October 16, 2019Harley pulls plug on LiveWire production shortly after EV debut.
Harley-Davidson has halted production and delivery of its first electric motorcycle, the LiveWire, after discovering what the Milwaukee-based manufacturer described as a non-standard condition.
Harley-Davidson told TechCrunch it is not recalling LiveWire motorcycles already on the road. Reuters was the first to report that Harley-Davidson had stopped production and deliveries.
â€śWe recently discovered a non-standard condition during a final quality check; stopped production and deliveries; and began additional testing and analysis, which is progressing well,â€ť HD said in a statement.
â€śWe are in close contact with our LiveWire dealers and customers and have assured them they can continue to ride LiveWire motorcycles. As usual, weâ€™re keeping high quality as our top priority.â€ť
Harley-Davidson has not said when production and sale could resume, nor did it provide more information on the non-standard condition.
The production stoppage threatens to derail Harley-Davidsonâ€™s bet on electrification. The $29,799, 105 horsepower electric motorcycle was to be the first of a future line-up of EVs from Harley-Davidson spanning motorcycles, bicycles and scooters.
The LiveWire went into production in 2019 after years of hints and even a concept electric motorcycle roadshow. Delivery to dealers began September 27.
The LiveWire and subsequent EV products are meant to complement, not replace, Harley-Davidsonâ€™s premium internal-combustion cruiser motorcycles.
New motorcycle sales in the U.S., particularly to customers aged under 40, have been in the doldrums since the recession. Harley-Davidsonâ€™s revenues have dropped over the last decade. Harley-Davidsonâ€™s shift to electric motorcycles is a bid to hold down its loyal gas-motorcycle following, while creating products to appeal to millennials and the on-demand mobility market.
This puts the iconic American company in a position to hedge competition from a crop of e-moto startups â€” such as Zero â€” and jump out front as the EV leader among established motorcycle companies.
Now that strategy could be hampered by this production halt.