Harley-Davidson has now officially launched its brand for electric motorcycles. The brand is called LiveWire, like the first e-motorcycle from the manufacturer, which has been available since 2019. The first product of the new brand is coming this year.
It will be presented on July 8th, as Harley-Davidson writes in its statement. However, there are no details yet. With the new model, the exact name and differentiation of which from the 2019 LiveWire electric motorcycle is still unknown, there could be further statements about the alignment of LiveWire. By starting LiveWire as a fully electric motorcycle brand, Harley-Davidson wants to lead and define the market for electric bikes.
Interestingly, Harley-Davidson does not only see an electric motorcycle in an urban environment. With a primary focus on the urban market, LiveWire plans to develop the technology of the future and advance in the skills needed to change motorcycling.
LiveWire will operate as an independent brand and thus not only adapt existing models to the electric drive. In some areas, however, a collaboration with the mother company Harley-Davidson is planned: They want to share the technological advances to guarantee an industry-leading application in their respective centre segments. In addition, the new LiveWire subsidiary hopes to profit from the parent company in terms of production, suppliers and logistics.
According to the first announcement, LiveWire should act as autonomously as possible in terms of sales. They will work with associating dealers from the Harley-Davidson network but as an independent brand. LiveWire will not move into a building as its headquarters, the headquarters will instead be virtual - this is how the brand wants to be innovative and attract talent. But this move seems to me to be cheap.
Foregoing the traditional name Harley-Davidson is a big step for the company - but it also shows that the management around Zeitz is trying to break with the old image. For years, the traditional manufacturer recorded falling sales figures, among other things because the market seemed saturated with its usual customers. First of all, the aim was to reach new international target groups with smaller combustion motorcycles, but that was a flop. Now, LiveWire electric motorcycles are to attract new groups of customers.
In the meantime, Harley-Davidson's business is picking up again: In the first quarter, sales increased by around 10% compared to Q1 2020 to 1.15 billion euros. The company profits even increased by 270% to 213 million euros.