Published: Thu, February 01, 2018
Health Care | By Alberto Manning

Harley-Davidson To Launch Electric Motorcycle

Harley-Davidson To Launch Electric Motorcycle

Harley-Davidson will be closing two operations, another in Kansas after shipments plummeted.

Harley-Davidson's sales fell in 2017, a continuing trend for the company in recent years, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Harley would not be the first to produce an electric bike but it would be a first for the brand.

Last year, President Trump praised Harley-Davidson as a "great example" of a company creating The Motorcycles & Related Products segment designs, makes, and sells wholesale on-road Harley-Davidson motorcycles, as well as motorcycle parts, accessories, general merchandise, and related services.

- Harley-Davidson plans to close the Kansas City motorcycle assembly plant. The move will result in 800 layoffs at the Kansas City facility, beginning midyear, and it will close by the third quarter of 2019. And if there's one motorcycle manufacturer many people would have put at the bottom of a list of ones likely to introduce an electric motorbike, it would probably be Harley-Davidson. It also states that Harley intends to be "the world leader in the electrification of motorcycles".

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Despite the dramatic fall in sales, it's worth noting that in the U.S., where well over half all Harley-Davidsons are sold (147,972 in 2017), Harley still dominates the big bike market, accounting for more than 50% of all sales over 601cc. But the firm's fightback against an outdated image will include the production descendant of its Project Livewire electric bike prototype, which it says will be ready within 18 months.

"Our actions to address the current environment through disciplined supply and cost management position us well as we drive to achieve our long-term objectives to build the next generation of Harley-Davidson riders globally", Matt Levatich, president and chief executive officer, Harley-Davidson, said.

Sales have recovered in the US since the financial crisis, but they are less than half what they were during a 2016 peak 1.6 million two-wheelers sold.

It's not just Harley-Davidson feeling the highway blues. It expects to ship 231,000 to 236,000 motorcycles this year, after selling 241,498 in 2017, the lowest since 2011. And I think you're going to even expand-I know your business is now doing very well and there's a lot of spirit right now in the country that you weren't having so much in the last number of months that you have right now. It will shift operations to its York, Pennsylvania, plant, adding 450 "full-time, casual and contractor" jobs to that location, for a net loss of around 350 jobs.

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