LiveWire predicts 101,000 sales by 2026… despite selling only 387 in 2021

Harley-Davidson reveals its LiveWire electric motorcycle is struggling for sales... but it is predicting big things from the spun-off brand in the future

LiveWire ONE

Harley-Davidson has laid out a hugely ambitious growth plan for its electric LiveWire brand with a projection of 101,000 sales within five years despite the stalling performance of its high-profile ONE roadster.

Hitting the road in 2019, the LiveWire represented a major departure for the storied American brand with the bold move to launch an full-size electric motorcycle - the first to come from any mainstream western manufacturer - at odds with its large, cruiser style range.

Indeed, figures show Harley-Davidson has come up against tougher market interest than it had anticipated with the LiveWire getting off to a slow start before sales dipped to just 387 units globally in 2021.

However, despite an uncertain future in the wake of a major boardroom reshuffle, the new Jochen Zeitz administration issued a vote of confidence in 2021 by spinning LiveWire into its own brand, floating it on the stock exchange and penning an engineering partnership with Kymco.

While the re-branded LiveWire ONE soldiers on for now, it will be joined in the next few months by a second model - expected to be a smaller dirt tracker roadster - named LiveWire Del Mar, featuring a major update to its modular Arrow S2 platform.

With a third model set to fill in below the Del Mar due to be revealed before the end of the year as well, Harley-Davidson has set some ambitious goals to grow the LiveWire brand globally as the market shifts towards electric and fossil-fuelled motorcycles are phased out over the next 15 years.

While it retains a relatively modest outlook to the end of 2024 with a growth of 15,736 units, it wants to be selling more than 50,000 LiveWire branded motorcycles by 2025 and more than 100,000 by 2026. As a reference, Harley-Davidson itself sold just under 200,000 motorcycles in 2021, meaning it expects LiveWire to account for nearly a third of its overall sales.

While the projections - non-binding though they may be - are certainly lofty, it’s a measure of Harley-Davidson’s commitment to its curious offspring that appears to demonstrate the view that while the company may have been a testing electric waters prematurely from a profit perspective, it clearly believes its position will be a fortuitous one it can capitalise majorly on as market trends shift.