Harley-Davidson unveils $825M global growth initiative

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According to Harley-Davidson, these lightweight urban bikes now make up the bulk of worldwide electric motorcycle sales (including 38 million units in Asia and another 1.8 million in North America and Europe).

First, the company announced that "a new modular 500cc to 1250cc middleweight platform" spanning three different segments and four displacements is on the way.

Coming in 2019 is the LiveWire, Harley-Davidson's first electric motorcycle.

"In total, the company plans More Roads to Harley-Davidson to generate more than $1 billion of incremental annual revenue in 2022 as compared to 2017", said the company.

Harley-Davidson will also open smaller storefronts in urban areas to broaden its appeal.

To appeal to this growing market, the company said it will develop smaller bikes with 250 to 500 cubic-centimetre engines created to be more accessible in those regions. Who is the surprise partner of Harley-Davidson born from domestic stable and what impact will it make on the motorcycling landscape of India?

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Harley-Davidson President and Chief Executive Officer Matt Levatich: "We expect this plan will result in an engaged, expanded Harley-Davidson community with a more diverse rider base, along with industry-leading margins and cash flow".

The new adventure-touring and streetfighter/standard models are a recognition of the strong demand these segments have in Europe, and will be a key element of Harley-Davidson's plans to grow overseas.

The company isn't exactly leaving the land of fossil fuels behind though - out of 100 new bikes planned for release in the near future, the LiveWire plus two more affordable models to be released in 2021-22 are planned. More electric models, including smaller and lighter bikes, will arrive through 2022.

The planned alliance in Asia will "leverage on world-class partner's manufacturing scale and retail footprint", the company said without disclosing further details.

Invoking the "i" word, Levatich goes on to say, "Harley-Davidson is iconic because we've never been static". There will always be riders who want those bikes, but they're likely to be a dwindling cadre in the US.

Although the bikes in the feature image are all futuristic battery-powered concepts, they all riff somewhat on Harley-Davidson's history; there's a flat track-styled bike referencing the old days of the all-conquering XR750. That will give the company more broad distribution in the largest and fastest-growing motorcycle markets.

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