Two months after Harley-Davidson announced its exit from India, the cult bike manufacturer has tied up with Hero MotoCorp and have decided that the two will ride together in India.
Harley-Davidson to piggyback Hero MotoCorp in India
While the former is a legendary motorcycle manufacturer, the latter is the world’s largest maker of motorcycles and scooters in terms of unit volumes.
- Hero MotoCorp will sell Harley-Davidson accessories and merchandise, including riding gear and apparel.
- Harley-Davidson motorcycle parts will also be sold by Hero MotoCorp.
- Harley-Davidson aims to focus more on approximately 50 markets under its new ‘Rewire’ strategy.
As per the licensing agreement, Hero MotoCorp will sell and service Harley-Davidson motorcycles and sell parts and accessories and general merchandise riding gear and apparel through a network of brand-exclusive Harley-Davidson dealers and also Hero MotorCorp’s existing dealership network in India.
The above mentioned arrangement will be mutually beneficial for both the companies and also riders in India as it will bring together the iconic Harley-Davidson brand with the strong distribution network and customer service of Hero MotoCorp.
The New Delhi (India) headquartered Hero MotoCorp Ltd. has sold over 95 million motorcycles and scooters in cumulative sales since its inception. The motorcycle manufacturing company currently sells its products in more than 40 countries across Asia, Africa, Middle East and South and Central America. It has eight state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities including six in India and one each in Colombia and Bangladesh.
In September, Harley-Davidson had announced discontinuation of sales and manufacturing operations in India, a decade after it started selling its premium bikes in the country. As part of the development, the company had planned to close its manufacturing facility in Bawal (Haryana) and significantly reduce the size of its sales office in Gurugram.
The Milwaukee-based company refers to restructuring actions related to employees and other services as ‘The Rewire’ .
From its entry to exit, Harley-Davidson’s journey in India witnessed governments of India and the US using it as a bargaining chip.
In April 2007, the then Indian government had relaxed emission and testing norms paving the way for import of Harley Davidson bikes to India in return for allowing mango exports from the country to the US.
Later in 2009, the company announced the establishment of its operations in India followed by starting of sales of its bikes a year later. Then the company set up its completely knocked down assembly plant in Haryana and started rolling out assembled bikes from the unit in the early part of 2011.
The company’s assembly plant at Bawal in Haryana was its second facility outside of the US after Brazil and it had planned to use the unit to export to Europe and South-East Asian markets.
It may be recalled that in the recent past, US President Donald Trump had criticised India’s high import tariff on the iconic Harley Davidson motorcycles as ‘unacceptable’ as the two countries negotiated for an elusive trade deal.