Harley becomes a Tesla on two wheels

Electromobility is hip on the stock market and a real stroke of luck for Tesla shareholders. Now the Harley-Davidson brand, known from the classic film “Easy Rider”, is daring the leap into the two-wheeled electric segment. Does that make motorcycle shares a sensible investment or just something for absolute fans?

Classic film Easy Rider: The actors Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda ride their Harleys easy through the desert.

Dhe American cult motorcycle brand Harley-Davidson moves with the times and dares to lead the way in the industry. While the film “Easy Rider” carried the company’s image for more than five decades and drove limitless freedom on two wheels into the wide (biker) world, this will not end in summer 2021, but Harley-Davidson is breaking new ground .

The company wants to give a little bit of the Tesla spirit among motorcycle manufacturers in the future and is founding an independent brand for electric motorcycles for this purpose. Like the first Harley model without a combustion engine, this is called LiveWire. With this, the company would like to underpin its claim to leadership in the field of electric two-wheelers.

E-mobility for motorcycles – can you really earn money with it? The management of Harley-Davidson around CEO Jochen Zeitz has clearly answered this question. The traditional company is to be made fit for the future with e-models. The perhaps dusty image and the older, conservative regular customers could be a thing of the past. Younger groups of buyers are not only welcome for reasons of sales, even though the first quarter showed very good figures compared to the same period of the previous year.

For many older people, a Harley is the status symbol on two wheels. The young generation has no place for that in everyday life, they see a motorcycle for what it is: a means of transport that takes you from A to B and, at the end of the day, without looking for a parking space. If that works with an electric model in the future, so much the better. So it could fit Harley. With Jochen Zeitz, the company has a boss at the top who knows how to bring lifestyle closer to customers and market them accordingly. Greetings from his past with the German sporting goods brand Puma.

Solid price development

Once again, an investor would have to ask himself whether it is worth taking a closer look at such a story. Because e-mobility will be one of the big topics on the stock market in the next few years. A Harley share in the depot could perhaps even step on the gas (again), after all, the future is traded on the stock exchange, as the saying goes.

HARLEY DAVIDSON

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To the detailed view

The paper is currently valued with a 2021 P / E ratio of 15 and over the past twelve months an investment in Harley has already paid off very well: The position in the depot has doubled. And even ten years from now, 10,000 euros has grown to more than 15,000 euros.

Our author Christoph Scherbaum is a stock exchange specialist and works as a financial journalist from Ludwigsburg.
Our author Christoph Scherbaum is a stock exchange specialist and works as a financial journalist from Ludwigsburg. : Photo: Private

As a pure motorcycle security, the Harley share does not need to hide itself in comparison with other motorcycle securities – even if a comparison is somewhat poor. Harley is a pure two-wheeler manufacturer, while most of the competing brands in the industry are mostly tied to a large automobile company.

If the motorcycle divisions of BMW, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki or the luxury brand Ducati, which belongs to the VW Group, do not do so well, shareholders of the parent companies will not notice this immediately. For example, BMW, the largest motorcycle manufacturer in Europe, had a turnover of almost 2.3 billion euros with its bikes last year, but with the automotive segment it was more than 80 billion euros. With a Harley shareholder, the expectations are accordingly different.

A little “Tesla spirit” couldn’t hurt

In general, the industry – in addition to the trend towards e-mobility – has to reposition itself. While Europe is still the most important sales market for many manufacturers today, Asia in particular is likely to play an important role in the next few years due to its great growth potential. But whether a large e-Harley manages to become a status symbol in China or whether the business with smaller scooters, as competitor BMW has been in the segment for years, is going better – consumers will give the answer.

On the other hand, a price of more than 32,000 euros (according to the German price list) for a hip e-motorcycle like the current LiveWire e-model is a proud one for which the mass of customers must first be found. Should Harley manage to reinvent itself and transfer the “Tesla spirit” with the apparently certain coolness factor to its e-models, the story of investors could be quite exciting. Even without thinking twice, customers paid more than $ 100,000 for the first Tesla Roadster.