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Author Topic: Live Wire in the news  (Read 2102 times)

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muddypaws

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Live Wire in the news
« on: October 14, 2019, 07:44:42 AM »

The Harley-Davidson LiveWire Sticker Shock Begins
Market acceptance of the new electric motorcycle looks like it is getting short-circuited by its high price.
Rich Duprey
Oct 13, 2019 at 11:30AM

The LiveWire electric motorcycle from Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG) is just beginning to show up in dealerships, and the response is just about as expected. There's reportedly a lot of interest in the bike -- at least until people see the price tag.

Worse, although the LiveWire was designed with the millennial biker in mind, it's not younger motorcycle buyers who are interested, but existing Harley customers. This could be a more problematic product launch than anticipated.
Man riding LiveWire electric motorcycle

The Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle. Image source: Harley-Davidson.
Nosebleed territory

It's no surprise that the $30,000 sticker price on the LiveWire was going to be off-putting. When Zero Motorcycles is selling similarly sized electric motorcycles for one-third to one-half the price of a LiveWire, and Lightning Motorcycle plans a comparable bike for under $13,000, it seems clear Harley misjudged the market.

Reuters reports that dealers may be disappointed with how it's playing out, quoting one as saying, "Interest is very high, but once you get to pricing, interest is thrown out of the window."

That's because millennials might not be able to pay that much for a bike they otherwise might be interested in. With college debt a burden, young consumers are delaying house purchases, and shelling out enough money to buy a midsized car or small SUV just isn't prudent for a two- or three-season vehicle.
Not enough buyers

Even if Harley's older core customers do buy the bike, it's still a problem. Harley had hoped to bring in new blood to replace those who are aging out of the market. It wants to have 4 million new Harley riders by 2027, but analysts estimate only 400 to 1,600 LiveWires will be sold in the first year, less than 1% of total worldwide sales.

It won't be nearly enough to offset declining sales of its traditional motorcycles, but Harley-Davidson says that's actually part of the plan. The motorcycle maker intends to use the LiveWire as a halo product to cast a glow on the other, presumably cheaper, electric motorcycles it will be introducing. Consumers might not be able to afford a LiveWire, but they might be motivated to buy one of the others based on the excitement LiveWire generates.

Yet that excitement might not last, either. There are rumblings the LiveWire rollout isn't going smoothly and customers are unhappy.
Getting their wires crossed

The LiveWire was originally supposed to hit dealer showrooms in August, but that was pushed back to September, and they began shipping toward the end of the month. Some dealers that were supposed to get them at that time still won't get them for another week or two at least.

In speaking with current and former Harley dealers, I heard that there may have been a software problem that is causing the delays. One dealer told me he understood it had to do with when the brake light on the bike would come on, and he believe Harley was delaying the shipments until it was resolved.

I then called Harley-Davidson's investor relations department, and a Harley representative told me that the bikes had indeed shipped at the end of September. Yet  some dealers are hearing from customers, particularly those who have placed deposits on the LiveWire. They are reportedly angry over delays and are considering canceling their orders.

Such glitches, if they exist, might be expected from as big a rollout as Harley-Davidson is undertaking with a motorcycle far removed from its grease and gasoline heritage. But they would speak to a deeper problem with slack sales that will only be exacerbated by the high price of the LiveWire.

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Bill

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Re: Live Wire in the news
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2019, 08:38:47 AM »

Article point to what I have been thinking all along.  To much money, when the competition costs way less. 
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Re: Live Wire in the news
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2019, 08:44:16 AM »

Motley Fool has not been a fan of HD and this is an ongoing negative theme for them.  But taking that into account, this is a fairly accurate depiction of the current (no pun intended) state of the Live Wire rollout.

Am still interested to read/hear from the first generation buyers.  Why choose HD instead of the other battery bikes that are less $$? 
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Re: Live Wire in the news
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2019, 09:02:57 AM »

Harley has overhead that is too high to build a competitively priced product in the electric motorcycle market. Union, management and legacy benefits factor into the price of the Livewire. The competition is not as severely burdened by those expenses. And it another reason that Harley is far more expensive than their competitors in other market segments. Fewer people (millennials especially) are less willing to pay a "premium price" for a name badge.

Just my 2 cents
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Re: Live Wire in the news
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2019, 12:13:25 PM »

Oh just give the Livewire 30 or 40 years. It'll make one hell of a collectors item to hang in a man cave.  :huepfenjump3:
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Re: Live Wire in the news
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2019, 01:49:01 PM »

Wow...H-D just stopped production on the live wire product about an hour ago.

Not Good
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Re: Live Wire in the news
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2019, 02:01:15 PM »

Wow...H-D just stopped production on the live wire product about an hour ago.

Not Good


Citations always (ok, sometimes) help:  https://www.wsj.com/articles/harley-davidson-halts-electric-motorcycle-production-11571073048

Article says production temporarily halted due to hardware related charging problems.  So, in typical Harley fashion, they can't get a new product to market with FUBARing systems that are new to them.  Not even, in this case, major new flagships.  Dumasses.
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Twolanerider

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Re: Live Wire in the news
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2019, 02:05:35 PM »

^^  I'm sorry but can't help laughing over that article.  Just can't.  So they released a (ostensibly) mass market electric motorcycle that.... (wait for it.....) can't be charged at home.  Can only be charged using "special" charging equipment at the dealerships. 

They really are going to market a high margin "Screamin' Electron High Density Electrons" electricity that you can only get at your local dealership :huepfenlol2: :huepfenlol2: 8) 8) :huepfenlol2: :huepfenlol2: !!
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Twolanerider

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Re: Live Wire in the news
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2019, 02:06:20 PM »

dumasses
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SHRADER

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Re: Live Wire in the news
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2019, 02:56:51 PM »

Shocking!!!! :oops:
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mjb765

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Re: Live Wire in the news
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2019, 03:15:26 PM »

Can't charge the bike at home now.....totally useless.....not that I wanted one anyway.
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Re: Live Wire in the news
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2019, 03:46:03 PM »

I think they see the writing on the wall, cut and run............
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Re: Live Wire in the news
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2019, 03:46:14 PM »

Hysterical.  What a complete debacle.
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Re: Live Wire in the news
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2019, 04:17:15 PM »

Well the dealer can still use the old excuse for not being able to recharge, " They All Do That "
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Re: Live Wire in the news
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2019, 05:38:41 PM »


Anyone still think I'm FOS when I mention Harley can't launch any new product or features borrowed from the other industries without screwing it up?  I might be willing to cut them some slack if they were actually inventing new stuff and had problems, but they haven't invented anything.  It takes a real talent to screw up stuff that has already been proved out over many years by other vehicle companies. 

Jerry
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