top-selling pickup trucks in the United States for the last
 22 years, with the popularity and appeal of the Harley-Davidson brand name,"
 Bedi said.  "We believe this truck will appeal to Harley-Davidson enthusiasts
 and truck owners alike."
     "Harley-Davidson and Ford are leaders in our respective industries,"
 Bleustein added.  "The power of Harley and Ford alone is very strong.  The
 power of our two brands together creates a number of exciting opportunities
 for us and for our customers."
     The legends of two great American companies were born at the same time at
 the turn of the century with the hard work and dedication of their visionary
 namesakes.  From humble beginnings in a small garage in Detroit, Ford Motor
 Company was incorporated in 1903 and sold its first Model A.
     In 1913, Ford developed the world's first moving assembly line in Highland
 Park, Mich., realizing Henry Ford's dream of affordable personal
 transportation.  Mass production meant higher volume and lower prices.  A 1913
 Ford Model T Roadster cost $525, compared with $850 for the 1903 Model A.
     Also in 1903, across Lake Michigan, the founding namesakes of Harley-
 Davidson toiled away in a 10- by 15-foot shed in Milwaukee, Wis., in the
 family back yard of William, Walter and Arthur Davidson.  Joined by William S.
 Harley, with hard work, ingenuity and the goal of "taking the work out of
 bicycling," the four men crafted their first motorcycle.
     Through the subsequent decades came two world wars, a crippling economic
 depression, a tide of foreign competition, government regulations and the
 ever-changing tastes of consumers.  But through it all, each company survived
 and thrived, today standing as two of the most respected and recognizable
 companies in the world.
             Ford Motor Company & Harley-Davidson: Nearly 200 Years
                        Of Combined Motoring Excellence
     Historical Highlights
     1903        Ford Motor Company incorporated. 1,708 Model A's sold.
                 First Harley-Davidson motorcycle built by brothers William D.,
                 Walter and Arthur Davidson and William S. Harley.  Total
                 production -- three motorcycles.
     1904        Ford sets world record for timed mile -- 91.37 mph.
                 Harley sells first motorcycle.
     1907        Harley-Davidson incorporated. 150 motorcycles produced.
                 Ford introduces its famous slogan, "Watch the Fords Go By."
     1908        Ford introduces Model T.  It sold for $850.
                 Harley triples production -- 450 motorcycles.
     1909        Harley introduces its famous V-Twin engine.
                 Ford Model T wins New York-to-Seattle race.
     1913        Ford develops the first moving auto assembly line
                 in Highland Park, Mich.
                 Harley forms its first factory racing team.
     1917        World War I -- Ford and Harley-Davidson contribute vehicles to
                 the war effort.
     1932        Ford introduces first mass production V-8 engine, the
     1936        Harley-Davidson introduces overhead valve Knucklehead engine.
     1941        World War II -- Once again, both companies contribute to the
                 war effort.
                 90,000 Harley-Davidson motorcycles are used in WW II.  Ford
                 builds B-24 bombers and tanks.
     1948        Ford F-1 pickup introduced.
                 Harley-Davidson introduces Panhead engine.
     1953        Harley-Davidson and Ford celebrate 50th anniversaries.
     1956        Ford goes public with first stock sale.
     1964        Ford Mustang creates "pony car" sensation.
     1965        Harley-Davidson goes public with first stock sale, ending 62
                 years ycle introduced.
     1967        Ford of Europe established.
     1973        Middle East oil embargo hits America's gas pumps.
     1983        U.S. government imposes heavyweight motorcycle tariff to
                 protect Harley-Davidson from foreign competition.
     1984        Harley-Davidson introduces Evolution engine.
     1986        Ford Taurus introduced.
     1987        A revitalized Harley-Davidson petitions U.S. government to
                 remove tariffs one year earlier than scheduled.
     1996        Ford celebrates production of 250 million vehicles.
     1998        50th anniversary of F-Series pickup.
     1999        Historic strategic alliance announced between Ford and
                 Harley-Davidson enjoys more than 54 percent of the domestic
                 heavyweight motorcycle market.
                 Limited edition Harley-Davidson F-150 introduced in
                 Sturgis, S.D.

SOURCE Ford Motor Company