Harley-Davidson CEO Calls Trump's Attacks 'Unfortunate Attention'

Wednesday, 01 Aug, 2018

United States bike manufacturer Harley-Davidson, known for high-end motorcycles that enjoy cult status, is now planning to build small and mid-sized (250-500 cc) motorcycles to promote their brand to young buyers in emerging markets such as India and China.

These motorcycles will span across three different product spaces and four displacements, including an all-new adventure tourer, called the Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250, a 1250 Custom and smaller 975cc Streetfighter, all of which are slated to launch in 2020.

The company also plans an electric range by launching its first such motorcycle LiveWire next year.

"The company believes its accelerated strategy is in line with and reinforces its objectives to drive revenue growth and expand operating margins", it said.

For growing markets in Asia and India, Harley is planning new small-displacement (250 to 500 cc) motorcycles through an alliance with an Asian manufacturer.

"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.

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In all, Harley-Davidson said it plans to release 100 new motorcycles over the next 10 years.

Harley-Davidson has announced the details of its "More Roads to Harley-Davidson" growth plan through 2022.

A year after its British counterpart Triumph inked a partnership with Indian motorcycle major Bajaj to make affordable motorcycles locally, America's iconic motorcycle maker Harley appears to be weighing a similar option. The company promises that its first electric motorcycle, the LiveWire, will go on sale in 2019.

"I would be more inclined to buy it than I would a traditional motorcycle", said Kay, 25, adding that she rode a moped in high school and college and thinks the smaller, electric models would be easier to navigate in the city. The small-displacement models will help increase Harley-Davidson's brand in Asia while acting as a bridge to its larger-displacement models. "It's risky to think that motorcyclists aren't open-minded about other products and other brands", Levatich said. During that time, the company wants to gain 2 million new riders to reverse declining sales.

The iconic company has been reeling from attacks by President Donald Trump and a structurally declining U.S. market. The Motorcycle Industry Council says the median age of USA motorcycle owners increased from 32 to 47 since 1990.