By Peter Valdes-Dapena, CNN Business
Harley-Davidson’s electric motorcycle brand, LiveWire, will be spun off into a separate, publicly traded company next year.
LiveWire will still be 74% owned by Harley-Davidson and its financial results will be published alongside Harley’s, but it will have its own stock trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “LVW”. The new company will go public in the first half of 2022 through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, according to Harley-Davidson. Taiwanese motorcycle company Kymco is also investing in the new company and will hold a 17.3% share.
The spin-off gives LiveWire a business valuation of nearly $1.8 billion. Harley-Davidson’s overall current market capitalization is approximately $5.8 billion.
LiveWire currently offers only one model, the $22,000 LiveWire One. The 100-hp bike has a range of 146 miles in low-speed city driving and 70 miles in higher-speed highway driving. Harley’s LiveWire electric motorcycle was first shown as a concept bike in 2014. It went on sale as a production model in 2019, but was frequently criticized for its high price tag at the time. around $30,000.
Harley Davidson blueprints for LiveWire to release three more electric motorcycle models, but the company didn’t provide a timeline for when. It expects to sell around 190,000 electric motorcycles in the world in 2030. In 2021, Harley-Davidson sold less than 400 LiveWire motorcycles. The brand will also market small electric bikes for children.
LiveWire competes with startup electric motorcycle manufacturers like Zero and Lightning, both based in the United States, and Energica in Italy. Electric motorcycles currently represent only 1% of motorcycles sales in the United States, according to Harley-Davidson, but the company expects them to be 10% by 2026. By then, they are expected to represent 13% of sales in Europe and 45% in China, according to a Harley-Davidson Investor Presentation.
Harley-Davidson announced its own five-year strategy earlier this year, which was to focus on the brand’s core market segments, namely large touring and cruiser motorcycles.
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