Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Market Decline Will Lead To Pension Collapse, USD Devaluation, And NWO - Raymond_Matison
2.Uber’s Nightmare Has Just Started - Stephen_McBride
3.Stock Market Crash Black Swan Event Set Up Sept 12th? - Brad_Gudgeon
4.GDow Stock Market Trend Forecast Update - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Gold Significant Correction Has Started - Clive_Maund
6.British Pound GBP vs Brexit Chaos Timeline - Nadeem_Walayat
7.Cameco Crash, Uranium Sector Won’t Catch a break - Richard_Mills
8.Recession 2020 Forecast : The New Risks & New Profits Of A Grand Experiment - Dan_Amerman
9.Gold When Global Insanity Prevails - Michael Ballanger
10.UK General Election Forecast 2019 - Betting Market Odds - Nadeem_Walayat
Last 7 days
How to Use Price Cycles and Profit as a Swing Trader – SPX, Bonds, Gold, Nat Gas - 13th Nov 19
Morrisons Throwing Thousands of Bonus More Points at Big Spend Shoppers - JACKPOT! - 13th Nov 19
What to Do NOW in Case of a Future Banking System Breakdown - 13th Nov 19
Why China is likely to remain the ‘world’s factory’ for some time to come - 13th Nov 19
Gold Price Breaks Down, Waving Good-bye to the 2019 Rally - 12th Nov 19
Fed Can't See the Bubbles Through the Lather - 12th Nov 19
Double 11 Record Sales Signal Strength of Chinese Consumption - 12th Nov 19
Welcome to the Zombie-land Of Oil, Gold and Stocks Investing – Part II - 12th Nov 19
Gold Retest Coming - 12th Nov 19
New Evidence Futures Markets Are Built for Manipulation - 12th Nov 19
Next 5 Year Future Proof Gaming PC Build Spec November 2019 - Ryzen 9 3900x, RTX 2080Ti... - 12th Nov 19
Gold and Silver - The Two Horsemen - 11th Nov 19
Towards a Diverging BRIC Future - 11th Nov 19
Welcome to the Zombie-land Of Stock Market Investing - 11th Nov 19
Illiquidity & Gold And Silver In The End Game - 11th Nov 19
Key Things You Need to Know When Starting a Business - 11th Nov 19
Stock Market Cycles Peaking - 11th Nov 19
Avoid Emotional Investing in Cryptocurrency - 11th Nov 19
Australian Lithium Mines NOT Viable at Current Prices - 10th Nov 19
The 10 Highest Paying Jobs In Oil & Gas - 10th Nov 19
World's Major Gold Miners Target Copper Porphyries - 10th Nov 19
AMAZON NOVEMBER 2019 BARGAIN PRICES - WD My Book 8TB External Drive for £126 - 10th Nov 19
Gold & Silver to Head Dramatically Higher, Mirroring Palladium - 9th Nov 19
How Do YOU Know the Direction of a Market's Larger Trend? - 9th Nov 19
BEST Amazon SMART Scale To Aid Weight Loss for Christmas 2019 - 9th Nov 19
Why Every Investor Should Invest in Water - 8th Nov 19
Wait… Was That a Bullish Silver Reversal? - 8th Nov 19
Gold, Silver and Copper The 3 Metallic Amigos and the Macro Message - 8th Nov 19
Is China locking up Indonesian Nickel? - 8th Nov 19
Where is the Top for Natural Gas? - 7th Nov 19
Why Fractional Shares Don’t Make Sense - 7th Nov 19
The Fed Is Chasing Its Own Tail; It Doesn’t Care What You Think - 7th Nov 19
China’s path from World’s Factory to World Market - 7th Nov 19
Where Is That Confounded Recession? - 7th Nov 19
FREE eBook - The Investment Strategy that could change your future - 7th Nov 19
Is There a Stock Market Breakout Ahead? - 6th Nov 19
These Indicators Aren’t Putting to an Economic Resurgence - 6th Nov 19
Understanding the Different Types of Travel Insurance - 6th Nov 19
The Biggest Gold Story Of 2020 - 6th Nov 19
Best Money Saving FREE Bonfire Night Fire Works Show Sheffield 2019 - 5th Nov 19
Is the Run on the US Dollar Due to Panic or Greed? - 5th Nov 19
Reasons Why Madrid Attracts Young Professionals - 5th Nov 19
Larger Bullish Move in USD/JPY May Just Be Getting Started - 5th Nov 19
Constructive Action in Gold & Silver Stocks - 5th Nov 19
The Boring Industry That Hands +500% Gains - 5th Nov 19
Stock Market Chartology vs Fundamentals - 4th Nov 19
The Fed’s Policy Is Like Swatting Flies with Nuclear Weapons - 4th Nov 19
Stock Market Warning: US Credit Delinquencies To Skyrocket In Q4 - 4th Nov 19
Stock Market Intermediate Topping Process Continues - 4th Nov 19
Stock Market $SPY Expanded Flat, Déjà Vu All Over Again - 4th Nov 19
How To Buy Gold For $3 An Ounce - 4th Nov 19

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How To Buy Gold For $3 An Ounce

Harley Davidson Looking at Electric Bikes to Save the Day

Companies / Electric Cars Feb 27, 2019 - 05:09 PM GMT

By: Rodney_Johnson

Companies

My father had a Harley in the mid-1980s, which I would ride from time to time. It was an ’83 Sportster, and it leaked oil, and the electrical system would cut off when you turned a corner.

