Published: Wed, August 01, 2018
Finance | By Kristine Clayton

Harley-Davidson rebels with an electric motorcycle

Harley-Davidson rebels with an electric motorcycle

The American motorcycle company, facing dwindling sales in its home market, said Monday that it will roll out some new products and stores to broaden its audience and invigorate sales.

The announcement follows the development of the electric concept bike LiveWire Project, which was created back in 2014 to enable riders to test drive and give feedback on so that the company could refine the design before ramping up production.

Earlier this year, it was believed that Harley-Davidson's first electric motorcycle, the LiveWire, would hit dealerships before the year's end.

As part of a plan it calls "More Roads to Harley-Davidson", the company expects to spend $675 million-$825 million over the next four years, chop costs and generate $5.9 billion-$6.4 billion in revenue in 2022.

Mention Harley-Davidson Motorcycles and most people will think: noise, petrol, and leather jackets. The small-displacement models will help increase Harley-Davidson's brand in Asia while acting as a bridge to its larger-displacement models. Harley-Davidson is also changing its retail strategy and expanding its push internationally following declining US sales. But they're typically bought by older riders.

With sales rising in Asia and India, Harley-Davidson says it's developing smaller bikes with 250 to 500 cubic centimetre engines, to make the more accessible. If it pushes through, this is potentially huge news for our market, where the Harley-Davidson name has been mostly associated with big bikes.

Already affected by the Trump administration's 25% tax on steel and aluminum exported from the European Union, the Wisconsin-based company announced in June it would move production of bikes sold in Europe out of the USA due to retaliatory tariffs imposed by the EU.

Harley Davidson is not alone. About 46 percent of riders are over 50; only about 10 percent are 30-34. 'It might bypass licensing requirements in certain states, which is a real game-changer'.

The businessman criticised the company's decision to move production of motorcycles sold in Europe overseas in order to avoid European Union tariffs against American exports.

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.

It was founded in 1903 and is based in Milwaukee, US. The idea is to compete in large and fast-growing segments of global markets, with a full portfolio of motorcycles across a broad spectrum of price points and displacements.

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