As part of its global restructuring plan, dubbed “Rewire”, Harley-Davidson will be ceasing sales and manufacturing operations in India, as well as reducing staff count by 70. This comes after a turbulent start to 2020 for the iconic American brand, including the appointment of a new chief executive officer, Jochen Zeitz, and a new chief financial officer from outside the industry, Gina Goetter.
In a press statement, reported by Indian website carandbike.com, Harley-Davidson India said its manufacturing facility in Bawal will be closed down, and the sales office in Gurugram will be significantly downsized. However, there was no significant information on how Harley-Davidson will support its existing customer base in India.
There are currently 33 Harley-Davidson dealerships across the Indian sub-continent with the report saying each will have different contract terms although there was no clear indication of how existing Harley-Davidson customer would be supported in terms of service and spares.
With Harley-Davidson’s exit, this will likely mean the demise of the Street 750 model which is manufactured in India. It is speculated the India market will be supported by Harley-Davidson’s plant in Thailand but there is no concrete information thus far.
Harley-Davidson entered the India market in 2009, opening its first dealership in July 2010 and leading sales figures for the premium motorcycle market there for several years. Sales numbers there were lead by the Street 750 model, followed by certain CKD models that were assembled in its assembly plant in Haryana.
In the last financial year, Harley-Davidson sold fewer than 2,500 units in India, and between April-June 2020, only about 100 Harleys were sold in India. This made the Indian motorcycle market one of the worst performing international markets for Harley-Davidson with the overall downturn in its international sales and the Cover-19 pandemic.
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