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Harley-Davidson relies on its cooperation with Hero MotoCorp to increase premium motorcycle sales in India

<p>According to the business’s chairman, president, and CEO Jochen Zeitz, hefty customs duties are preventing Harley-Davidson from selling its imported large motorcycles in India. As a result, the company is relying on its collaboration with Hero MotoCorp to market locally made premium models there.<img decoding=”async” class=”alignnone wp-image-65382″ src=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/www.theindiaprint.com-harley-davidson-relies-on-its-cooperation-with-hero-motocorp-to-increase-premium-motorcycle-sales-in-india-download-2023-07-09t135321.544.jpg” alt=”” width=”1265″ height=”691″ srcset=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/www.theindiaprint.com-harley-davidson-relies-on-its-cooperation-with-hero-motocorp-to-increase-premium-motorcycle-sales-in-india-download-2023-07-09t135321.544.jpg 304w, https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/www.theindiaprint.com-harley-davidson-relies-on-its-cooperation-with-hero-motocorp-to-increase-premium-motorcycle-sales-in-india-download-2023-07-09t135321.544-150×82.jpg 150w” sizes=”(max-width: 1265px) 100vw, 1265px” /></p>
<p>After opting to discontinue its manufacturing activities in India three years ago, the American cult bike company now believes that teaming with Hero was a wise choice. India charges a 50% customs levy on imported completely built-up motorcycles.</p>
<p>Zeitz said during an interview with PTI that the partnership with Hero MotoCorp is enabling the Milwaukee-based bike manufacturer to pursue “volume opportunities” by launching a competitive product in the Indian market.</p>
<p>As a result of Hero’s increased production capacity and desire to invest in the company, there are a lot of opportunities to grow our brand. So, in my opinion, you made the proper choice,” he remarked.</p>
<p>Zeitz claimed that the business wanted to sell its large motorcycles on the market without having to pay exorbitant customs duties. “The drawback is that (the hefty customs duty). But X440 is an Indian product. For people who want to experience the Harley brand, the fact that it has no tariffs is a plus, he added.</p>
<p>Last week, Harley-Davidson and Hero unveiled the Harley-Davidson X 440 in India, with prices beginning at Rs 2.29 lakh. At its Neemrana-based facility, Hero MotoCorp manufactures the motorcycle.</p>
<p>In September 2020, Harley-Davidson will stop operating its sales and production facilities in India. It had an assembly factory in Haryana’s Bawal before then. Harley-Davidson and Hero MotoCorp established a collaboration for the Indian market in October 2020.</p>
<p>The agreement called for Hero MotoCorp to create and market a line of high-end motorbikes in the nation under the Harley-Davidson brand. It is also responsible with handling Harley motorcycle servicing and component needs.</p>
<p>When asked whether the venerable brand would return to the Indian market if the tariff dispute is eventually addressed, Zeitz said, “That’s for the politicians to contemplate. In principle, why should a bike that enters India be subject to a higher tariff than a bike that enters the US?</p>
<p>Zeitz said that the present emphasis is on making the X440 successful in the Indian market when asked whether the partners intended to introduce further models to the nation.</p>
<p>“The more successful it is, the greater the opportunity we will have,” he said. Zeitz remarked, “We were manufacturing our 750cc also for the international market, so I am not ruling that out.” Zeitz was responding to the question of whether Harley might use India as a production base for export markets.</p>
<p>He said, “But right now, the focus is really to make sure that the product is successful in India – one important cornerstone is to get the X440 to be a success in India, from there we can build and come up with other ideas.”</p>
<p>When asked whether X440 will be sold in other countries, he said, “It is not something we are currently discussing.”</p>
<p>Zeitz commented on the company’s aspirations to bring its garment line, Harley Originals, to India: “That’s the possibility down the road I would surely look into. We have made significant investments in our garment business in Milwaukee, America.</p>
<p>According to him, the business sees a lot of potential in the market.</p>
<p>Zeitz stated the premium mid-segment is undoubtedly a developing category in India while speaking about the development of the high-end bike segment in that nation.</p>
<p>He said that Harley’s main market is motorcycles of 975 cc or more.</p>
<p>Due to the price it bears and, obviously, accentuated by the import tariffs that make it much more costly than if you would purchase a bike in America, for example, Zeitz noted that in terms of sales possibility, that is still a rather tiny niche in India.</p>
<p>He said that while the country’s larger bike market would ultimately expand as well, affordability will undoubtedly be a problem if current tariff levels are maintained.</p>
<p>A burgeoning middle class wants to purchase more expensive and luxurious goods. “We have seen that happening in China, and I am sure we will see the same thing happening in India,” he said.</p>
<p>Zeitz elaborated on the business’s approach to the various international markets, stating that the corporation is concentrating on the core divisions that are generating the best return on investment. According to him, the business has been phased out, decreasing the complexity of its products by more than a third.</p>
<p>“As a result, during the last three years, our company’s profitability has increased significantly. Therefore, although I am preoccupied with profitability, this business is obsessed with unit sales, Zeitz stated.</p>
<p>Therefore, the company’s duty is to ensure that it concentrates on those categories where “Harley is truly Harley” and those segments are also the most popular and lucrative, he said.</p>
<p>China and India were both expanding quickly, according to Zeitz. “I see opportunities in the two largest populated markets in the world, and you have to think long term, right? You need to set down roots right away if you want to expand along with the economy, and that’s basically why we’re here, he added.</p>
<p>In the areas where it lacks the local expertise, Harley has chosen to collaborate with local partners, Zeitz said.</p>
<p>When asked about Harley Davidson’s plans for electric vehicles, he said that while not anytime soon, there would eventually be an electric Harley.</p>
<p>“Electrification is probably going to spread more quickly in certain markets than others. And as a holding business, we aim to be the leader in electrification,” he stated.</p>
<p>When asked whether the business planned to launch its Livewire line of electric bikes in India, Zeitz said, “I don’t see that in the near future.”</p>

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