Harley-Davidson Was Sinking, But Now It Has a Plan: The Hardwire

2020 has been tough on all of us, from different points of view. For Harley-Davidson, it marked yet another plunge to the bottom of the pit.
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In March 2020, following years of business degradation, the company’s CEO Matthew Levatich left. A few months later, in September, Harley announced its de facto exit from the Indian market by closing the factory it operated in Bawal. And then, finally, it pulled its years-long backing of NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle team Vance & Hines.

But 2020 is all over now, and Harley is planning to start over. It already did, sort of, as it showed most of the new products in its plans for the coming year. But this week, it’s time for the corporate revival plan to be revealed. This time, it’s called The Hardwire, and targets the 2021-2025 period.

As with most other corporate plans, this one, too, is all about profitability. By the time it expires, the company plans to have “increased profitability and low double-digit EPS growth,” with a mid-single-digit increase coming from its main business, motorcycle sales.

To achieve that, some investments will be in order. Harley plans to spend between $190 million to $250 million annually, a good chunk of that to consolidate its position in the most profitable segments (Touring, large Cruiser, and Trike) but also in creating a market in America for Adventure Touring bikes, of which the upcoming Pan America is a central piece.

Focusing over the next five years on “ten global markets that matter most to future success,” Harley also plans to launch a certified pre-owned motorcycle program. In addition, it intends to bet on the electric segment more by establishing a dedicated division tasked with technology development.

There’s some good news for the company’s employees, too, as starting this year, a so-called Inclusive Stakeholder Management kicks off, “offering an equity grant to approximately 4,500” people.

“We launch The Hardwire with capabilities, assets and a legacy unmatched by any competitor. 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,” said in a statement current CEO Jochen Zeitz.

“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.”

You can have a look at all the provisions of The Hardwire plan, as presented this week, in the press release section below.

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