Harley-Davidson rides out 2020 Rewire ‘success’, introduces ‘Hardwire’ plan

Harley-Davidson declares its 2020 'Rewire' a success and introduces the new 'Hardwire' strategy ahead of Tuesday's 2021 model presentation

Harley-Davidson LiveWire

Harley-Davidson will freely admit the past couple of years have been a particularly difficult period amid headlines of dwindling profits, slimming profit margins and a confused product strategy… but it seems the light is beginning to emerge at the end of the tunnel.

The American firm has been on a steady decline for some years now, not helped by its high profile ensuring every twist and turn of its fortunes are arguably scrutinised more than any of manufacturer in the motorcycle industry.

While the erstwhile management structure had grand ideas to diversify the audience and push Harley into new areas, the ballsy decision to get a large jump on its rivals - at a margin of some years - by developing an all-new EV from scratch has arguably earned more publicity than profitability, while alienating a seemingly reluctant audience base.

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Nevertheless, an overhaul behind the scenes - notably the arrival of new CEO Jochen Zeitz - has brought rapid sweeping change, including the axing of some models (including the Bronx before it went on sale) and a promise to turn focus back to that core cruiser demographic.

Naming it the ‘Rewire’ strategy, the fruits of this labour is set to be made clearer this week when Harley-Davidson formally launches its 2021 model range - topped by the ambitious and eagerly anticipated Pan America - and sets out its immediate plans.

Before that though Harley-Davidson is moving into the next stage of its strategy, which it is naming ‘Hardwire’, having declared the ‘Rewire’ a ‘success’.

How H-D is measuring success isn’t entirely clear since it declined to report on its sales numbers, though its stock price is at its highest level for almost two years and is almost certainly going to rise when the new model presentation kicks off on 19 January [Tuesday].

“I am confident the substantial changes we made with The Rewire have set us up to successfully execute our strategic plan,” commented CEO Zeitz in the press release. “We are now a leaner, more aligned organization, and we are making decisions faster.”