Harley will be developing a new platform to spawn motorcycles in 500-1250 cc segments while the new 250-500 cc bikes will appeal for the masses in India
Harley-Davidson has revealed some stellar plans to expand its global footprint with India being one of its stronger focus points as e-scooters and small capacity motorcycles are part of the strategic movement. It is arguably the most aggressive project the American brand has ever undertaken in its storied history, as it looks to build a profound base among young riders across the globe.
It is recalibrating strategies to save the dwindling market share in several countries. Harley-Davidson’s President and CEO Matt Levatich has stated that he is pushing hard to reverse the company’s state of affairs, and defended the decision to shift production elsewhere from US due to increased EU tariffs – fuelled by Donald Trump’s domestic enforcements.
He is wary of the tasks ahead as the expansion would costs the brand in millions. In fact, he has estimated a total investment of $825 million (over Rs. 5,660 crore) up until the end of 2022 and beyond. It will be a radical departure for a company as big as Harley-Davidson’s magnitude and it does not just mean covering all riding communities.
The Milwaukee-based firm will grace the adventure touring space as well as introducing five new motorcycles under LiveWire electric family. The LiveWire battery-powered bike will give raise to a range of middleweight zero-emission models in the near future. Besides, Harley will also roll out at least five new custom models and nine new streetfighters including a 975 cc model by the end of this decade.
The new streetfighter line will have models ranging from 500 cc, ideal for emerging markets like India. Through the years, Harley-Davidson will consolidate lower cc segments amidst having its eye out for full size cruisers and tourers to satisfy traditional customers. It will also make moves to enhance dealerships and introduce smaller urban retail stores in international markets to reach potential customers who are the key for volume sales.
It will also associate with third party e-commerce companies to help leverage its popularity in apparel and merchandise. Levatich has emphasised that Harley will produce lightweight urban bikes specifically for young consumers living in “dense urban spaces”. The electric two-wheeler series will rival starting from entry-level premium mopeds, where Harley never had its sales intentions on thus far.
The LiveWire electric superbike will be up for grabs in 2019 and we can safely assume that it would reach India in the not-so-distant future. Another key part of this bold project is partnering with an Indian manufacturer to create a “small displacement motorcycle bridge” for HD.
Levatich, a 24-year veteran in the company, hopes to make China another promise land for Harley-Davidson with the new path being laid out for the future. With India being at the fore of it, we can expect Harley-Davidson to reach out for the people who fancied the brand only from bedroom wall posters and make them ride it in reality.
Harley will be developing a new flexible architecture to spawn motorcycles from 500-1250 cc segments while the 250-500 cc bikes in the pipeline will appeal for the masses in India. Who is the surprise partner of Harley-Davidson born from domestic stable and what impact will it make on the motorcycling landscape of India? We will find out the answers soon!