Transportation

Harley-Davidson halts production of new electric motorcycles

Key Points
  • Harley-Davidson has suspended production and deliveries of its new all-electric motorcycle after discovering a problem with its charging mechanism.
  • The motorcycle maker began previewing the LiveWire Electric Motorcycle last year in the U.S. and Europe.
  • It's trying to draw in new customers with an all-electric bike.
Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle 
Source: Harley-Davidson 

Harley-Davidson has halted production and deliveries of its new LiveWire electric motorcycle after reportedly discovering a problem with its charging mechanism.

"We 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," the company said in an emailed statement to CNBC on Monday. "We are in close contact with our LiveWire dealers and customers and have assured them they can continue to ride LiveWire motorcycles. As usual, we're keeping high quality as our top priority."

The company didn't provide more details on the "non-standard condition" that was holding up production. But the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news, said the company told dealers last week it was stopping production to test its charging mechanism.

The motorcycle maker began previewing the LiveWire Electric Motorcycle last year in the U.S. and Europe, to try to rejuvenate lagging sales. The electric motorcycle was a step into a new territory for Harley-Davidson, which had previously been mostly known for louder motorcycles nicknamed "hogs."

The Milwaukee-based manufacturer has struggled in recent years. Sales of the company's signature motorcycles continued to slide during its second quarter as profit eroded nearly 20%. Harley-Davidson told investors in July it expects less sales revenue in 2019 than originally foretasted, and expects to ship about 212,000 to 217,000 bikes in 2019, down 5,000 from its April estimate of 217,000 to 222,000 bikes.

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Key Points
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