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Harley-Davidson Unveils New Plan Amid Sluggish Sales

Image via Austin Neill on Unsplash

Harley-Davidson's struggles in recent years as its core customer base ages have been well documented. Younger generations haven't been attracted to the company's iconic motorcycles to the extent their parents and grandparents were.

Harley-Davidson unveiled earlier this week its new five year strategic plan called The Hardwire, which it hopes will cement the company as the "most desirable motorcycle brand in the world" while targeting low double-digit EPS growth through 2025.

The highlights of Harley's new plan include focusing on its core segments of touring, large cruiser and trike bikes, launching a pre-owned motorcycle program called Harley-Davidson Certified and the creation of a new division to focus exclusively on electric motorcycles.

The touring, large cruiser and trike segments will receive the bulk of Harley's time and resources as they are the most profitable. Harley believes there is a large untapped opportunity within the segment as the company will now focus on ten global markets that are key to its future success.

"Harley-Davidson is the most desirable motorcycle brand in the world, backed by leading positions in the most profitable segments and a reinvigorated culture of performance, efficiency, focus and speed," Harley-Davidson chairman, president and CEO Jochen Zeitz said. "By unlocking our full potential, prioritizing profit through leadership and fueling our lifestyle brand with an enhanced product offering and leading digital capabilities, our strategic plan will drive the desirability of Harley-Davidson for all."

Harley's new division for electric motorcycles will build upon its first electric vehicle, the LiveWire, as the 118-year old manufacturer remains committed to remaining at the forefront of electric motorcycle technology. The division will focus on new technologies to bring additional electric products to market.

Lastly, Harley announced it will grant equity to approximately 4,500 employees following a year that saw the company announce significant layoffs. Harley is embracing a new inclusive stakeholder management approach that will see everyone from factory workers to executives own a stake in the iconic company.

"I am proud to announce our first commitment as part of our Inclusive Stakeholder Management priority, an equity grant to thousands of our employees, including every hourly factory worker," Zeitz said. "It is only fitting that this inaugural action is for our own Harley-Davidson community who continue to deliver our iconic products and experiences with great pride and craftsmanship every day."

Harley hopes its new strategic plan will lead to value creation for its stakeholders as it continues to struggle to attract new customers for its motorcycles.

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