harley davidson confirms that it will launch its first production e-motorcycle next year, in 2019. the iconic motorcycle company makes the announcement as figures show that the american motorcycle is market struggling to attract a younger generation of buyers, in an effort to end trailing behind the automotive industry for electric vehicle development.
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harley davidson’s US motorcycle market is experiencing shrinking sales and ever-changing consumer preferences which is leaving the industry in a tough situation. the industry still attempts to offer bikes to various buyer groups: millenials and the future generation, women, and a grey-haired segment that prefers the big engine cruisers of yesteryear. harley’s most recent earnings report announced an eight percent US sales drop, and a kansas city plant closure.
american bike sales have dropped by a staggering 50 percent over the past ten years, with a decline in ownership by people under 30 and in their 40s. the largest market share market is comprised of aging baby-boomers, whose free-spirited riding days are winding down. the highlight in US motorcycle demographics is increased female ownership. however by many standards, women have a preference for lighter motorcycles with smaller engines — the opposite of harley davidson’s design DNA of the last half-century.
‘we announced we’ll invest more aggressively in. . . electric technology in premium motorcycles,’ comments harley davidson CEO matt levatich on the company’s recent earnings call. he continues, ‘you’ve heard us talk about project livewire. . . it’s an active project we’re preparing to bring to market within 18 months.’