Milwaukee-based premium motorcycle company Harley-Davidson and Delhi-based Hero MotoCorp has announced their strategic partnership in the Indian market. Both the brands have come into an alliance under which Hero MotoCorp will sell and service Harley-Davidson motorcycles, its spare parts, accessories, merchandise such as riding gear and apparel through a network of Harley-Davidson exclusive dealers and Hero MotoCorp’s existing dealership network in India, as per a distribution agreement. Furthermore, Hero MotoCorp will also develop and sell a range of premium motorcycles under the Harley-Davidson marque, as part of a licensing agreement.
The agreements are aligned with Harley-Davidson’s Rewire program that was announced earlier under which the brand made commitments to change its business model in India. The brands’ further state that the agreement will be beneficial for both the parties as well as riders in India. The alliance will bring together two icons in the two-wheeler industry, the world-renowned heritage motorcycling company Harley-Davidson and the world’s largest maker of motorcycles and scooters in terms of unit volumes, Hero MotoCorp.
Recently, Harley-Davidson announced that the company plans to close its Bawal manufacturing facility and significantly reduce the size of its sales office in Gurgaon. It is also speculated that, under the licensing agreement, Hero MotoCorp is likely to manufacture small capacity motorcycle model in the 300cc to 600cc displacement capacity.
Since last year, Harley-Davidson had been facing tough times even in its home country and sources indicate that sales dropped from 1,73,994 units in 2014 to 1,32,868 units in 2018. International traffic has not prospered as well and sales dropped from 96,920 units in 2014 to 95,183 units in 2018. In India, the brand managed to sell only 2,676 units in the Fiscal Year 2019 from the earlier number of 4,708 units in the Fiscal Year 2016.
On the other hand, Hero MotoCorp registered record sales of 715,718 units in September 2020, the highest sales in a single month, translating into a growth of 16.9% as compared to the same period in the last year. Hero Motocorp has sold 18,14,683 units in the second quarter (July-September) of the current fiscal FY 2021. But it is important to note that Hero MotoCorp is currently focussed into the small capacity motorcycles and scooter segment.