Harley-Davidson makes LiveWire its own brand of electric motorcycles

LiveWire, Harley-Davidson’s first electric motorcycle, will now become its own stand-alone brand. The Milwaukee-based company has announced that it will transform its electric motorcycle division into its own company with a distinct lineup and tailor-made retail experience. Harley-Davidson plans to unveil the “First LiveWire Brand Motorcycle†on July 8 to coincide with the International Motorcycle Show.

It’s a similar move to how Harley-Davidson approached its new e-bike company, Serial 1. The idea is for LiveWire to continue to benefit from its relationship with its parent company while forging its own distinct brand identity. from Harley-Davidson.

Harley-Davidson wants to leave its electrified models on their own terms

It’s a change from how the company has approached its current LiveWire model, in which the Harley-Davidson logo is on the front and center, while the LiveWire branding is virtually non-existent. And that’s a sign that in the future, Harley-Davidson wants to leave its electrified models on their own terms.

“With the mission to be the world’s most desirable electric motorcycle brand, LiveWire will pioneer the future of motorcycling, for the pursuit of urban adventure and beyond,” said Jochen Zeitz, President – Managing Director of Harley-Davidson. A declaration. “LiveWire also plans to innovate and develop technology that will be applicable to Harley-Davidson electric motorcycles in the future.”

There is a new logo and a new “virtual†headquarters, with engineering teams stationed in Silicon Valley and Milwaukee. LiveWire will work with Harley-Davidson dealers as an independent brand, with a mix of digital and physical retail formats.

When asked if this would include online orders, a Harley-Davidson spokesperson responded with a cautiously drafted statement. “It depends on what state you live in,†the spokesperson said. “LiveWire creates a buying journey that allows us to meet the expectations of a first digital shopping experience, supported by a network of engaged resellers who allow customers to choose their journey and engagement model. “

The question is whether this branding strategy will lead to better sales for Harley-Davidson’s electric models. Last year, Reuters reported that the company’s plan to attract a younger generation of motorcyclists with LiveWire was in trouble, with most pre-orders coming from older or pre-existing customers. Harley-Davidson’s overall sales have stagnated of late after hitting a low point in 2018.

The problem could be that the price, which starts at $ 29,799, isn’t much cheaper than a Tesla Model 3. Dealers have said Reuters that many younger customers were put off by the price.

Harley-Davidson also faces stiff competition from rivals like Zero Motorcycles, which recently partnered with powersports maker Polaris on a new line of electric ATVs and snowmobiles. And as the larger world of transportation goes electric, the company will come under increasing pressure from its shareholders to prove that its vision for the future can pay off.