A leaked memo sent out to Harley-Davidson dealers reveals plans to drop several models from the company’s 2014 lineup. Slated to disappear are the XR1200X Sportster, the FXS Softail Blackline, and the FLHTC Electra Glide Classic. Also being discontinued, at least for 2014, is the FLTRX Road Glide Custom and FLTRU Road Glide Ultra, as the tourer models undergo a design refresh. The memo also indicates Harley-Davidson will drop the FLHRC Road King Classic in North America while discontinuing the FLHR Road King in other markets.
According to the memo, the changes were made to optimize the number of choices available, reduce product overlap, reflect marketplace dynamics and reduce model complexity in showrooms.
The most interesting news is the decision to redesign the Road Glide models. According to the memo, the company needed to update the manufacturing processes for the Road Glide, including replacing the fairing tooling. Since Harley-Davidson needs to retool, it made sense to give the Road King a design refresh at the same time.
The memo explains:
Both Road Glide models are being discontinued for 2014MY to undergo planned design refreshes; during this time we will also be making needed updates to the manufacturing processes currently being used to produce these models. For example, the fairing tooling for this model is at the end of its usable life, so during the discontinued timeframe we will both update this design and retool manufacturing equipment. Making both design and build changes during this time will enable us to more quickly reintroduce a more innovative and better-than-ever Road Glide for your touring customers. Additional information on the reintroduction of the Road Glide will be shared at the 2013 Annual Dealer Meeting in August.
In the case of the XR1200X, Blackline and Electra Glide Classic, Harely-Davidson decided to give them the ax after reviewing sales trends. In the case of the Road Kings, Harley-Davidson decided to keep only one version. The Road King will remain in North America but the Classic will still be offered in other markets because it is more popular than the regular model.
More information will emerge from Harley-Davidson’s dealer meeting in August.