The U.S. motorcycle maker plans to set up a unit in India to manufacture entry level bikes to take on their Japanese and European rivals.
Harley-Davidson, the best known and oldest motorcycle company in the world, has special plans for the Indian market. In 2011, Harley-Davidson’s Indian subsidiary started assembly (CKD) operations at Bawal in Haryana. The facility is the second Harley-Davidson assembly plant outside of the U.S., with the first one being in Brazil.
By setting up a CKD plant in India, Harley-Davidson aims to achieve competitive pricing for its premium products in a market where prices are very important. The company faces strong competition in the premium segment from several global motorcycle players who sell their products at tempting prices. This is why Harley-Davidson wants to manufacture an entry level motorcycle in India and for India.
According to Zigwheels, Harley-Davidson officials from the United States and India have been visiting Indian vendors with the purpose of setting up a manufacturing unit and a vendor base for a new range of motorcycles that will be launched at the 2014 Auto Expo in New Delhi.
The new Harley-Davidson bike will be a V-twin with a displacement between 400cc and 500cc. Built exclusively for India, the bike will be priced at Rs 3.5 lakh to rival entry level motorcycles such as the Kawasaki Ninja 250R, Hyosung GT250R, KTM 390 Duke and Honda CBR500.