“During this extraordinary time of crisis my first priority is the well-being of our H-D community as I execute our COVID-19 response plan efforts to stabilise the business, resume operations, and recover,” he says in a press statement.
“I am also leading a necessary and comprehensive overhaul of the company structure, operating model, and strategy as we adjust to the new post COVID-19 realities.”
However, Jochen says they have “over-indexed on new riders and new market growth and lost focus on critical profit sources”.
“We made progress with our product line and to some degree our customer base, but profit is lagging and our expectations are unreasonable, especially given the economic environment that we are likely to encounter, as the COVID-19 ripple effect would likely be with us for some time,” he says.
He is calling for the More Roads strategy to be “reassessed”.
His Rewire strategy is his “playbook for the next few months, leading to a new five-year strategic plan which we’ll share when visibility to the future returns”.
To implement the plan he has launched an internal management restructure and established a CEO Roundtable of “select dealers and former Harley-Davidson leaders”.
The Rewire part 1
The first part of the new strategy is to “enhance our core strength and better balance expansion into new spaces”.
We expect that means more traditional cruisers and tourers with some easing of new products in new areas such as adventure touring.
Hardcore Harley fans should be happy, although many will just want Harley to bring back the V-Rod and Dyna.