Harley-Davidson announced plans Thursday to unveil Project LiveWire, the company's first electric motorcycle.
But don't expect to see it in your Harley showroom just yet. In an effort to maintain their customer-led product development approach, the company will begin a 30-day city tour, starting in New York June 24th that will span across America. Consumers will be invited to ride the electric bike and provide feedback on their experiences.
"Harley-Davidson has reinvented itself many times in our history, with customers leading us every step of the way. Project LiveWire is another exciting, customer-led moment in our history," said Harley-Davidson's president and chief operating officer Matt Levatich in a company press release.
So, how will this new approach affect Harley-Davidson's sales?
"Let me start this off by saying my brother has two Harley-Davidson's, and if I told him I was going to go out and buy an electric one, he would make fun of me," joked Washington Crossing Advisors Chad Morganlander, who argued that while the electric motorcycle is innovative, it doesn't necessarily meet the 111-year-old company's core base. "Here's the reality, the demographics don't match up. I don't think that this project is going to catch hold and there is going to be substantial revenues from it that's going to move the top line or bottom line."
"[Harley-Davidson] is highly torqued to the economy," Morganlander warned, "so therefore if you want to find value, I would go with perhaps the auto companies, the fords, the general motors. Stay away from HOG at this point."
According to Steven Pytlar of Prime Executions, Harley-Davidson is a buy—with or without an electric motorcycle based on the charts.
On a short term chart of Harley-Davidson, Pytlar pointed out a strong gap higher after the company reported earnings in April 2014. "When you see a stock move like that with an event, it's really a very strong symbol that buyers are very interested in the stock, they're willing to pay a much higher price, and then more importantly, over the past couple of months we've seen them support that higher price."
Check out the full discussion with Morganlander and Pytlar above.