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Harley-Davidson Archives — Page 5 of 19 — Bikernet Blog - Online Biker Magazine

Harley-Davidson’s acting CEO Zeitz sees potential to revitalize motorcycle brand

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Following a tough fiscal 2019 where U.S. Harley-Davidson motorcycle sales were the lowest in at least 16 years, the Milwaukee manufacturer announced Feb. 28 that Matthew Levatich stepped down as president and CEO. Current Harley-Davidson (NYSE: HOG) board member Jochen Zeitz will serve as acting president and CEO.

Harley-Davidson appoint Jochen Zeitz as president and CEO

Jochen Zeitz also served as the chairman and CEO of the sporting goods company, Puma from 1993 to 2011.

Harley-Davidson board of directors have appointed Jochen Zeitz as acting president and CEO; Matthew Levatich steps down.

American bike maker, Harley-Davidson announced that the board of directors have appointed present board member, Jochen Zeitz as acting president and CEO. Matthew Levatich has stepped down from his role as the president and CEO and as a member of the board.

Speaking on his new role, Jochen Zeitz said, “The Board and Matt mutually agreed that now is the time for new leadership at Harley-Davidson. Levatich was instrumental in defining the More Roads to Harley-Davidson accelerated plan for growth, and we will look to new leadership to recharge our business. On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Matt for his 26 years of service to Harley-Davidson. He has worked tirelessly to navigate the company through a period of significant industry change while ensuring the preservation of one of the most iconic brands in the world.”

Furthermore, a board committee is being formed, and the OEM will use an external search firm to find a new CEO. Levatich will be assisting the transition through the end of March. As part of this leadership change, Zeitz has also been named chairman of the Board and will remain chairman once the new CEO is appointed. The current chairman of the Board, Michael Cave will be the presiding director.

Zeitz added, “The Harley-Davidson Board and leadership team will continue to work closely together as we search for a new CEO. We have confidence that our combined leadership experience and deep understanding of Harley-Davidson will ensure an effective transition. As a passionate Board Member of Harley-Davidson, I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues and other Harley-Davidson stakeholders to advance and deliver the company’s strategy and execution during this important time.”

Zeitz has been a member of the Harley-Davidson Board of Directors since 2007 and established the company’s Brand and Sustainability Committee. “I am very fortunate to have spent many years with a company as revered as Harley-Davidson,” Levatich pointed out. “The grit and determination of the employees and dealers and their passion for bringing our brand of freedom to people around the world has always been inspiring. I am proud of what we have achieved during my time as CEO, in one of the most challenging periods in our history, and I am confident that the progress we have made on the More Roads plan will position Harley-Davidson for long-term success.”

Jochen Zeitz also served as the chairman and CEO of the sporting goods company Puma from 1993 to 2011. He was also Puma’s CFO from 1993 to 2005. Zeitz served as a director of luxury goods company, Kering (formerly PPR) from 2012 to 2016. He was a member of Kering’s Executive Committee and CEO of its Sport and Lifestyle division between 2010 and 2012. Zeitz is also a board member of the Cranemere Group and is on the Board of the ‘B Team’ which he co-founded with Sir Richard Branson.

Harley-Davidson CEO to leave struggling motorcycle maker

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MILWAUKEE (AP) — Harley-Davidson CEO Matthew Levatich is leaving the struggling motorcycle maker.

The Milwaukee company announced Friday that Levatich will leave his post and seat on Harley’s board of directors.

Board member Jochen Zeitz will become acting president and CEO while a board search committee is formed and Harley hires an outside search firm to fill the job.

“The Board and Matt mutually agreed that now is the time for new leadership at Harley-Davidson,” Zeitz said in a prepared statement.

Harley has been struggling with declining sales in the U.S., its biggest market, as it tries to adapt to an aging customer base while looking to expand markets overseas.

