CLASSROOM OPENER GREAT BUSINESS DECISIONS – Harley-Davidson Begins the Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.) to Encourage Customer Involvement One of the biggest assets for Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Company is its intensely loyal customers. After struggling against Japanese competition throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the company turned a corner in 1981 when a group of 13 senior Harley-Davidson executives purchased the company. Vaughn Beals, the leader, celebrated with a victory ride from the company’s factory in York, Pennsylvania, to its headquarters in Milwaukee. The new owners decided to begin the Harley Owners Group (H.O.G) to get customers more involved with the product. HOG worked. With HOG, the company was able to key into its greatest asset – the people who care about the Harley-Davidson company. HOG opened a dialog outside the company with its loyal customer base and inside the company with its workforce. In 1993, a little over 10 years after the start of HOG, the company celebrated its 90th anniversary with more than 100,000 HOG members converging on Milwaukee for a drive-through parade featuring 60,000 Harley-Davidson machines.