Harley-Davidson has reported a 45 per cent decline in profits for the first quarter of 2020, as motorcycle sales are hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Milwaukee-based company’s net income fell from $US128m in the first three months of last year, to $US70m during the same period in 2020.

Globally, Harley-Davidson sales dropped by 18 per cent to 40,439 units, while in Australia, sales dropped by 8.7 per cent.

The American bikemaker has said it will need to make widespread cost cuts, as the coronavirus pandemic had “dramatically changed” its business environment.

“Covid-19 has dramatically changed our business environment and it is critical we respond with agility to this new reality,” said Harley-Davidson acting president and CEO Jochen Zeitz.

“We have determined that we need to make significant changes to the company; to our priorities, to our operating model and to our strategy to drive more consistent performance as we emerge from this crisis.”

Zeitz also told investors that the company will appeal to its existing customers, while also moving forward with electrification.

“We’ll expand our profitable iconic heritage bikes to excite our existing customers,” he said.

“We also remain committed to…advancing our efforts in electric.”

Introduced by former CEO Matt Levatich, Harley-Davidson’s ‘More Roads’ plan will see a number of all-new models like the all-electric Livewire, the Pan America adventure bike and the Bronx streetfighter, as the company looks to engage a new, younger audience.

The Livewire has been earmarked for an August launch in Australia, however, exact pricing and specification information has yet to be confirmed.

We do know that the pure electric bike features a riding range of around 225 kilometres, and can be charged from zero to 100 per cent in 60 minutes when connected to a DC fast charger.

Sprinting from zero to 100km/h takes just three seconds, and the bike boasts a top speed of 177km/h.

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