FBN's Susan Li on Harley-Davidson unveiling its electric bike "Livewire" for release in 2019.
"Alongside our existing loyal riders, we will lead the next revolution of two-wheeled freedom to inspire future riders who have yet to even think about the thrill of riding", says Harley Davidson CEO Matthew Levatich.
With an eye on India, Harley-Davidson has made a decision to go small at a time when it is caught in a bitter trade war initiated by US President Donald Trump.
It is recalibrating strategies to save the dwindling market share in several countries. More electric models, including smaller and lighter bikes, will arrive through 2022. And with sales rising in Asia and India, it said it's developing smaller bikes with 250 to 500 cubic-centimeter engines to make them more accessible in those regions. It will also make moves to enhance dealerships and introduce smaller urban retail stores in worldwide markets to reach potential customers who are the key for volume sales.
Harley also plans to introduce new products to its portfolio starting in 2020, including a modular 500cc to 1250cc middleweight platform of motorcycles, in addition to improving its Touring and Cruiser bikes.
The company plans to spend up to $825 million on the initiative, called "More Roads to Harley-Davidson", which it expects to generate more than $1 billion of annual revenue in 2022 compared to 2017. During that time, the company wants to gain 2 million new riders to reverse declining sales. If it pushes through, this is potentially huge news for our market, where the Harley-Davidson name has been mostly associated with big bikes.
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The Harley-Davidson Streetfighter certainly is a muscular and sporty looking motorcycle, and is unlike any Harley-Davidson we've seen so far.
First, the motorcycle market in the United States has been in decline for years. About 46 percent of riders are over 50; only about 10 percent are 30-34.
Levatich acknowledged "unfortunate attention" after the company announced it would increase production in foreign countries, following retaliatory European Union tariffs prompted by tariff threats of President Donald Trump.
US sales slid 6.4 percent in the most recent quarter, and they're down 8.7 percent at the halfway point of the year.
Sales in Canada fell 0.5 per cent over the past 3 months, and are down 4.9 per cent over the past six months.
Harley-Davidson has just announced its product plan for the next few years.
There are owner clubs and events worldwide as well as a company-sponsored brand-focused museum.
The brand has a reputation for making large engined motrocycles built for cruising comfortably at high speed.