Harley Davidson has announced a strategic partnership with Hero MotoCorp where Hero will continue with sales and service operations for Harley Davidson in India. Hero MotoCorp will also develop and sell a range of premium motorcycles under the Harley Davidson brand name.
Earlier last month, Harley Davidson – arguably one of the most iconic motorcycle brands in the world – announced that they will be ending their operations in India. Harley Davidson, over the last few months, had been announcing multiple cost saving measures under its new Rewire Business Strategy, which also included exiting out of poorly performing markets. Sadly, India was one of those markets. The American brand opened doors in India back in 2009 and over their 10 years of operation in India, they were one of the most established premium motorcycle manufacturers in the country.
Having been so popular in the country for over 10 years, Harley Davidson naturally has a lot of customers that continually need to be supported. Harley Davidson also has a vibrant Harley-owner-group or HOG community in India and they had to look for alternate solutions. Many other premium international brands like Ferrari and MV Agusta do not have an official company owned presence in India but continue to operate through an Indian Business partner. Harley Davidson too was looking for similar support, and to the relief of many, they have finally found one.
Harley Davidson has now announced a strategic partnership in India with Hero MotoCorp, the largest bikemaker in the world in terms of volumes. Under this new joint venture, Hero MotoCorp will be the sole distributor of Harley Davidson motorcycles in India. That means Hero MotoCorp will continue to sell and service Harley Davidson motorcycles and also sell spare parts and accessories through a network of brand-exclusive Harley Davidson dealers and Hero’s existing dealership network in India.
Interestingly, the press release also said, “Hero MotoCorp will develop and sell a range of premium motorcycles under the Harley Davidson brand name.” This is interesting because this literally means that Hero could be developing and manufacturing new Harley motorcycles in India, and perhaps also make them affordable again. The press release did not shed any further light in this regard but we can see this partnership going the Bajaj-KTM way. Bajaj initially started manufacturing the KTM 200 Duke via its exclusive Probiking dealerships and then developed the Bajaj Pulsar NS200 and many other iterations based on KTM motorcycles.
This eventually could lead to technology sharing as well as platform sharing. We could thus expect that Hero could have its own product lines born from these future platforms as well, just as TVS and Bajaj already do. Although its still a little unclear in this regard, what is clear though is that the iconic brand will continue to live in India and thousands of Harley Davidson owners in the country will not be left all by themselves. Having the support from as reliable a brand as Hero, Harley owners couldn’t have asked for more peace of mind.