Why Harley-Davidson exit from India? Iconic brand bidding farewell to the Indian market

  • Decade long business has shut now in India for brand Harley-Davidson.
  • Manufacturing and sales operation is shut down as part of global restructuring.
  • Company is Cutting down staff and laying off 70 employees in India.

After a decade long business in India, Iconic American motorcycle brand Harley-Davidson has decided to drive out from India. Harley-Davidson has shut down the manufacturing units and sales operations from the India. This is not the good news for Indian motorcycle lover, but the competitor brands will be seek this opportunity to capture the market. As per the announcement this exit is part of a global restructuring strategy.

In 2010, Harley-Davidson enters into Indian motorcycle market and in 10 years Harley managed to sold 25,000 units only. Basically, India has considered as non-performing market for brand. This Indian exit decision arises due to low sales volumes. The company has manufactured 236 units and sold 176 units in India in August 2020.Company has reported a 64 percent fall in sales during the April -Aug 2020 period. Since Aug’20 Company was working of global revival strategy now they want to focus only on certain key markets such as US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and UAE.

Indian dealers are worried about what will happen to unsold inventory of motorcycle and merchandise. Some of the dealers still have the BS4 engine motorcycle. More than anything the dealers are worried about their employees. Company is likely to make announcement on the compensation and reimbursements in coming weeks.

The company has announced that they are looking for strategic partner in international markets as part of its global restructuring to cut down the cost and focus only on key market for maximum impact. Since February 2020 they are in conversation with Indian brands for strategic alliance which includes Bajaj Auto, Hero MotoCorp and Mahindra and Mahindra. On the other hand, Top sources telling us Harley-Davidson is looking for distribution partnership with Hero MotoCorp and Hero MotoCorp will be the exclusive distributor for Harley-Davidson motorcycles in india. There’s also some talks happening on manufacturing collaboration in India with hero MotoCorp but no official confirmation from both the sides. If this happened than there will be no permanent exit in india for Harley.

For Hero MotoCorp a ride with Harley would be a ticket to enter in to the 300cc Plus segment in which the Cult brand Royal Enfield holds the majority market share. The company putting a lot of effort to build and get succeed on the Xpulse 200 and Xtreme 160R platforms and have plans to launch a high capacity off roader in the coming days. The official announcement and final outcome of this strategic partnership will take at least 15-20 days.

Seems like COVID-19 hit badly to this motorcycle manufacturer. Since February 2020, company is struggling. Already the brand Harley-Davidson is having its own niche in India and having a very limited customer base. Due to the high price and less fuel-efficient motorcycles, Indian customer are less likely to go for Harley unless and until they are die-hard fans of the brand Henceforth the Iconic brand bidding farewell to the Indian motorcycle market.

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