Could Harley Davidson's future be electric?

Harley-Davison to consolidate Kansas City assembly plant to York County facility

That means by mid-2019 you'll be able to stroll into a Harley dealer and instead of rumbling away on a chrome-laden V-twin you'll be able to whirr into the distance on a near-silent, futuristic electric Harley-Davidson that's a million miles from the traditional Harley dream.

Sales of Harley bikes have fallen on every continent, and Harley-Davidson sees more pain ahead, projecting that global sales will fall up to 4.9 percent more in 2018 after dropping 6.7 percent in 2017.

Harley-Davidson's Project LiveWire concept was first showcased in 2014, and the company even organised test rides of the electric bike concept. "Our Kansas City assembly operations will leave a legacy of safety, quality, collaboration and manufacturing leadership", stated Levatich.

"The more we grow our experience and capability with EV, the more excited we become about the role it will play in growing business, about the additional and region impact electric Harley-Davidson motorcycles will bring as an element of our product portfolio".

Citing a drop in USA motorcycle sales, in addition to shifting demand across its lineup, Harley-Davidson has announced that it will close its Kansas City, Missouri, plant by July 2019, eliminating 800 jobs.

Separately, the OEM is on target to launch its first electric motorcycle within 18 months, according to the earnings release. The company also announced additional job cuts and a plant closure during the earnings call.

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The company reported that in the fourth quarter its worldwide retail motorcycle sales declined 9.6 percent versus the same period the previous year. Net income fell a whopping 82 percent in the fourth quarter to $8.3 million.

Harley-Davidson announced it will be consolidating its assembly plant in Kansas City, Mo. into its York County plant. The firm operates through two divisions, Motorcycles & Related Products, and Financial Services. At the same time, the company is building a factory in Thailand that will assemble bikes using components shipped from the U.S.

In the US, motorcycle sales tumbled 8.5%; in Latin America, sales were down 2.6%; in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, motorcycle sales fell 2.0%; and in Asia Pacific, sales plunged 7.7%.

Returns and Valuations for Harley-Davidson, Inc.

"Although we are disappointed that Harley-Davidson will be closing its plant, it's also important to realize there are more and more opportunities in our region everyday for new jobs with bright futures as well as opportunities for retraining". The markets haven't been kind to HOG; over the past 12 months, shares are down over 12 per cent, lagging the broader exchanges.

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