Harley-Davidson is changing up its electric motorcycle business. Previously, Harley-Davidson built a battery bike called the LiveWire. Now, going forward, Harley-Davidson is spinning off its electric motorcycle business into a new company … called LiveWire.
The new company’s motorcycles will still be available at some Harley-Davidson dealerships, but it will be marketed there as an independent brand, perhaps similar to Buell’s marketing in years past. LiveWire will also have its own separate-from-Harley dealerships in some locations; the company’s press release says these will roll out in California first. It sounds as if the idea here is to concentrate LiveWire’s independent locations in regions where EVs make sense. Battery bikes are a much easier sell in LA than they are in Lincoln, Nebraska.
LiveWire will also have an emphasis on online sales presence, and the company itself will be based on a decentralized virtual head office, allowing workers in Milwaukee and Silicon Valley to easily coordinate.
The first LiveWire-branded bike will break cover July 8, with a public appearance at the July 9 IMS show in the US. See some more details in H-D’s press release below:
Harley-Davidson Launches LiveWire, the Electric Motorcycle Brand (www.livewire.com)
MILWAUKEE (May 10, 2021) – Harley-Davidson, Inc. (“Harley-Davidson”) (NYSE: HOG) today announces the launch of LiveWire as an all-electric motorcycle brand.
LiveWire is more than a motorcycle. LiveWire plans to redefine electric, delivering the best experience for the urban rider, with personality and soul. LiveWire creates a unique connection between rider and vehicle. Today, the next chapter in the LiveWire journey begins.
Jochen Zeitz, chairman, president and CEO of Harley-Davidson:
“One of the six pillars of The Hardwire Strategy is to lead in electric – by launching LiveWire as an all-electric brand, we are seizing the opportunity to lead and define the market in EV. 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.”
The first LiveWire branded motorcycle is scheduled to launch on July 8, 2021 and to premiere at the International Motorcycle Show on July 9, 2021. For more information and updates, register at livewire.com.
Unique lineage: LiveWire draws on its DNA as an agile disruptor from the lineage of Harley-Davidson, capitalizing on a decade of learnings in the EV sector and the heritage of the most desirable motorcycle brand in the world.
Motorcycles + beyond: with an initial focus on the urban market, LiveWire will pioneer the electric motorcycle space, and beyond.
Virtual HQ: innovating by design and attracting industry-leading talent, LiveWire will be headquartered virtually, with initial hubs in Silicon Valley, CA (LiveWire Labs) and Milwaukee, WI.
Marketplace: from launch, LiveWire will work with participating dealers from the Harley-Davidson network as an independent brand. An innovative go-to-market model will blend digital and physical retail formats, tailoring the experience to the local market and allowing customers to discover LiveWire on their own terms.
Dedicated showroom: seizing the opportunity to lead in EV and innovating across the customer journey, LiveWire will operate dedicated EV showrooms in select locations, starting in California. Here customers will be able to experience the LiveWire brand in an immersive and innovative way.
Technology focus: with a dedicated focus on EV, LiveWire plans to develop the technology of the future and to invest in the capabilities needed to lead the transformation of motorcycling. LiveWire expects to benefit from Harley-Davidson’s engineering expertise, manufacturing footprint, supply chain infrastructure, and global logistics capabilities.
Technology sharing: Harley-Davidson and LiveWire intend to cooperate and share their technological advancements to ensure an industry leading application in their respective core segments.