Harley-Davidson is one of the oldest two-wheeler manufacturers in the world, but the brand’s popularity seems to be diminishing in recent years, especially in the Indian market. The American high-end bike maker is witnessing a dip in sales because of the aging customer base.
Luring new buyers is a difficult task, more specifically in a country like India, where high-end motorcycles sell in limited numbers. What hurts the brand more is the country’s high taxation rate on imported vehicles, which significantly increases the bikes’ prices. Now it looks like Harley-Davidson is planning to exit the Indian market for good.
According to a report by The Hindu, Harley-Davidson Inc. is looking to pack its assembly operations in the country up due to weak sales and a lack of visibility for demand in the future. Harley-Davidson managed to sell less than 2,500 units in the country in the previous financial year.
According to the same report, the company has sent out tentative proposals to a few other manufacturers with the help of consultants for a possible outsourcing arrangement using its leased assembly plant at Bawal, Haryana. However, it should be noted that the talks are in early stages as of now.
With a market primarily dominated by mass-market commuters, Harley-Davidson does not see a growth for future demand here – which is likely a part of the ‘Rewire’ global restructuring strategy. Under this strategic plan, the brand will be “evaluating plans to exit international markets, where volumes and profitability do not support continued investment in line with the future strategy.”
Harley-Davidson has also removed the upcoming Bronx streetfighter from its official website, which was slated for a launch next year. The manufacturer confirmed that the Bronx will now not be launched in 2021, and instead, the adventure-tourer Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250, as well as the Custom 1250 cc, will be the new launches next year.
However, Harley-Davidson motorcycle owners in India can rest assured as even if the company exits the country, it will continue to provide after sales support to the existing customers.