Motorcycle activity resists despite a “difficult” environment

Harley-Davidson (HOG) CEO Jochen Zeitz says demand for motorcycles is strong despite global stock market turmoil.

“I think we’re doing very well given the environment we’re in,” Zeitz said on Yahoo Finance Live (video above). “We did the ‘Rewire’ program during COVID, when it started. We have our ‘Hardwire strategy’. We’re on the right track.”

In January 2021, Harley-Davidson announced that it had completed its “Rewire” plan to reinvigorate the brand under the guidance of turnaround expert Zeitz. As part of the program, Harley streamlined its product portfolio, expanded its parts and merchandise business, and overhauled its organizational structure. This laid the foundation for the company’s next five-year strategic plan, called “The Hardwire”, to drive profitable growth.

“Obviously, like everyone else, we face supply chain challenges, which are holding us back a bit, but overall our margins have increased significantly,” added the CEO on the progress of the project. ‘company. “We believe we will have record EPS this year, and we are sticking to our strategy despite the fact that the environment is certainly difficult.”

Harley-Davidson stock fell at midday on Tuesday, a monumental day for the motorcycle giant as its LiveWire e-bike unit merged with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) called AEA-Bridges Impact Corp. . The deal valued LiveWire at $1.77 billion. , and Harley will own a 74% stake in the spin-off company.

On Tuesday, LiveWire shares began trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol LVWR.

The road to making LiveWire public has been bumpy.

The iconic American company unveiled Project LiveWire in June 2014 with a marketing campaign for electric motorcycles that traveled Route 66 (led by then-CEO Matt Levatich) to generate interest in its first e-bike.

In 2018, the company, still under Levatich, launched the super-powerful LiveWire electric motorcycle with a sticker price close to $30,000. At this price, dealers had a hard time selling the impressive machinery.

Harley-Davidson and LiveWire electric motorcycles are seen at a Harley-Davidson dealership in Queens, New York, U.S., February 7, 2022. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

LiveWire, under Zeitz, took a different approach in July 2021 when it unveiled the LiveWire One motorcycle with a sticker price closer to $22,000. The bike is capable of covering approximately 146 miles on a single charge.

Just before the launch of the LiveWire One, Zeitz established the company as a stand-alone entity as a precursor to spin-off news this week.

The company is currently taking pre-orders on its $16,999 EV dubbed the S2 Del Mar.

Brian Sozzi is editor-in-chief and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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