In 2018 former Harley CEO Matt Levatich unveiled Harley-Davidson’s “More Roads to Harley-Davidson” business strategy which would expand the marque in all directions and conquer new markets and segments with a massive R&D investment and dozens of new models ranging from electric scooters to cool sportbikes.
Three years on, new CEO Jochen Zeitz has taken a completely different tack with his new ‘HardWire’ strategy – which is almost 180 degrees away from the old plan. Abandoning almost every part of the ‘More Roads’ business model, Zeitz’s radical move is aimed at bringing Harley’s focus sharply back onto the traditional Harley-Davidson customers who have faithfully supported the brand forever. Let’s look at what this all means for the Milwaukee maker.
Focus On The Core
Zeitz’s Harley-Davidson plans to invest significant time and resources on strengthening and growing its leadership positions in its strongest, most profitable motorcycle segments: Touring, large Cruiser and Trike. These segments are said to be the most profitable and demonstrate steady aggregate demand of new and used sales. Harley aims to deliver products in these attractive segments that live up to its vision for market-leading innovation, evolution and emotion and inspire repurchase while compelling new customers to join the Harley-Davidson brand
The company plans to selectively expand into and within motorcycle segments, focusing on segments that are profitable and aligned with its product and brand capabilities, such as Adventure Touring and middleweight Cruiser. The company has also redefined its geographic footprint with a focus on global markets that matter most to future growth. Priority markets include US, DACH (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), Japan, China, Canada, France, UK, Italy, Australia, and New Zealand.
Electric motorcycles are considered important to Harley-Davidson’s future. Livewire was the first product to launch in this segment and the company has now created a separate division solely dedicated to delivering the ‘most desirable’ electric motorcycles in the world.
So will the 180 degree turn that HardWire brings to the business put more wind in the sails of the brand..?
CEO Zeitz summed up the Hardwire plan with this confident statement. “By unlocking our full potential, prioritizing profit through leadership and fueling our lifestyle brand with an enhanced product offering and leading digital capabilities, The Hardwire will drive the desirability of Harley-Davidson for all.”