The announcement of the leadership change, made after the markets closed, pushed Harley’s shares up 5% in after-hours trading. They had fallen 2.3% with the broader markets during the trading day.

Harley’s closing share price Friday was down 18% for the year.

Harley reported a net profit of $423.6 million in 2019, but it made only $13.5 million in the fourth quarter.

The company said Levatich will stay on through March to assist with the transition.

Zeitz also was named board chairman, replacing Michael Cave, who becomes presiding director. He said the board is confident that its leadership experience and understanding of the company will bring an effective transition.

Harley-Davidson Pulls The Wraps Off The 2020 Softail Standard

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by Janaki Jitchotvisut from https://autos.yahoo.com/

Well, that didn’t take long. Just a week ago, Dustin was telling you about the impending Harley-Davidson 2020 Softail Standard revival. Today, the Motor Company made its official announcement, and it turns out Dustin’s speculation was right on the money when he suggested that it could be a base model waiting to be customized. Let’s take a look.

The 2020 Softail Standard is intended to bring a stripped-down, minimalist cruiser experience to the Harley-Davidson Big-Twin lineup. If you’re all about that Milwaukee-Eight 107 V-Twin engine, and a smooth, uncomplicated, black-and-chrome aesthetic, then the new Softail Standard might just be for you.

Right out of the box, you’re looking at a straightforward, visually well-balanced bobber. The solo saddle curves up nicely to draw your attention back to that blacked-out, chopped rear fender, while your eye has no choice but to rest on the Milwaukee-Eight that beats at the heart of the whole thing. The two-into-two offset shotgun exhaust harks back to the slightly unbalanced look of the original, but gives it a more symmetrical, finished look. I’d personally go for a slightly bigger headlight, but keep the same shape and finish—and hey, that’s what customization is for, right?

You get a 19-inch front wheel and a 16-inch rear, both laced. The rear mono-shock has a preload adjuster you can access by simply lifting up the saddle. Front and rear disc brakes are standard, and ABS is an available option. The fuel tank has a 3.5-gallon capacity. This newest member of the Big Twin family can be yours for an MSRP of $13,599.

It wouldn’t be Harley without accessories, so you have a choice of four packages to start with. Three of them feature passenger seating and footpegs, and the fourth is all Screamin’ Eagle, all the time. The Day Tripper, Coastal, and Touring Custom packages range in price from $1,049.95 to $1,699.95, and offer different styles and configurations to get out of town with your favorite passenger riding behind you.

Meanwhile, the Performance Custom package runs $1,299.95, and includes Screamin’ Eagle Stage II Torque Kit, Pro Street Tuner, Heavy Breather Performance Air Cleaner, and Street Cannon mufflers.

Reduce duty on Harley Davidson to nil: Report

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The report by the US India Business Council (USIBC) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) said the 0% rate could apply to all motorcycle imports being sold in India over Rs 5 lakh.

NEW DELHI: India should consider bringing down the import duty on high-end motorcycles (that include Harley Davidson motorcycles) to 0% for both complete built up (CBU) units and for completely knocked down (CKD) units, a joint report by two industry lobby groups suggested on Tuesday as part of an overall strategy to boost India-US trade to $500 billion.

The report by the US India Business Council (USIBC) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) said the 0% rate could apply to all motorcycle imports being sold in India over Rs 5 lakh.

The report has listed out interventions in 13 specific areas, which if resolved, will provide a thrust to trade between the two countries. Interventions range from reinstating Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) benefits by US for India, arriving at a consensus on a pricing mechanism for medical devices, modifications in India’s e-commerce policy, removing high tariffs on steel and aluminium imports by US, fostering greater cooperation in strengthening partnership in defence and aerospace.

“In 2017-18, Harley Davidson sold 3,413 units in India – a decline of 7% from the previous year. For CBU units, India had already slashed duties from 75% to 50% in 2018, but given that the duties apply to a minuscule percentage of the overall trade and for a very niche product, eliminating it altogether would provide a symbolic win for the US,” the report said.

