- Harley’s Entry a Decade Back
Harley-Davidson, an American motorcycle manufacturing company was bought by Japanese Kawasaki in mid-2014. This brand has a loyal fan base who are always ready to afford its expensive bikes. Its distinctive loud noise makes the fearless bikers fall in love with it. These bikes are relatively more famous among the rich brats.
Harley-Davidson India started as a subsidiary of Harley-Davidson Inc and started functioning in August 2009. A decade back, they came to India owing to the latter’s lower manufacturing cost and quality labor. India has always famous as the biggest market for motorbike sales. Yet Harley has decided to stop the India unit.
- Harley’s Inability to Fight with Asian Rivals
This expensive motorbike is beyond the reach of most of the middle-class families in India. Herein India’s very own Hero MotoCorp and Japanese Honda acquire the majority of the customer base. The latter launch bikes at an affordable rate without compromising the quality. Moreover, these bikes cater to the common man’s needs and are perfect to drive in uneven roads of the countryside.
Harley bikes, however, demand high maintenance—even a simple engine displacement charges around 750 bucks in India. As per the latest customer survey, Harley’s suspension and chassis are not harmonized somewhat for our pothole-ridden roads. But, if you are frequently going for adventuring or biking in empty highways, then you must invest in Harley-Davidson, and you won’t repent ever.
Harley Davidson succeeded in creating popularity among the leisure bikers and motorcycle enthusiasts. But the bullet bikers in India still prefer Royal Enfield owing to its affordability and fuel-efficiency. Not only the high-end foreign bikes, nowadays the local and inexpensive motorcycles also come embroidered with modern technology. They are reliable and more capable than ever before. These bikes offer comfortable seats paired with long-travel suspension and ergonomically correct posture as well.
- Harley’s Rewire and Hardwire Plan
Harley calls this move as part of its “Rewire 2020” program to revamp its business model that will lead to their “Hardwire” program scheduled for 2021-2025 to build the desirability for its brand and products. Much before the rise in taxation, Harley started reducing its workforce significantly, which must have been the part of its long-term shutdown plan. Harley has already been striving hard to cope with the rising competition, and dipping sales in the US now attracts the aging customer base while expanding the overseas markets.
- Harley is Holding India’s New Rules Responsible for its Failure
Even though Harley has been suffering loss since its inception in India, the former is averring the new taxation rules responsible for its decision. Harley has never raised voice publicly against the tax rules. They use high-quality spare parts usually imported from other countries. Hence, it levies a lot of excise duty and taxes. President Trump has already taken up this discussion with our Prime Minister, Modi. As a result of the trade deal, the Centre reduced the duty on Harley-Davidson from 100 to 50%.
- Harley-Davidson Finally Exits India
Now they will bring the shutter down for Bawal manufacturing unit in Haryana, unemploying 70 workers, and 2000 people across dealerships. Also, they are planning to dwindle the Gurgaon sales unit. It is a big hit to the nation’s economy and employment amid the Corona-crisis.
However, there is some good news for Harley consumers.
The company has been in talks with some local motor corps to provide uninterrupted customer service post they exit from India. Also, motorbikers and passionate cruisers need not worry as Hero MotoCorp might be partnering with Harley-Davidson for future sales in India.
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