Harley Has Big Plans For Milwaukee HQ, But They Remain Unclear

When Harley-Davidson CEO Jochen Zeitz shared his thoughts on working from home in early October 2022, he made a different choice than many companies. At the same time, it raised certain questions about Harley’s future plans for its headquarters on Juneau Avenue in Milwaukee. Of course, the natural expectation was that he’d have more to say on the earnings call scheduled for Oct. 26.

While he had some annotations, what he revealed was perhaps not as detailed as many would have liked. Here’s what he said:

“We know that the faster we move forward and change and innovate, the more important it becomes to remember where we came from,” he said. “We want Milwaukee and our Wisconsin roots—including Juneau, product development center, powertrain operations and Tomahawk—to be as relevant to us today and tomorrow as they were in our past.”

Zeitz continued, “We will be announcing more details about our plans in the new year, including an investment the Harley-Davidson Foundation intends to make following our $10 million investment in our museum campus with a focus on our Juneau home and.” the near west side of Milwaukee.”

In Zeitz’ recent interview with Bloomberg, where he discussed the foreseeable permanence of a work-from-home policy, he also reiterated Harley’s commitment to its Milwaukee headquarters. Given the company’s turbulent history in the city of Wisconsin, any major changes would naturally impact the local community. So even if he weren’t willing to give specifics about the company’s plans, the smart move would be to reassure the public that it will be Harley, although things could change.

What kind of things could the Motor Company plan to do with the space? After all, the Harley-Davidson Museum is already thriving — not to mention that it also opened an 8,200-square-foot event space called the Garage in August 2022. In a way, it seems a bit like predicting your plans. Ask what gift to get that one friend or family member who already has everything (or else buys what they want and don’t have).

What about LiveWire? LiveWire’s much-discussed SPAC deal was officially closed and listed on the New York Stock Exchange on the first day of the fourth quarter. Zeitz said we can expect to hear more about LiveWire when the fourth quarter 2022 financial report is released, and LiveWire President Ryan Morrissey will be in attendance to give a presentation. “A core pillar of our Hardwire strategy is to be an electrical leader,” Zeitz added, just before handing the process over to Harley’s CFO Gina Goetter to deliver the quarterly financial presentation.

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