The Motorcycle Industry Council says the median age of US motorcycle owners increased from 32 to 47 since 1990.
American motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson has just announced its latest strategy which sets out its roadmap for the coming years. Harley-Davidson estimates this segment accounts for sales of 273,000 in 2017 model sales in Europe, none of which now bear the bar and shield.
Earlier this year, it was believed that Harley-Davidson's first electric motorcycle, the LiveWire, would hit dealerships before the year's end. The company promises that its first electric motorcycle, the LiveWire, will go on sale in 2019.
"If nothing else, Harley-Davidson is acknowledging the ongoing shift in global consumer tastes and sluggish USA participation rates, and is willing to make course corrections - and investments - to pursue areas of growth", Raymond James analyst Joseph Altobello said. Harley-Davidson will also offer a selection of what it calls "lightweight urban" electric models in 2021 and 2022.
Dealer networks will also include a new retail format that includes small storefronts in urban areas to "expose the brand to urban populations and drive sales of the expanded Harley-Davidson product portfolio and expand global apparel distribution". For this market, Harley intends to develop a much smaller bike, in the range of 250 to 500 cubic centimeters. These will be produced in large quantities for the Asian market, and Indian in particular.More news: Trump and European Union officials strike 'zero tariff' deal to avert trade war
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At present, Harley has 750cc as its smallest bike in India.
Implement a performance framework to significantly enhance the strength of the dealer network and the customer experience. Harley-Davidson is also changing its retail strategy and expanding its push internationally following declining USA sales. This will include a mix of permanent and pop-up retail locations. Harley Davidson hasn't revealed the launch timeframe for the new small-displacement motorcycle.
The new strategy comes as Harley's sales decline, in part due to an aging customer base and struggle to attract millennial buyers. These will be funded entirely through the reallocation of previously planned resources and comprehensive cost reduction.
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.