A company’s website is its face to the public. It tells people about the company and its products, both current and sometimes future. That is the case with Harley-Davidson’s website, which features a separate set of pages for “Future Vehicles.”
Under the heading of “Here’s A Taste Of What’s To Come,” the pages show Harley’s Pan America, eBicycles, Electric Concepts, and a “High Performance Custom Model.”
The missing Bronx
But now conspicuous by its absence is Harley’s Bronx streetfighter model. Is the bike’s deletion from Harley’s website inadvertently or purposefully signaling the death of the Bronx?
Further, Harley has also taken down its Bronx advertising videos. A quick check of YouTube to find Bronx corporate videos reveals that they have been changed to private. That could be even more ominous. Still, if they have killed the Bronx in its entirety, you’d think they would have deleted the videos, not made them private. Strange.
Rolled out at EICMA in 2019, th Bronx was to be Harley’s “smaller,” 975cc streetfighter model. Many saw it as an entry-level Harley that would welcome new riders while still maintaining the Harley mystique. But that may all be in the past.
Rewire and Hardwire
It’s no secret that Jochen Zeitz’s “Rewire” and “Hardwire” programs aim to turn Harley’s lagging sales around by addressing several parts of Harley’s business model. Specifically, Zeitz said that their new strategy would streamline the number of models and move more towards its core customers and motorcycles.
“We are streamlining our motorcycle models by approximately 30%, with plans to further refine our product portfolio. This enables us to invest in the products and platforms that matter the most, while better balancing our investment in new high potential segments. In this context, we plan to expand our offering of iconic motorcycles, those which most embody the spirit of Harley-Davidson.”
Based on that statement, it’s not particularly surprising that a non-core motorcycle like the Bronx could get the ax.
And now, with the Bronx completely missing from its corporate website, the signaling flare has been fired, and it appears that the Bronx is in serious trouble. That is if it’s not already dead.
It’s clear that Zeitz wants Harley to go back to its core strengths; cruisers and tourers. Those models drive a significant portion of the company’s profits, and it seems that Zeitz is satisfied to produce less (motorcycles) to make more (profit).
Spending money on new product development presents a drain on cash and expertise, something which Harley apparently had decided it can’t afford for the time being.
That said, the Pan America is still on the MoCo’s Future Vehicles web page. Perhaps it is much further along in its development than the Bronx is. It’s also in one of the hottest motorcycle segments at the moment. And some bikes in this segment have premium price tags. The new Pan America likely won’t be cheap, and Zeitz may like it that way.
Zeitz has said that he wants the company to be known as a premium brand. Well, premium brands come with premium price tags. That more significant premium price tag may just be the necessary ingredient necessary to save the Pan America’s bacon.
So is the Bronx really dead or just in stasis? Only the insiders at Harley know at the moment. But the signals for Bronx’s immediate future appear to be quite grim.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.