While the premium cruiser bike giant has been down a rough road of late; with their sales witnessing a constant crunch the last few years haven’t been much of a success for Harley Davidson. Last year’s statistics show that Harley Davidson’s sale went down considerably. A report published in a popular magazine tells that the sales were lesser in 2017 and it was a 6.7% sales drop worldwide for all premium bikes and overall sales of Harley Davidson brand. Adding to the “bad news” for Harley is another fact: in 2017 alone, their sales dropped 8.5 % in United States, Harley’s business stronghold, the report reveals. The situation has pushed Harley to such an extent that this drop in sales is being attributed to the closing of their Kansas City, Missouri, plant and shifting the operations to their Pennsylvania plant.
So what comes next amidst these sales drops that has become more of a pattern over the years for Harley? You guessed it right and it is their New Electric bike which they would be releasing in 18 months, which is somewhere mid of 2019. This is a bit unexpected as they had previously announced to release their electric bike somewhere around 2021. The early release announcement has given the critics an opportunity to term Harley’s new announcement as a strategy to sustain themselves in the market amidst chronic sales drop down.
Matt Levatich, Harley-Davidson’s president and CEO in an interview to the Milwaukee Business Journal told that “The EV motorcycle market is in its infancy today, but we believe premium Harley-Davidson electric motorcycles will help drive excitement and participation in the sport globally,”. He added, “As we expand our EV capabilities and commitment, we get even more excited about the role electric motorcycles will play in growing our business.” Though he did not talk about the specifics of the new bike, but it is expected to be similar or a bit more advanced than the 2014 live wire prototype.
With 74-horsepower and 56 pound-feet of torque and claiming to shoot from a zero to 60 in 4 seconds, it was in 2014 when Harley Davidson almost shocked the biking community and enthusiasts with their Livewire concept. They also claimed it would run a minimum range of 50 miles. This was the first time the heavy cruise bike makers showed their interest in the making of electric bikes, and it took many by surprise.
“Chief Financial Officer John Olin’s statement that the company will spend $25 million to $50 million per year over the next several years on electric motorcycle technology adds to the fact that Harley is serious about their electric bike and are keen to dominate the market. Last Tuesday Matt Levatich, the president and chief executive officer of Harley-Davidson said that the world has heard them talk about Livewire in 2014 and now they are preparing to bring it in the market in 18 months. This has put an end to the rumors floating around and has given a strong message to the existing electric bike makers that the king of the cruise is all set to speed up with their new project.
The full specializations of Harley’s Electric motorbike are still not out, but it is said to be at par with their livewire prototype, if not better. Though it has created a ripple in the biking avenues of the world, and so are the speculations flooding the market; to know what actually these Harley Electric bikes will be like, we most certainly have to wait at least a year if not 18 months altogether. It’s only then we would know how the Electric Harley’s drive past their cruiser counterparts