It said issue of price controls for medical devices has invited vigorous discussions and was one of the original reasons why US Office of the Trade Representative (USTR) decided to review India’s eligibility for GSP programme

The report said India’s e-commerce policy, however, has engendered a whole host of issues that impact both domestic and foreign players, including definition of private versus community data, prohibition on cross-border data sharing, mandate to establish data centres holding sensitive data of Indians within the boundaries of India, informed consent, following due legal process in data sharing with Indian or foreign authorities, domestic versus Indian – product definitions; requirement for e-commerce app/websites to set up legal entities in India.

“India must also bear in mind that such a policy could prompt reciprocal action by US and other countries which may demand that the data for their citizens stay within the confines of their geographical boundaries. This could have an enormous deleterious impact on Indian IT and business process outsourcing (BPO) companies that have grown over the past several decades essentially by processing, analysing and storing sensitive health, financial, insurance etc. information for customers from other countries within India – the US is a major market for such firms and helps generate thousands of jobs in India.”

Harley has to pay huge duty in India, Trump revives import duty debate

“India is probably the highest tariff nation in the world. The United States has to be treated fairly and I think India understands it. We have a large deficit of $24 billion with India and that it is very high”. Trump Said

NEW DELHI: U.S President Donald Trump calls out India-US tariff a problem mentioning the American motorcycle manufacturer Harley Davidson has to pay high import tariff in India.

While addressing a media conference in Delhi, he said, “India is probably the highest tariff nation in the world. The United States has to be treated fairly and I think India understands it. We have a large deficit of $24 billion with India and that it is very high”.

However, he indicated that a trade deal with India could happen at the end of the year. “Working it out with India on tariffs,” President Trump said.

India reduced the customs duty on complete built-up units (CBUs) from 100 percent to 50 percent in 2019. Even then Trump criticized the import duty and called out “too high” and “not acceptable”.

On the other hand, India increased tariffs on completely knocked down (CKDs) units from 10 per cent to 15 percent. Harley Davidson’s majority of sales come from the CKDs which are assembled in India.

In FY2019, Harley Davidson sold 2676 motorcycles. It sells 17 Models in India which ranges from ₹5.33 lakh to ₹50.3 lakh.

Before Trump India Visit, India proposed a new tariff classification for motorcycles with a cylinder capacity exceeding 1,600 ccs, imports of which will be taxed in single digits.

Will 2020 mark a turnaround for motorcycle powerhouse Harley-Davidson?

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Matt Levatich is CEO of Harley-Davidson.

by Margaret Naczek from https://www.bizjournals.com

For 117 years Harley-Davidson Inc. has led the market in motorcycles and continues to hold a dominant market share in the U.S. heavyweight motorcycle market.

Despite its dominance in motorcycles, fewer people are buying bikes, and the number of U.S. riders are growing at a slow pace. For several consecutive quarters, the company faced declining sales, lower revenue and flat stock prices.

With falling sales numbers, 2020 is becoming a pivotal year for the company founded in 1903. Harley has plans to grow riders to 4 million by 2027, from 3.1 million now, and invest in new markets with its More Roads to Harley-Davidson initiative, which launched in 2018. Some analysts, however, are uncertain of Harley’s ability to achieve such goals.

“We are becoming a company that excels and exists to not only build great bikes, but to build riders,” Harley-Davidson CEO Matt Levatich said in the company’s fourth-quarter conference call.

During the call, Levatich listed four target areas that the Harley plans to hit in 2020 to retain early riders, a category segment that the manufacturer has struggled with. The company plans using riders to recruit and coach new riders, allow early riders to experience riding opportunities on their own turn and on their own terms and solidifying rider commitment through experimental opportunities like overnight rides.

