Harley Hero partnership may be on the cards according to the latest word in the market. It may even give us smaller motorcycle(s) in the future…
Harley Davidson has been at the receiving end as it suffers from brand fatigue and interest fade from its tall, lanky cruisers. In India, the American behemoth was operating since the last decade and even had a local manufacturing plant in Bawal, Haryana.
However, the new global head of the company has devised a strategy which limits Harley’s focus only on the profitable markets and exit out of the ones which are not making money. Unfortunately, India is in the second list – the company last week officially announced the closure of its Indian plant (which manufactured and exported Street 500 and Street 750 to various markets) and closing of sales operations.
This came as a very unpleasant surprise, however, the company left a cryptic/incomplete press note to the media. You can read our story on it here.
In a latest update, it is emerging that Harley’s strategy is to reduce its workload and rope in a new partner who can take care of its motorcycles here. According to an online report, Harley is in talks with India’s largest motorcycle maker Hero MotoCorp for a potential tie-up.
Under this partnership, the plan is to have Hero as the master distributor of Harley’s bikes in India – which will include (Hero taking care of) sales, service and spare parts of Harley Davidson’s motorcycles. This will also include their imports from some country (likely to be Thailand) and assembly in India.
In fact, the partnership may get deeper into contract manufacturing of at least one small capacity motorcycle around the 300-600cc displacement. If you look at it – this could be a similar strategy as what it (Harley) is following in China. It has roped in Qianjiang to make 338R – spy pics of which were revealed recently.
However, there is a big challenge here. Unlike Qianjiang, which is the parent brand of Benelli, Hero doesn’t have any kind of expertise in making motorcycles over 200-300cc. In fact, bulk of its sales come from the 100-125 cc segment where motorcycles are relatively technically very simple.
This should be considered as a rumor for now but we believe something of this sort may be cooking and Harley will not want to leave a very potential market completely.
Source – Economic Times