In our last report, when we revealed that Harley-Davidson has ended its wholly-owned business in India, we also said that all hope was not lost and an agreement might be announced with a local player. That has just happened, and the local player in question happens to be the world’s biggest two-wheeler manufacturer, Hero MotoCorp.
● Hero will handle sales and after-sales for Harley-Davidson in India
● Hero will develop a range of premium products, bikes under the Harley name
● Future platforms could also be used under the Hero name
Harley-Davidson may have shut down its plant in Haryana and announced the closure of its wholly-owned business in India, but it’s not all bad news for fans of the American icon. Hero Motocorp has just released a statement that confirms long-held rumours that the two companies were tying up.
Harley-Davidson sales continue in India
While Hero’s statement has not specified if all the existing Harley-Davidson dealerships will continue to function, it clearly mentions that Hero Motorcorp will sell and service Harley-Davidson motorcycles in India. Harley also has a huge line up of accessories and apparels and this too will be retailed by Hero, in India. The statement goes on to say that retail will be via brand-exclusive, Harley-Davidson dealerships as well as Hero’s existing dealers in India. While you may not be able to walk into your local Hero dealership and ride out with a Harley-Davidson Fatboy, you might just be able to buy some cool accessories wearing the American brand’s logo.
Hero will develop new Harley-Davidson motorcycles
This is by far the more exciting part of the announcement. Companies like Bajaj and TVS already have thriving partnerships with foreign motorcycle brands and while it’s certainly late to the party, it looks like Hero has finally joined in. The press release states that as per a new licensing agreement, Hero will develop and sell a range of premium motorcycles under the Harley-Davidson brand. While the press release doesn’t say so, it’s fair to expect that Hero will have its own product lines born from these future platforms as well, just as TVS and Bajaj already do.
It’s unlikely that we’ll see any co-developed small capacity Harley-Davidsons for at least a couple of years, but the good news is that the brand gets to live on in India and that its tens of thousands of existing customers won’t be left in the lurch.