Waiting eagerly for the new Harley-Davidson Pan America adventure bike? You might be waiting a bit longer than expected.
Judging from some recent changes on its website, it appears Harley-Davidson may be planning to delay the launch of some new motorcycle models, including the Pan America adventure bike. Along with the Bronx streetfighter, the Pan America is now listed as “Coming in 2021.” But wait, you say—wasn’t always intended to hit the market as a 2021 model? That’s true, but the machine was supposed to be launched later this year. It was to be available for sale in 2020, and the website’s marketing copy reflected that. Harley-Davidson had primed its customer base by showing off prototypes of the Pan America at last winter’s motorcycle show circuit. Now, it seems there may be a longer wait.
What could have caused the delay? There are two possibilities, and both are likely part of the equation. First, the coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc with Harley-Davidson’s sales and production; it’s likely the company wants to clean up the mess from COVID-19 before taking any bold steps forward.
Second of all, Harley-Davidson is also in the middle of considerable internal change, with longtime exec Matt Levatich recently ousted from his CEO/president role, replaced by Jochen Zeitz. Zeitz has been a member of Harley-Davidson’s board for years, but is best-known for a long reign at footwear maker Puma, where he’s credited with turning the company’s sales around. Now, he’s changing the company’s direction; supposedly, it’s going to focus more on nailing down its existing customer base, instead of venturing into new territory. No doubt this delay with the Pan America is related to that strategy.