We can’t confirm it, but Gizmag is reported that during the recent 110th anniversary celebrations, Harley-Davidson H-D’s COO (Chief Operating Officer) Matthew Levatich said the brand is planning to release a 500cc model to appeal to entry level riders, and that it will probably be built overseas. Levatich is quoted as saying, “We have Harley-Davidson factories in India and Brazil – can we leverage those facilities and expertise so it can get to the, for example, Indian consumer, faster? These are things we are becoming more open-minded to, but we understand the importance of ‘made in America’ – the American quality, spirit and integrity that matters to the customer.”
Levatich also said he’s often asked about an “electric” model. “People would say ‘hell no’. But why not: our engineers are quite intrigued with the idea of what an electric Harley would look like, sound like and feel like. And would it be visceral, would it be emotional, would it be luscious. And there’s a way to do that I believe, and it would be very exciting.”
Industry insiders speculate that the threat of a revived Indian Motorcycle Co is the reason Harley-Davidson is exploring every potential avenue to reverse its shrinking demographic base by attracting younger riders who may not care about where a bike is manufactured.
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