New motorcycles such as Harley’s first electric motorcycle LiveWire, released in September 2019, or the new Pan America adventure touring bike and Bronx Streetfighter bike, which are expected to release late in 2020, are also part of the company’s efforts to turn U.S. motorcycle sales around and build a strong ridership base.

At least one dealer is hopeful about the strategy.

“It’s brave if you think about it,” said Goran Zadrima, regional manager at Milwaukee and West Bend Harley-Davidson. “A lot of companies in the past have attempted to go after the Harley touring market, and everybody fell on their face trying to take Harley in the touring market. The fact that Harley is getting into the adventure and the streetfighter market, that’s a huge market. There’s a lot of good brands out there, but the one thing that Harley has that nobody has anywhere is the dealer network.”

Harley Davidson sells over 25,000 motorcycles in India

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Harley Davidson Street 750 was the first large-capacity motorcycle in India to become BS-VI compliant in the 750cc and above category.

Premium motorcycle manufacturer Harley Davidson reported on Tuesday that it has sold more than 25,000 motorcycles since its inception in 2009.

The company also informed that with this development, it completed a decade of operations in India.

Commenting on this, Sajeev Rajasekharan, Managing Director, Harley-Davidson India, said, “When we first made inroads into India, our goal was to create a market for premium motorcycles, and we are proud to be the preferred choice for enthusiasts.”

He also said, “Harley-Davidson has been successful in securing its market share over the last decade, despite an unpredictable market. With 33 dealers across the country, we have the largest dealer network amongst premium motorcycle brands in India and will continue to go onward and upward.”

Rajasekharan further said, “We are thrilled about our journey over the last 10 years and are sure that the next decade will see more community building, innovations and launches from the H-D stable.”.

Harley-Davidson Street 750 became the first large-capacity motorcycle in India to be BS-VI compliant in the 750cc and above category, claimed the company.

Harley-Davidson’s stock tanks as motorcycle sales continue to slide

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by Paul R. La Monica from https://edition.cnn.com/

New York (CNN Business)Harley-Davidson has a big problem. Americans aren’t riding its trademark hogs nearly as much as they used to do.

Shares of Harley-Davidson (HOG) fell 3% in early trading Tuesday after the company reported sales and earnings that missed Wall Street’s forecasts. The stock is now down more than 10% this year.

Most alarming: Demand for Harley’s bikes continued to fall in the United States — even as they rebounded overseas.

Harley’s retail sales in America were down 3% in the fourth quarter. That’s the 12th consecutive decline. US sales fell more than 5% for the full year.

Sales were up slightly internationally, led by a more-than 6% jump in Asia. But that wasn’t enough to lift Harley’s worldwide motorcycle sales, which fell 1.4%.

The weakness in Harley’s home market is particularly disappointing given that the United States and China have now reached a “phase one” trade truce. Harley has been complaining about tariffs put into place by the Trump administration for the past few years.

President Donald Trump has also been critical of the fact that Harley — based in Milwaukee — had shifted some of its production outside of America to avoid tariffs in Europe that were put into place on the company in response to US tariffs on steel and aluminum. Trump even supported a boycott of Harley by US consumers in 2018.

But Harley clearly has bigger problems than global trade policy. The company is trying to revitalize its sales with the launch of its LiveWire electric motorcycle.

Harley CEO and president Matt Levatich struck a hopeful tone in the company’s earnings release.

“We see 2020 as the pivotal year in the transformation of Harley-Davidson. This year we will broaden the reach of our brand and build more committed riders as we enter new and growing segments in motorcycling and eBicycles,” Levatich said. “More and easier access to two-wheeled freedom on a Harley is well underway.”

Building the H-D Juneau Plant

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From Woodshed to Red-brick Behemoth in Ten Short Years

We’ve all heard the stories of how Harley-Davidson began life in 1903 in a Milwaukee woodshed on the site of what is now the headquarters of Miller Brewing Company. But with motorcycle production set to jump from around 1000 units in 1909 to nearly 30,000 by 1920, the Motor Company’s industrial digs had to change, and in a big way.

