We recently told you about Harley-Davidson’s new Rewire plan designed to resurrect the company’s financial situation. One of the key tenets of the new program is to limit production to drive desirability and exclusivity. Now, it seems like Harley has embarked on its first steps to implement its plan; with its limited-edition IRONe12 and IRONe16 electric balance bikes.
Harley is announcing two limited-edition electric balance bikes for kids limited to 550 units nationwide. The limited-edition electric balance bikes, the Limited Edition IRONe12, and IRONe16 feature custom graphic treatment and paint. Both are available in the same Yellow Fuse color that is also available on the Harley-Davidson LiveWire motorcycle.
In its press release, Harley says:
IRONe12 and IRONe16 electric balance bikes are electric-powered two-wheelers specifically designed for kids aged 3-7 years old and under 75 pounds, that can help catalyze the experience of riding for the first time. Balance bikes offer an early learning tool for hand-eye coordination and help children develop skills while having fun.
Help your child learn to push, balance, coast and brake in the non-powered mode before graduating to the powered mode – and the throttle. The Limited Edition IRONe12 and IRONe16 electric balance bikes are geared toward instilling a lifetime love for riding on two wheels from an early age.
All of those things sound great and bravo to Harley for recognizing that making new riders starts at an early age. Given that 3 to 7-year-old children don’t have the money to purchase the bikes, it’s clear that Harley is courting their parents. And that’s good as well.
But in my opinion, where the plot seemingly goes sideways is their approach to selling them. Jon Bekefy, Harley’s General Manager of Brand Marketing, had this to say about the bikes:
The Limited Edition IRONe12 and IRONe16 are impressively custom and extremely limited. No other Harley-Davidson shares the Yellow Fuse color exclusive to LiveWire, which is the halo of the H-D EV portfolio.”
Umm… OK. This seems to say that Harley thinks that they will increase exclusivity and desirability by painting it in the same color as a bike that is not selling well? I get the electric bike connection, but, is that what Harley thinks will drive desirability and exclusivity? Oh my. And to make them more exclusive and desirable, both the IRONe12 and IRONe16 come with a $50 price increase over their standard versions.
Perhaps I am missing something. I hope I am. Harley-Davidson, I wish you the best. I really do. But frankly, I think you’ve lost the plot.