Follow us on 
BS Motoring Web  
  Friday, Oct 24, 2014
 
HomeCarsBikesTravelGalleryBlogsWeb TVAbout us
  Tests    Reviews    News    Features    Motorsports    Motor shows    Classics    Quick Comparisons
 
Home Bikes News
Harley Davidson's India strategy
Americana on two wheels. What does the big H plan in India?
By : Kyle Pereira | Published : February 08, 2011
Email   Print   [] Comment      
More Photos | Video
In a country where eight million motorcycles were bought between April and November 2010, about 250 motorcycles sold in the entire year may not be a significant number. But, with the average price of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle hovering at Rs 12-15 lakh, that is a big number indeed.

To anyone who is remotely interested in motorcycles, the name Harley-Davidson is familiar. The Japanese Big Four — Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki — are already here with their superbike offerings. Not the ones to be left out, exotic brands are making inroads into the country as well. Ducati arrived a couple of years ago and Aprilia made it to the Indian shores this year. But the efforts of all these players pale in comparison to the muscle the American manufacturer is putting in.


The difference with Harley is that while everyone has the machinery to sell, Harley-Davidson will go further and sell you a lifestyle as well. Sanjay Tripathi, director-marketing, Harley-Davidson India, says: “We are not a motorcycle company. We are a culture on two wheels. And we want to convert dreams of owning a Harley into a reality for Indian motorcyclists.” It helps Tripathi's cause that Indian demographics are tilted towards youth while we have a strong motorcycling culture already. Harley is simply bringing alive the experience of ownership to more and more Indians.

World over, Harley owners ride along with people who share a common affection to big shiny V-twin engines — groups that call themselves the Harley Owners Group (HOG). Initially, these rides in India were coordinated by the company, but now, with five dealerships already operational and three more to come by the end of this year, these events are coordinated by dealers themselves. To bring together even more riders, another initiative called the Rock Riders mates music with Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Why? Well, ask any thoroughbred biker where his tastes in music lie and invariably the answer will be just one word: Rock. The Indian customer, as Tripathi says, belongs to a state of mind rather than a particular demographic profile.

Another departure from the other high-end motorcycle offerings today is Harley’s eagerness to let you sample its bikes. While certain manufacturers will gladly sell you their superbikes that would set you back in excess of Rs 10 lakh, just don't ask for a test ride, because they won't give you one. On the other hand, with their Boot Camps, Harley-Davidson invites you to come and taste life aboard its thick two-wheeled slice of Americana. Each and every one of its current line-up, a wholesome total of 14 models as of now, is up for grabs to the potential Harley owner. Also, for those who want their Harley to be truly theirs, the customisation programme will help make their bike as unique as can be. Whatever is available to Harley owners abroad in terms of accessories and customised parts is also available to the Indian buyer.

That apart, the American marque has taken India pretty seriously. Instead of simply stocking a few dealerships with their products like the other manufacturers, Harley wants to make their motorcycles more accessible to the Indian motorcyclist. The introduction of the Superlow 883 and the Iron 883, which cost Rs 5.5 lakh and Rs 6.5 lakh, respectively (both ex-showroom, Delhi), points to this fact. But the real seriousness with which Harley-Davidson is looking at India is its upcoming assembly plant in Gurgaon, only the third one on the globe, after the US and Brazil. This will only serve to bring the prices of their models even lower.

Judging from all of these moves, it’s clear that Harley has an India-specific model up its sleeve as well. It could displace a lower capacity than the 883, but it will certainly have unadulterated Harley genes. A cheaper Harley is bound to get many takers. Clearly, Harley-Davidson India has seen something in the country that the others haven’t.

Pages :| 1 
Advertisements
Ford EcoSport - Sportingly stylish says Autoportal.com
Email Print [2] Comment        
blog comments powered by Disqus
  Posted by Bikram at 5th April,2011
Harley's are synonymous with V-twin, so i think a single would just be out of the question. More so ever, it is really having a bad time now. Sales in its home country have cut down to less than half of what they were 5 years ago, forcing it lay off a lot of old and trained workers in its US factories. At the same time, Royal Enfield in the US is growing by leaps and bounds. Afterall, the original Reddich,England factory had been selling superbikes there in the 70's, and it also provided engine to the legendary Indian motorcycles, the main competitor of Harley Davidson in the the U.S. at one point of time. Now that Enfield itself is seriously thinking of reviving the legendary Enfield Interceptor 750cc, and also another 1000cc twin ( which again i think would be priced somewhat just about lower than whatever harley does with its indian CKD assembled versions at put it at a better position) , the competition is just going to heat up. I mean, after all, the marketing strategy of both the
  Posted by karikor at 1st March,2011
There is news that HD will not only start an assembly plant in India but may actually come up with a complete manufacturing plant. And this will reduce the current prices of the Sportster model to sub 3.5 lakhs.And if this piece of news is true, then harley davidson india should seriously think of manufacturing India-specific models like maybe a 500cc sportster at a sub 2-2.5lakhs price. This would definitely give a serious scare to other bike manufacturers esp Royal Enfield. and this strategy will be definitely India-proof. coz too be honest not many of us indians have the body-frame to actually be able to handle a 800cc – 250kg+ or so HD very comfortably. so say a 500cc 180-200kg with great power and torque will definitely sell(expectedly to be manufactured in India with max localisation of part) like hot cakes for the majority of Indians who want a HD in their garage. I dont want HD to go below 500cc capacity coz then it would not be much of the “HD” we have come to know, resp
Read Emailed Commented
Other Manufacturers Other Models
 
Explore BSMOTORING.COM
  Home   Cars   Bikes   Gallery   General   Resources   Explore Group Network
 Quick Comparisons
 Road Tests
 Motofocus
 Motorsports
 Destinations
 Tests
 Reviews
 News
 Features
 Motorsports
 Motor shows
 Classics
 Quick Comparisons
 Tests
 Reviews
 News
 Features
 Motorsports
 Motor shows
 Classics
 Quick Comparisons
 Photo Gallery
 Video Gallery
 Wallpaper
 Travel
 Blogs
 About us
 Archives
 Register
 Feedback
 Archives
 Advertise with us
 Contact Us
 Business-standard.com
 bshindi.com
 Archives
 Livemarkets
 smartportfolio II