CLICK HERE TO READ THIS ARTICLE ON BIKERNET

First Harley-Davidson Edition GMC Pickup in history introduced

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Milwaukee – Jan. 10, 2020 –Harley-Davidson Motor Company (NYSE:HOG) and Tuscany Motor Co. will introduce the first Harley-Davidson edition GMC pickup in history at the Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale, Arizona on January 11, 2020. Only 250 Harley-Davidson branded GMC® Sierra® trucks will be available through select authorized GMC/Tuscany dealers in North America.  

“Fans have long hungered for a limited edition GMC truck that celebrates their passion for Harley-Davidson motorcycles,” said Jeff Burttschell, Vice President, Tuscany Motor Co. “Working closely with Brad Richards, Vice President of Styling and Design at Harley-Davidson, we created a fantastic truck worthy of the Harley-Davidson name. For the first time in history, it will be possible to rumble down the road in a V8 powered Harley-Davidson edition GMC truck.” 

The new pickup includes over 65 edition-specific components that make the 2020 model truck distinctly Harley-Davidson. The styling was inspired by the famous Harley-Davidson® Fat Boy® model.  

“Harley-Davidson and GMC are two of the most recognizable and admired American brands in the world,” said Jon Bekefy, General Manager of Brand Marketing at Harley-Davidson, Inc. “We’re proud of the new Harley-Davidson edition GMC Sierra. It truly reflects Harley-Davidson’s passion for giving committed riders new ways to share their affinity for the brand and for riding.”

The Tuscany team begins with a GMC Sierra truck and then installs many motorcycle-inspired components. These include Harley-Davidson branded 22” milled aluminum wheels styled and inspired by the Harley-Davidson Fatboy model, a custom tuned exhaust with Harley-Davidson exclusive solid billet aluminum tips, distinctive Harley-Davidson bar and shield badging, stainless steel Harley-Davidson gauges, billet pedals, two-tone diamond stitched and perforated custom leather seating surfaces, and official numbered Harley-Davidson center console badge.

Additional edition-specific components that add to the aggressive look of the truck include, custom tuned BDS suspension lift with upgraded Fox shocks, 35” all-terrain tires, lighted power deploying running boards with unique integrated rocker trim, custom fender flares, functional fender vents, front bumper redesign with integrated LED light bar, custom design Harley-Davidson grille with Bar & Shield insert, replacement functional Harley-Davidson designed induction style hood, rear bumper redesign with custom exhaust ports, Harley-Davidson tailgate appliqué, color-matched Harley-Davidson inspired tonneau cover with debossed Harley-Davidson bar and shield logo, carpeted bed mat with Harley-Davidson logo, Harley-Davidson floor mats, Harley-Davidson door entry sills, custom accent color door, dash and steering wheel trim.

Under the arrangement, Tuscany will provide the GMC Sierra and manufacture the interior and exterior components under Harley-Davidson’s direction. The 2020 Harley-Davidson GMC will be available for delivery to the retail public at select authorized GMC dealers beginning February 2020. GMC dealers and the retail public can also reserve their vehicle by visiting HarleyTruck.com/GMC or calling (817.769.4720).

Going electric could help revive the motorcycle industry

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by Peter Valdes-Dapena from https://edition.cnn.com/

Motorcycle sales, particularly in the United States, have been struggling ever since the Great Recession. As older riders lose interest, or simply become unable to ride any longer, the younger generation hasn’t been showing the same kind of enthusiasm.

But the industry is hoping that electric motorcycles — with a quieter, simpler experience — might be the key to attracting new riders.

For one thing, electric motorcycles are easier to ride. With an electric motor, there’s no need to shift gears. To experienced riders, that’s no big deal, but most Americans today have become accustomed to automatic transmissions and don’t know how to shift gears.