Back then that was called “character.” Today, we’d call it sloppy workmanship.

Insiders bought the company from conglomerate AMF in the early 1980s, and by the end of the decade they’d returned the storied brand to its historical place – a well-made American icon.




Harley Davidson (NYSE: HOG) rode through the 1990s and early 2000s like a company on a mission. It sold a zillion “hogs” to aging professional Baby Boomers (like my father) who longed to connect with some distant part of their DNA that called for rebellion.

The Boomers were the right age, their early 40s, and Harley had the right product.

Then came 2006…

Note that I didn’t say, 2008 or 2009, referring to the financial crisis. Harley’s problem came sooner.

In 2006 the highest number of Boomers reached the prime motorcycle-buying age of 45. Our research suggested that Harley was going to struggle after that, which is exactly what happened.

Since then, Harley has tried to move mountains to regain its pace in selling motorcycles, but to no avail. In its latest earnings report, Harley noted it sold fewer bikes in 2018 than it did in 2017, and expect to sell fewer again this year.

But they have a plan. Harley will introduce the LiveWire Electric Bike later this year, and two electric scooters by 2022.

Unfortunately, it won’t work…

Harley riders don’t come in many shapes in sizes. Most are aging men. Yes, there are plenty of exceptions, and Harley works hard on expanding its appeal to women and younger buyers. But they’ve had limited success.

The brand’s history speaks to rebellion, power, and national pride. Those aren’t bad things, but they don’t exactly scream “young, female, globalist, urban-dweller with a cat that attends the Women’s March.” Again, those qualities aren’t inherently good or bad either, they just don’t come to mind when someone says, “Harley.”

Go ahead. Picture a Harley on the street in your head. Who’s riding it?

And then there’s the problem of the motorcycles themselves…

Most Harleys are big. The smallest traditional bike is the Sportster 883, which displaces 883 cubic centimeters (cc’s) and weighs 564 lbs.

The newer Harley lineup of Street bikes includes the modest Street 500, which displaces 500 cc’s and weighs a mere 492 pounds. Remember, these are the smallest, and the Street series has been plagued by maintenance issues.

You can get a new Honda CB300, which displaces 281 cc’s and weighs 313 pounds, for a couple of thousand dollars less than the Street 500. For the Millennial crowd that’s carrying student loan debt and isn’t interested in channeling Marlon Brando, James Dean, or their dad, that’s a pretty good option.

Now, about those electric bikes…

I’m a fan of the LiveWire. I followed the press releases when Harley took the prototype on a national tour a few years ago. Apparently, the company added a sound that makes the bike approximate a jet engine turbine.

Since Harleys are known for their roaring exhaust, it makes sense that they would ensure the electric bike had a song of its own. I’m not sure if the engine noise made it to the production bike, but for the price tag, the motorcycle should come with a live band.

Harley set the price at $30,000.

For a motorcycle.

With few moving parts.

The thing is fueled by a souped-up version of your cell phone battery. It has a “range” of 100 miles or so in urban driving. Highway miles sap the batter faster.

The thing looks cool, but it’s hard to say it’s worth it.

I can see Millennials thinking the LiveWire is nifty, but then surfing the net for less than five seconds and finding Zero Motorcycles, which has been making electric bikes with zero emission for more than a decade.

Zero offers a range of bikes, including the decked out ZF 14.4 with an additional power tank, which has a range of 200 miles in the city and costs $16,900, or just over half of the new Harley.

So, it costs half as much and goes twice as far. Hmm.

Maybe the new city scooters due out in a couple of years will save the company? I almost couldn’t write that because it sounds so preposterous.

The scooters, which Harley unveiled at the X Games in January, look like someone took a Honda Ruckus (which are pretty awesome, as scooters go) and made it boring. The scooters will be 49 cc’s, so they won’t require a motorcycle license, but they will require that you surrender any sense of style to get on one.

OK. That’s a bit harsh. Perhaps Harley will tweak the design before they offer the bikes for sale. I hope.

There is a different path available to Harley, but it’s difficult…

During the late 1960s and 1970s, Harleys fell out of favor. The company subsisted by selling fewer bikes and offering lots of branded items such as shirts and lighters to keep the cash rolling in. They held on until the rising generation aged into the sweet spot to buy their bikes. Maybe this could happen again.

As the Millennials age, they’ll eventually feel their rebellious oats and want to strike out against The Man on the weekend even as they toil away at professional jobs during the week. As long as Harley hasn’t hurt its brand too much with offerings like the urban scooter, it could fit the bill.

The payoff could be huge, since there are more Millennials than there are Boomers. The trick will be remaining relevant long enough, with its mystique intact, to take advantage of the opportunity.

Such a strategy won’t make shareholders happy, but it would allow Harley to maintain its well-deserved image as a quality American product.

Stay tuned.

Harry

http://economyandmarkets.com

Follow me on Twitter @HarryDentjr

P.S. Another way to stay ahead is by reading the 27 simple stock secrets that our Seven-Figure Trader says are worth $588,221. You’ll find the details here.

Harry studied economics in college in the ’70s, but found it vague and inconclusive. He became so disillusioned by the state of the profession that he turned his back on it. Instead, he threw himself into the burgeoning New Science of Finance, which married economic research and market research and encompassed identifying and studying demographic trends, business cycles, consumers’ purchasing power and many, many other trends that empowered him to forecast economic and market changes.

Copyright © 2019 Harry Dent- All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

Harry Dent Archive

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules