Harley-Davidson has announced its new strategy for global growth with a focus on addressing volumes in large markets, debuting a series of electric motorcycles and indicating the possibility of moving into low engine capacity bikes for markets like India. The strategy also pushes back at President Donald Trump’s attempts to prioritise manufacturing in the United States by addressing real world business needs.
“The bold actions we are announcing today leverage Harley-Davidson’s vast capabilities and competitive firepower – our excellence in product development and manufacturing, the global appeal of the brand and of course, our great dealer network,” said Matt Levatich, president and chief executive officer, Harley-Davidson, Inc. “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.”
The broad outlines of the plan labelled “More Roads to Harley-Davidson” include the development of a new platform covering the 500cc to 1200cc range including model ranges of PanAmerica 1250cc, Custom 1250cc and a new Streetfighter 975cc model. On the other hand a small model platform will cover the 250cc to 500cc range for markets like India and other Asian markets. At the moment the 750cc Street is the smallest model in India.
The other major development in terms of product will be a range of ‘twist and go’ electric bikes, with the possibility of an electric bicycle joining the line up. The first will be LiveWire to be launched in 2019.
Other than these products, Harley-Davidson will also be beefing up its dealer network and moving manufacturing closer to markets with a view to reduce tariff costs on end products.
Some ideas being floated around include tying up with global e-commerce platforms and adopting smaller storefronts closer to the customer.
“Harley-Davidson is iconic because we’ve never been static,” said Levatich. “In moving forward, we are tapping into the spirit that drove our founders back in 1903 and every one of the employees and dealers who rose to the challenges faced along the way. Our plan will redefine existing boundaries of our brand – reaching more customers in a way that reinforces all we stand for as a brand and as a company and we can’t wait to kick it into gear.”