Since 1996, when international motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson (Harley) first established a presence in South Africa, the company had grown from only one dealership to seven independent dealerships in 2007. Although Harley owners were mostly male, five years previously, South African dealerships had been the first to act on a concerted global Harley strategy to penetrate the female market. The move had been successful, and there were now proportionally more female Harley owners in South Africa than in any other country.
However, the expansion of the black market remained a huge challenge to Harley in South Africa. Mishka Moller, marketing manager of four South African Harley dealerships, believed that the slight increase in the number of black Harley owners over the past two years did not nearly reflect the potential that was inherent among the so-called ‘Black Diamonds’. What would Harley South Africa have to do to market the Harley lifestyle to this potential customer base, she wondered?