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Harley-Davidson's ebike is here, just don't call it a Harley

October 27, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Harley-Davidson, an aging brand that has faced shrinking sales over the past year, is starting an ebike company that it hopes could help it connect with a younger audience and grow its business.

Washington, DC (CNN)Harley-Davidson, an aging brand that has faced shrinking sales over the past year, is starting an ebike company that it hopes could help it connect with a younger audience and grow its business.

Serial 1, the new Harley-Davidson venture, revealed the first glimpse Tuesday of its electric bicycle, which it says will be for sale in the first half of 2021.

Harley-Davidson (HOG) originally showed off photos of a concept electric bicycle in January 2019, but the company will be a minority shareholder in Serial 1, and venture capitalists will own the majority of the new brand, though Serial 1 declined to reveal the investors.

Harley-Davidson has also launched an electric motorcycle, Livewire, to help reach new customers, but will keep that full-fledged motorcycle under the Harley name.

This summer, Harley-Davidson announced plans to lay off approximately 700 people.

(Harley-Davidson announced Tuesday that its profits rose 39% in the past three months, when compared to last year, though its revenue in the same period fell 8%. )

Serial 1 is led by former Harley-Davidson employees, including Serial 1 president Jason Huntsman, who worked at Harley since 2013, including as the company's director of its internal eBicycle development effort.

Frank, Serial 1's brand manager, told CNN Business that the company is motivated to get the bikes to market quickly given bicycles' popularity during the pandemic.

Frank said that the new brand is being created because electric bicycles are a different product that's intended for a different audience than Harley's bread and butter, gas-powered motorcycles.

The name is derived from "Serial Number One," the nickname for Harley's first motorcycle, which was built in the early 1900s and is the oldest known Harley-Davidson motorcycle in existence.

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