Harley-Davidson Re-Enters Indian Market, Hero To Handle Operations

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After announcing its exit from the Indian market last month, Harley-Davidson has now made a comeback in partnership with Hero MotoCorp

Hero MotoCorp and Harley-Davidson have announced a new agreement between the two motorcycle majors. The former will be responsible for the latter’s motorcycle sales and service, along with the retail of its parts, accessories, riding apparel, and general merchandise, via existing Harley-Davidson dealerships as well as Hero dealerships.

Hero will now manufacture (or assemble) and retail Harley motorcycles under license. This could prove to be a brilliant opportunity for mutual growth of both companies. Hero’s extensive dealer network will help Harley penetrate deeper into the Indian market, and its brand name could help Hero break into the premium segment, a feat it has been largely unsuccessful at till date.

The agreement comes hot on the heels of Harley-Davidson’s new global strategy, ‘The Rewire’. Last month, the US-based motorcycle manufacturer had announced that it would be shutting down operations in India, after 11 years of struggle. The company has been piling on massive losses, and recently it lost most of its market share as well.

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In an official statement, Hero stated: “This arrangement is mutually beneficial for both companies and riders in India, as it brings together the iconic Harley-Davidson brand with the strong distribution network and customer service of Hero MotoCorp

India is the largest two-wheeler market in the world, but it is also the most price-sensitive one. With so many choices in the premium motorcycle segment, the competition nowadays is quite stiff. A few of these brands have also been offering an impressive value-for-money quotient, thereby attracting a majority of the customers. In comparison, Harley was offering rather archaic tech at a hefty price point, making it an extremely impractical proposition.

With Hero at the helm, things could change for the better. Not only is it the biggest two-wheeler manufacturer in India, but Hero also excels in affordability and optimizing mass production. Perhaps we could see Harley-Davidson models return with massive price cuts! Also, with Hero handling the service aspect as well, existing Harley owners needn’t worry about the maintenance or availability of spares.