“It’s just a lot easier learning curve,” said Susan Carpenter, a writer and radio host specializing in motorcycles. “You just hop on and twist the throttle. If you can balance, you can go.”

Another benefit is that electric motorcycles are much less noisy than gasoline-powered motorcycles. To many veteran riders, the roar of the engine is part of the excitement. But a lot of other people would prefer to enjoy their surroundings much more peacefully. The bikes also don’t have hot engines and exhaust pipes that can become burn hazards, especially when parked around kids.

Electric motorcycles also qualify for federal and state tax credits, similar to those for electric cars, although in smaller amounts.

There are tradeoffs, of course. Electric motorcycles have the same disadvantages as electric cars, namely cost and range. Motorcycles can only accommodate small batteries so they have a lot less range than gas-powered bikes. And that range diminishes greatly during high-speed highway riding because the bike’s electric motor has to compensate for increased wind resistance pressing against the rider’s not-so-aerodynamic body.

Hoping to get the attention of a new generation of riders, Harley-Davidson introduced the LiveWire electric motorcycle earlier this year.

But with a starting price of nearly $30,000 — more than three times the cost of an entry level motorcycle — it’s unlikely to attract many novice riders. With its extreme performance capabilities — it can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in just three seconds — the LiveWire doesn’t appear to be for first-time riders. (The bike does have selectable performance modes so it can be set up for less aggressive riding.)

“LiveWire sets the stage and sets the tone and is designed and priced to be a halo vehicle,” said Harley-Davidson spokesman Paul James, explaining that the LiveWire is aimed at establishing an image for the brand’s electric offerings rather than being a big seller. “And we’ll quickly follow that up with other form factors and other electric two-wheelers that will be in various price points and aimed at different customers.”

Harley-Davidson (HOG) wanted this bike to get people used to the idea of a motorcycle that doesn’t have the brand’s signature engine burble, said James. The LiveWire does make its own distinct sound, though. It comes from the gears that carry power from the electric motor to the belt that spins the back wheel. Harley-Davidson engineers spent time specifically tuning the naturally occurring whirring sound, much as they would the rumble of a gasoline engine.

For the real novices, Harley-Davidson offers the IronE, which targets tiny riders aged three to seven. The teeny off-road bike is powered by a small detachable battery similar to ones used for electric power tools and starts at around $650. Harley-Davidson has also shown pedaled e-bikes and scooters as concepts.

California-based Zero offers electric motorcycles like the Zero FX ZF3.6 for around $9,000. That bike has an estimated 27 miles of riding range from a small battery that can be easily changed for a fully charged one when it runs low on power. For about twice that amount, or around $20,000, bikes like the Zero SR/F can get about 123 miles in combined city and highway riding. (That compares to the 95 miles Harley-Davidson estimates for the LiveWire.) Buyers can also add battery power using a “Power Tank” accessory.

Zero’s bikes are used in a program called Discover the Ride, which introduces novice riders to motorcycle riding and takes place at Progressive International Motorcycle Shows across the United States. Riders demonstrate their basic two-wheeler skills on an electrically-assisted bicycle, then they are offered a ride on a Zero electric motorcycle.

Cake, a Swedish company, has models starting at a slightly more affordable $8,500. For that price, a buyer can get Cake’s ultra-minimalist Ösa+ model. Its design was inspired by a workbench and it looks like it. With detachable clamps, the owner can quickly customize the bike with cargo racks or an additional seat. The Ösa+ has a top speed of just 60 miles an hour. It’s intended as an urban workhorse.

Cake also makes the slightly faster and pricier Kalk& with a more traditional, but still distinctively spare, design.

With their emphasis on light weight and simplicity, Cake bikes take the idea that electric motorcycling should be different from riding a gas-powered bike to an extreme. The models are particularly popular with new riders, according to a company spokesman. After being available in the US for a little over a year, there’s a three-month waiting list for the bikes, Cake claims.