Harley revs up in India

The iconic motorcycle company has seen rapid growth since entering the Indian market in 2009.

By Trefis Dec 20, 2012 2:52PM
India copyright Donald Edwards, age fotostockAfter launching Fat Bob in India a month back, Harley-Davidson (HOG) is gearing up to introduce a new motorcycle made exclusively for the country within the next two years to take on its Japanese and Korean rivals. 

The motorcycle will be built in India and will target entry-level, premium motorcycle buyers. Currently, the lowest priced model that Harley offers costs upwards of $10,000. The new motorcycle, however, will start from $6,000 to compete against the likes of Kawasaki Ninja 250R and Hyosung GT250R, according to ZigWheels.

At the same time, Harley is expanding its network of dealers in the country. Currently, there are nine dealers but there will be four more by the end of 2013. The company has seen rapid growth of its motorcycle business in India since entering the market back in 2009. The iconic motorcycle manufacturer reported sales of over 1,000 units in the country between July 2010 and the end of 2011. It now expects sales in 2012 to clock more than 2,000 units and targets a tenfold increase to 10,000 by 2016, according to the India Times.

Harley Davidson Non US and Europe Heavyweight Motorcycle SalesHarley focused on India

Harley has already made its intent clear that it views India as a key market in the long run. The company has only two assembling plants outside the U.S., one in Brazil and the other in India. Assembling products locally allows the company to circumvent the high import tariffs. This has enabled it to reduce pricing and consequently target a larger market of buyers.

While the luxury industry is at a nascent stage in India, the country holds great potential. Acquiring the interests of a tiny percentage of India's huge population could translate to a significant amount of top-line for the company. Another thing that could work in favor of India is that its growth comes on top of a very low base (per capita of $1,500), so there is a good probability that the development might be sustainable for a number of years which could burgeon the number of millionaires. India currently has more than 125,000 millionaires, according to one study.

Harley-Davidson is increasingly looking towards international markets to drive growth. While the company still derives most of its sales from the U.S. and Europe, the percentage share of Asia and Latin America is growing. In the first nine months of the year, Asia and Latin America combined contributed 12% to its total sales compared to 10.4% in the previous year.

Trefis has a $57 price estimate for Harley-Davidson, which is about 20% above the current market price.

Tags: HOG
Dec 20, 2012 9:51PM
Maybe HOG needs to jumpstart themselves....Don't think this is it....IMO.
Dec 20, 2012 8:10PM
great,!  it's bad enough that a made in america Harley has some parts from japan on it. an now it's going to have part's from India on it !!!  why can't  they build small , great on gas bike's or scouters 150,250.cc's!!  or  small Harley two seater car's here in the us. hell i'll by one!!  put AMERICAN'S ,back to WORK ! selling to other country's !!  HELL it's bad enough that most of our HUMAN phone operator's are sitting in there chair'sin India !!  L   O   how may I help you !!  i'm not knockin INDIA!!but how doe's that help AMERICAN'S that are out work !!   go to wall-mart an see how little there is MADE IN US. not even our flag's sold there are !   SHAME on us!!!  can some tell me is VICTORY motorcycles made entirely in the US?
Dec 20, 2012 6:07PM
I agree with Max Hobbs, soon the bikes sold here will be produced there. It is only a matter of time, until our once great nation falls into collapse over these buisness tactics. This is another sad anouncement for jobs in the U.S.
Dec 20, 2012 5:39PM
And this is how it starts.  Harley (like EVERY SINGLE OTHER COMPANY BEFORE THEM) will say how they have to make certain models in a foreign country to be "competitive" there.

Then they will start making more models there and then eventually shut down production in the US and bring in their vehicles from these other countries.
Dec 20, 2012 5:03PM

I'm sure that India, as well as many other countries, has a significant number of its population who are essentially mechanically brain-dead enough to buy HD junk.


Oh wait, they're not selling motorcycles, they're selling an "IMAGE" and "LIFESTYLE".


"Hey, look at me, I'm riding a Harley".


"I said, look at me."  Wait, I'll just install some straight pipes so people will be forced to "look at me" to see where all the noise is eminating from.  That'll work.

Dec 20, 2012 3:53PM
Good for H-D...now if I could just buy one of their new lower priced models in the US...
Dec 20, 2012 3:22PM

What's wrong with making the motorcycles in America and shipping them to India or other parts of the world, none of the other country's seem to have any problem shipping their products here. Plus the boats leaving here wouldn't be totally empty.  The other country's have higher tariffs, where's our tariffs to protect our industries?

Dec 20, 2012 3:19PM
Well good for them. They need a market to sell their outdated 300 year old technology in. Considering there are NEW (for the US) emissions rules going into effect next year and air cooled bikes will not pass. India does not have much in emissions regs.

This is how we make America good again. sell our stuff to others.........once we get our heads out of our asses.

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