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A trip to the Annual Dealer Meeting in Milwaukee!

28 August 2019

A trip to the Annual Dealer Meeting in Milwaukee!

This year’s 100th Annual Dealer Meeting was held in the home of Harley-Davidson®: Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Quite fitting to host this anniversary on the soil that launched a revolution! The heart of Harley® has always been rebellion, love, individuality and pure soul. We’ve made it through world wars, depressions, great days of riding and more. What an iconic brand! 

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As my plane landed on the hot Milwaukee tarmac, all I could think was: what a privilege to be at the heart of it all! Witnessing the new motorcycle developments for 2020 and beyond as well as product launches and collaborations for the near future has been impactful to say the least. 

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Day 1 kicked off with talks from our CEO, Matt Levitach as well as our COO, Michelle Kumbier and brand president, Neil Grimmer. I think the speech that impacted me the most, was the one that Neil delivered. He highlighting that “just because you’re breathing, doesn’t mean you’re living”. A concept that was driven home by incredible visuals, motivating videos and a keen vision toward unplugging from social media and the pressures of life and getting back to the enjoyment of riding. After all, that is why we love the H-D® brand and spend so much time living in it. 

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The main highlight of each dealer show, for me, is always the updates around motorcycles. It’s great to see the Low Rider® S making a comeback as well as a chrome option for the Heritage, which launched with a blacked-out frame in 2018 much to the disappointment of old-school Harley enthusiasts who preferred the shine that stole the limelight many years ago. I can say that I’m most looking forward to taking the new Road Glide® limited for a spin, but I’m sure that given the chance, I’d also put the new CVO™ Tri Glide® to the test in a heartbeat!inline_ra4f779abb27d601b69c03fc9a080582_2cc71116e6ba.jpg

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New luggage systems are on the way, and man, do they look impressive! Neat, technologically advanced and well suited to our full range of motorcycles. I don’t think we’ll be looking back (except to admire them on our bikes) once these land in our dealership. Genuine merchandise sees top-of-the-range riding gear taken to the next level as well as the launch of a few new helmet styles which are sure to cause a stir! 

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This trip put a few things into perspective for me: 1. Harley is not going anywhere despite what critics may hope. 2. With the launch of electric vehicles and unbelievable technology, more and more potential customers are going to find out that all roads lead to Harley-Davidson and there’s no going back! Last but not least, the passion for this legendary brand burns strong in the hearts of millions world-wide and it’s up to us to keep those fires burning on the home front. 

I look forward to sharing many miles of incredible adventures with you, my H-D® family. And I invite you to continue to share YOUR passion for this brand with US. 

Let’s ride! 

Marc Marais

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