By Wade Thiel
More Electrics and Possible Ride-Sharing Are Coming
We all know what Harley-Davidson is focusing on a greener, electric future to help the brand pivot as it attracts a new customer base. A recent report from CNN suggests the company is seriously looking at electric scooter companies like Bird and Lime for its future.
“It’s a huge opportunity,” Marc McAllister, vice president of product portfolio at Harley-Davidson, told CNN. “For people who are using Bird and Lime today, how do we give them a much better experience with a Harley-Davidson brand and lifestyle?”
The company doesn’t exactly have plans to roll out its own version of the scooters just yet. It seems Harley is just studying the market and trying to decide how it will fit into the sharing economy. One option for Harley-Davidson would be to just brand a bunch of the scooters that already exist. Many of the scooter ride-sharing companies out there use the same model. Harley likely won’t do that, though.
Its approach will most likely use something more like the small electric concept bikes that it showed off a while back. Instead of selling them outright, though, it could look to some kind of ride-sharing solution.
Arun Sundararajan, a professor at New York University’s business school and author of “The Sharing Economy,” told CNN he thinks Harley could position itself as an alternative to Bird and Lime. He said that it shouldn’t try to compete with those companies directly. I have to agree with him. Haley should let Lime and Bird do their own thing and find a path that is their own. What that path is, though is yet to be seen. However, one thing is certain, the future Harley-Davidsons will look far different from the bike’s it’s currently known for.