Harley-Davidson president and chief executive officer Matt Levatich has stepped down, after the American motorcycle brand posted a sales slip for the fifth consecutive year in its domestic market.

Sales figures from Australia show that Harley-Davidson sold the most road-going motorcycles of any bikemaker in 2019, despite recording a sales drop of 7.9 per cent compared to 2018.

According to a news release, Mr Levatich will be replaced by board member Jochen Zeitz as acting president and CEO of Harley-Davidson.

Levatich joined Harley-Davidson in 1994 and held positions of increasing responsibility in the US and Europe.

“The board of directors has appointed current board member Jochen Zeitz as acting president and CEO,”

“A committee of the board will be formed, and the company will utilise an external search firm to undertake a search for a new CEO, and a further announcement will be made at a later date.

“Levatich will assist with the transition through the end of March.

“As part of this leadership change, Jochen Zeitz has also been named chairman of the board and will remain chairman once a new CEO is appointed.”

Levatich had many issues to face during his tenure, like increased tariff costs implemented by Donald Trump, and the introduction of its ‘More Roads’ plan which will see a number of all-new models like the electric Livewire, Pan American adventure bike and Bronx streetfighter.

In a statement, Levatich suggested that the More Roads plan will help revive the Harley-Davidson brand after he leaves.

“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,” he said.

“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.”


Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments