Harley-Davidson's LiveWire to become a dedicated electric motorcycle brand
Harley-Davidson has announced that its first electric motorcycle, the LiveWire, will become its own standalone brand for battery-powered two-wheelers. LiveWire will have a distinct line-up, a tailored retail experience, and it will unveil the first model on July 8 at the International Motorcycle Show. The new brand will benefit from its ties with its parent company while creating a unique brand identity.
CEO of Harley-Davidson, Jochen Zeitz took charge last February and has since then, slashed costs, trimmed the product portfolio, and shuffled the management. He has prioritized electrification and is investing more in the company's core heavyweight-bike segment. While serving as a board member, he championed the LiveWire motorcycle. It carries a starting price-tag of $29,799 (roughly Rs. 21.8 lakh).
Citing the reason behind making LiveWire a standalone brand, Zeitz said, "With the mission to be the most desirable electric motorcycle brand in the world, LiveWire will pioneer the future of motorcycling, for the pursuit of urban adventure and beyond." "LiveWire also plans to innovate and develop technology that will be applicable to Harley-Davidson electric motorcycles in the future."
LiveWire's initial focus will be on urban bikes. This implies that its models will be lighter and smaller than the long-haul cruiser motorcycles that generate a large portion of Harley's profit. The company will be "virtually headquartered" in Silicon Valley in a bid to attract talent. However, there will also be an additional hub at Harley's headquarters in Milwaukee.
Harley-Davidson is facing stiff competition from rivals like Zero Motorcycles, which has recently joined hands with Polaris to create a new line-up of electric snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles. Moreover, the world of transportation is gradually transitioning to EVs. Hence, the brand will face more pressure from shareholders to prove whether its vision for the future can be profitable.