Harley-Davidson poaches top marketer from Honda

Harley-Davidson, the motorcycle manufacturer, has appointed Honda
marketer Greg Willis as head of marketing for the UK and Ireland. He
takes over from Allan Brownridge, who is moving to run the company’s
parts, accessories and motorclothes division…

Harley-Davidson, the motorcycle manufacturer, has appointed Honda marketer Greg Willis as head of marketing for the UK and Ireland. He takes over from Allan Brownridge, who is moving to run the company’s parts, accessories and motorclothes division.

Willis, communications manager at Honda UK, is the latest in a line of marketers to leave the Japanese car manufacturer this year.

Simon Thompson, the former Honda marketing director, left the car manufacturer to join Motorola as European marketing chief.

He was followed by Honda marketing communications manager Matthew Coombe who went to Vodafone UK as head of brand (MW October 12), and head of product planning Richard Benton, who is joining airline Virgin Atlantic.

Willis will report to UK managing director Paul Stroud in his new role and will also oversee marketing for Buell, the company’s sports motorcycle brand.

Harley-Davidson has had a strong year with sales up 7%. Stroud says: “The European market is becoming increasingly competitive but one in which our motorcycles are very well received.”

The motorcycle brand has been working to boost its popularity with young people over recent years with the launch of new products such as toys and a children’s clothing line in the UK (MW October 27, 2005). The company, which has sold branded products in the US for a number of years, signed a licensing deal with The Beanstalk Group to launch the products in the UK.

Stroud, former MG Rover European sales and marketing director, joined Harley-Davidson in November last year (MW November 3, 2005). He took over from Mike Kennedy, who moved to the company’s US division.

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