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All You Need to Know About Harley-Davidson's 2020 Update

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In sync with long-term growth objectives to expand product portfolio and customer base, Harley-Davidson, Inc. (HOG - Free Report) recently unveiled the details of its new motorcycle models and technologies for 2020. The Milwaukee-based company is planning to release new products that better align with market trends and the tastes of younger generations.

A Closer Look at the New Lineup

Some of the new models to watch out for in 2020 include LiveWire, Low Rider S and CVO Tri Glide.

In a bid to establish itself as the leader in the electrification of motorcycles, Harley-Davidson will be launching the high-tech LiveWire, which will be its first attempt in electric two-wheelers. The e-bike, infused with new level of technology, is expected to have a range of up to 146 miles per charge and is geared toward a new generation of riders.

Harley-Davidson can certainly benefit from early market entry into the world of electric bikes. It will be able to leverage its already existing network, as the current electric motorcycle brands are mainly startups that lack solid distribution and ability to scale. The company doesn’t want to make the same mistake that long-standing U.S. car manufacturers such as Ford (F - Free Report) and General Motors (GM - Free Report) made by allowing newcomer Tesla (TSLA - Free Report) to capitalize on the electric car market.

The Low Rider S,powered by the Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine, emphasizes on power and performance. Following a two-year hiatus, the updated model has better handling and rider control, while still being rooted in the legacy of the earlier Low Rider models. 

The new CVO Tri Glide model, loaded with premium features, will be the latest addition to the firm’s line of CVO models. The three-wheeled bike, powered by Milwaukee-Eight 117 powertrain, will come with advanced technologies, exclusive components and show-stopping finishes, upholding the standards of CVO models.

On the tech front, Harley-Davidson will be equipped with the H-D Connect cellular connectivity service and Reflex Defensive Rider Systems (RDRS) technologies.

Available for select Harley-Davidson motorcycles, the H-D Connect cellular connectivity service will allow riders to connect them to their bikes through the Harley-Davidson App. It will keep the riders updated about key vehicle health information, and bike status and security. The RDRS technology for select models will feature traction control and advanced antilock braking system.

In Sync With Its Growth Plan

The new product launches will be in sync with its “More Roads to Harley-Davidson” growth plan, which was unveiled last year. The strategy, which extends to 2022, is aimed at helping the motorcycle company to reach its 2027 objectives such as encouraging 2 million new riders in the United States, achieving growth without increasing environmental impact and boosting the international business.The growth plan emphasizes on launching lighter motorcycles and bolstering dealer networks.

By 2027, the company aims at launching 100 new motorcycles. Beginning from 2020, it plans to launch motorcycles under middleweight (500cc to 1250cc) and lightweight (250cc to 500cc) categories, in addition to the existing heavyweight category. 

Can the Growth Plan Revive Harley-Davidson’s Performance?

Harley Davidson’s performance has been unimpressive lately, with its shares declining more than 25% in the past year, underperforming the broader industry. The Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) company, which is bearing the brunt of declining sales in the United States and increased costs from trade tariffs, is yet to achieve favorable outcome from long-term growth initiatives.

While the firm aims to attract younger generations, millennial consumers prefer convenient modes of transportation and ridesharing platforms like Uber, and are of the opinion that owning a motorcycle, electric or not, might simply not be an attractive option.

While Harley-Davidson’s plan to attract new riders is a bold and a challenging one, it has to adapt to a changing landscape derived from younger generations becoming the main consumers of products. To sum up, it’s a wait and watch story whether the company’s growth plans, and new launches of products and technologies will help alleviate the stock going forward. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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