In a recent interview EagleRider Chief Executive Chris McIntyre told Powersports Finance that its recent partnership arrangement with OEM Harley-Davidson was much more difficult and took much longer than he ever thought it would.
"If you would have told me that a fleet relationship, or a really solid long-term relationship with any OEM, was going be diplomatically difficult or it was going to take tens of years, I would have thought you were crazy." McIntyre said.
EagleRider was founded in 1992 by Chris McIntyre and Jeff Brown with four Harley-Davidson motorcycles in a Los Angeles garage. Since then, the rental company has grown to serve more than 100,000 riders annually.
Ultimately the partnership with Eagle Rider should help the iconic Bar and Shield brand sell more motorcycles.
"They (Harley-Davidson) understand that today’s economy is an experience economy and they understand that the more people that experience their products and the more that experience motorcycling, the more those can turn into sales," McIntyre said.
McIntyre said the diplomacy and politics in the OEM world was often the hardest part of finalizing the deal. "I didn’t know the battles that went on with the metrics, Europeans, and the American brands. I didn’t realize the desire of manufacturers to control every aspect that is tied to their business. I didn’t realize there was all this political navigation in the world of multi-billion dollar public OEMs."
The deal will mean more options for customers to pick up and drop off their rentals, as Eagle Rider will get access to some of Harley’s 700 U.S. dealer locations and is expected to immediately install 30-40 EagleRider rental stations in select dealerships by the end of this year.