Recently Harley-Davidson, an American motorcycle manufacturer made it to the list of global auto manufacturers that exit India. Few global auto companies that broke ties with Indian market were American based United motors, Eicher Polaris, MAN Truck & Bus, South Korean based Ssangyong Motors, Italy based Fiat and US based Cleveland motors.
The official statement released by Harley-Davidson group notified the reason for the departure and for closing down the Bawal manufacturing plant in India as lack of sales or less demand.
Harley-Davidson entered the Indian market in August 2009 and the retailing operations were established in 2010. And later in 2014 the motorcycle group started manufacturing street 500 and 750 bikes at Bawal plant in the state of Haryana which is the only manufacturing plant of Harley-Davidson company in India. Harley-Davidson Inc. has 35 dealerships across India and may affect the work of 2,000 employees and workers.
From April 2020 to June 2020 Harley-Davidson company appeared to be in a loss of 96 million dollars. According to the report announced by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) 176 motorcycles were purchased in the month of August 2020 and only 103 units were sold in the month of July 2020.Harley-Davidson used “THE REWIRE STRATEGY”. Rewire strategy means the transfer of marketing and supplies to better and balanced profitable zones.
The price of Harley Davidson is so high that the entry level motorcycle alone costs ₹4.69 lakh rupees. Being a foreign company Indian government charges taxes and excise duty. ‘Make in India’ motive is also one of the reasons why Indians are far from the reach of this Milwaukee based company. Indian roads are not highly developed compared to other western countries and one can find potholes and bumpy surfaces along the path which makes it difficult for riders and Harley motorbikes are generally meant to be driven along a straight road.
India, being the largest motorcycle market is surrounded by competitors like Hero, Honda, Royal Enfield, Yamaha, TVS, KTM, Suzuki and are favored by majority of the citizens in India because of their mileage range, lightweight and affordability when compared to H&D company motorcycles.2019 recorded the lowest sales for the auto industry which is declared as the perpendicular decrease in sales since the last 20 years. And right after, the sales were again hit by the pandemic and the situation got worse.
There is no doubt in saying that Harley is aging and since the last few years Harley-Davidson group have been facing the crisis related to sales and demand and retailing market not only in India but also in America. According to the report given by analysts, 70% of the auto industry market share in India is achieved by just 10 branded companies and most of them have settled around more than a decade ago.
Finally it is reported by the sources that Harley is holding a talk and is discussing with HeroMotoCorp to be the sole distributor of Harley-Davidson motorcycles in India.