Harley-Davidson’s 33 dealerships could come under the management of Hero MotoCorp as a new deal is reportedly set in place for local distribution
Harley-Davidson made its debut in India in August 2009 and its first dealership was set up the following year locally. The famed American premium motorcycle manufacturer has an assembly plant in the state of Haryana and after a decade of being in the business, the brand is exiting the domestic market as part of its new restructuring plans.
We cannot just point out a single factor as global trade tensions and local taxation policies are part of the main reasons. However, the brand did not adopt to changes in the motorcycling industry and its woes were well documented in recent times – exacerbated by the reliability issues and lack of modern technologies in its motorcycles.
The company announced back in August that it would be quitting the markets with low sales demand and as only 2,500 units were sold in India in the last financial year, it came as a no surprise that it was part of the list. Speculations surrounding the Milwaukee-based brand’s possible partnership with Hero MotoCorp have been there for a few weeks now.
According to recent reports, HD and Hero are in talks for a distribution deal and it will importantly allow the former’s motorcycles to be retailed in India. The distribution deal will allow Harley Davidsons to be imported from abroad as Hero appears to act as the lone distributor. An interesting part of the collaboration will be will be contract manufacturing.
The largest two-wheeler manufacturer in the country could act as a contract producer for at least one of Harley-Davidson’s motorcycle that could be in the 300 to 600 cc range. While no official details on the partnership are out yet, we hope to know more about the relationship in the coming days including the financial aspirations.
The deal could benefit Hero MotoCorp as well as it has largely remained as a commuter-based volume drawing manufacturer with affordable price tags. Harley is said to provide technology support and inputs on premium quality standards and its 33 sales outlets could come under the management of Hero.