With nimbler bikes, Harley sharpens Asia focus to revive growth

31 July, 2018, 02:36 | Author: Martin Tyler
  • Harley Davidson Custom 1250

The Harley Davidson Pan America 1250 will become the company's first adventure touring motorcycle once launched in 2020.

The 115-year-old Milwaukee, Wis. -based company, known for its heavy touring motorcycles, is scrambling to revamp its operations as its mainstay customer base ages by tapping into younger buyers, particularly in Asia, by offering nimbler motorcycles with smaller engines.

Iconic American motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson unveiled on Monday a global growth plan to revamp its USA business with new products and cost-cutting measures, while also expanding internationally. These included tapping into different areas of the motorcycle market by manufacturing styles of bikes that aren't typically Harley Davidson.

Besides, it will introducing a new modular 500cc to 1250cc middleweight platform of motorcycles that spans three distinct product spaces and four displacements.

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"We're going to be doubling down on existing products", Harley-Davidson CEO Matt Levatich told CNBC on Monday. In a fast-changing world with new consumer demands, these accelerated actions support Harley-Davidson's 2027 objectives with increased focus and strategic investment to reinvigorate the US business while accelerating the pace of global growth.

Harley has also been investing in developing electric motorcycles as well as promoting its learn-to-ride academies at showrooms.

Harley have confirmed the LiveWire will go on sale early in 2019.

The new lineup is meant to fuel Harley-Davidson's customer access and growth in India, the company said.

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The new streetfighter line will have models ranging from 500 cc, ideal for emerging markets like India.

Industry experts have said electric motorcycles - that have no gears or clutch and are a far cry from Harley's loud, bulky cruising bikes - may not appeal to loyal Harley fans.

Levatich, a 24-year veteran in the company, hopes to make China another promise land for Harley-Davidson with the new path being laid out for the future.

Speaking to CNBC's Morgan Brennan in an interview on Monday, Levatich called the president's recent tweets against Harley-Davidson "unfortunate attention".

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