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Old 25th September 2020, 16:56   #1
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Default Rumour: Hero MotoCorp to import Harley Davidson bikes in India

According to a media report, Harley-Davidson is in talks with Hero MotorCorp for a distribution agreement. If the talks are successful, then Hero MotoCorp could be appointed as the brand's importer and distributor for India.

Rumour: Hero MotoCorp to import Harley Davidson bikes in India-harleydavidsonusbloomberg1200.jpg

These rumours have surfaced just a day after Harley-Davidson announced that it was wrapping up its India business. The company is closing down its manufacturing facility and reducing its sales team as part of a global restructuring plan.

The report further states that since Harley-Davidson is shutting down its factory, Hero MotoCorp could build one of Harley's bikes on a contract basis. The new model is likely to be get a 300-600cc engine.

While Harley-Davidson has not confirmed these rumours, reports of a possible collaboration with Hero MotorCorp have been circulating in the media for some time.

Source
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Old 25th September 2020, 17:27   #2
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Default re: Rumour: Hero MotoCorp to import Harley Davidson bikes in India

I just spoke to one of my friend who owns a 883 Sportster, he had a conversation with someone who is a mid management level guy in HD. They last working day for the most of the employees is 31st December.

There would be some consolidation of A.S.S network, like instead of current 3 there would be only workshop in Delhi-NCR.

As far as Sales is concerned, one of the plan in consideration is to import form Thailand and sell CBU units.

Nothing concrete, just sharing what I got to hear.
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Old 26th September 2020, 02:38   #3
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Default re: Rumour: Hero MotoCorp to import Harley Davidson bikes in India

I think they should do something like this.

Kawasaki and KTM went with Bajaj, BMW with TVS, similarly these guys should go with Hero. That's how Honda is what it is today.

JVs could save some Moolah, share platform but keep QA & QC tight. This could boost some sales to survive otherwise it's the GM way.

They could line up 250CC to whatever tricks they have up their sleeves via localisation, SKD, CKD or CBU for what it's worth.

Last edited by sangam_mm93 : 26th September 2020 at 02:41. Reason: Altered a few lines.
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Old 26th September 2020, 13:51   #4
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Default Re: Rumour: Hero MotoCorp to import Harley Davidson bikes in India

Hope this works out well.
In fact I found the statement HD completely closing sales in India a little amusing. As for closing the factory, they could have their justified reasons, but stopping all sales looks far fetched. If HD can continue sales in European countries like Spain, Portugal etc each of whose annual sales volumes may be something closer to India, I dont see any sense in HD stopping sales in India. Besides, like other manufacturers when they appoint the distributor, its his responsibility to run the business.

As for Hero and HD making a bike, I just watched 2 episodes of the Long Way Up and while we can leave aside the normal criticisms of Ewan and Charlie's style of touring with all their LW series (I still appreciate they doing it and I enjoy the way they do it- to each his own), but this whole HD electric bike ride so far has been a joke! A 70-80 odd mile range in actual road conditions and in one extreme case having a diesel generator to charge the bike and in another, Ewan's bike running out of charge barely 500 meters before their scheduled ferry ride and being 'arm-towed' with a car (as they dont have enough time for re-charging) etc! At the face of it, electric bikes are great for the environment etc and their trip looks more like a monumental lesson for people to look at green solutions, but the technology and support infrastructure is still some more years away from practicality for the masses and the whole rare earth mining for the battery components can be for another discussion another day.
BUT one thing positive is the Livewire bike has been customized for this trip with suspension tweaks, spoke wheels for tubeless tires and a few other things etc. which all combined makes the Livewire a good looking bike to me at least. Hope they design the 300-600cc fossil powered bike loosely based on the Livewire(ditch the V-twin with a single or parallel twin with better heat management) and make service/parts billing at least for this bike in line with what people can relatively afford, there could be some light at the end of the tunnel.

Probably for badging/product line let the Hero & HD guys come up with some outstanding idea that is acceptable to both and also does not dilute the HD image.....obviously hardcore Harley guys wont like to share the bar and shield 'image-space' with a Harley moped.....even if Harley is a sinking ship!
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Rumour: Hero MotoCorp to import Harley Davidson bikes in India-livewire.jpeg  


Last edited by Haroon : 26th September 2020 at 14:05.
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Old 26th September 2020, 15:18   #5
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Default Re: Rumour: Hero MotoCorp to import Harley Davidson bikes in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haroon View Post

obviously hardcore Harley guys wont like to share the bar and shield 'image-space' with a Harley moped.....even if Harley is a sinking ship!
Depends on how Hardcore you are. Because it's a case of been there, done that:
Rumour: Hero MotoCorp to import Harley Davidson bikes in India-1973harleymc65shortsterphotocredit2stroke.nl_.jpg
Source: https://www.bikesrepublic.com/featur...apacity-bikes/

This is not the first time Harley has been down this road. Been through worse, my humble opinion.

Hope they come out stronger than before.

Cheers

Ride Safe.
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Old 26th September 2020, 20:10   #6
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Default Re: Rumour: Hero MotoCorp to import Harley Davidson bikes in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by gthang View Post
Depends on how Hardcore you are. Because it's a case of been there, done that:
Attachment 2059480
Source: https://www.bikesrepublic.com/featur...apacity-bikes/

This is not the first time Harley has been down this road. Been through worse, my humble opinion.

Hope they come out stronger than before.

Cheers

Ride Safe.
Their adventures with the small bikes were mostly in the 70s, with the huge onslaught of the Japanese, but after that they have not tried anything radically different with the exception of probably the V-Rod. I agree they have pulled thru many storms and hoping something positive comes out soon.

Myself also got back to the HD fold 2 years back with a unique Customizing project with a used Iron 883, but that seems to have gone terribly wrong and now on the lookout for a used stock frame
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Old 27th September 2020, 13:48   #7
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Default Re: Rumour: Hero MotoCorp to import Harley Davidson bikes in India

Hero is too big to bother with importing motorcycles as overpriced CBUs that will sell a handful of units each month. Hero is a "big thinker". IMHO, if at all Hero does do something with Harley Davidson, they will build / assemble the motorcycles here, price them well and look at a level of reasonable sales numbers that make it worth their time.

A brand that sells 5 - 6 lakh two wheelers each month needs a bigger lunch to satisfy its appetite. Hero won't sell for a packet of peanuts.
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Old 27th September 2020, 23:14   #8
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Default Re: Rumour: Hero MotoCorp to import Harley Davidson bikes in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haroon View Post
Their adventures with the small bikes were mostly in the 70s, with the huge onslaught of the Japanese
Well, you have to dance to the tunes of the time. It was the Japanese then, it's the fragile Millennials now.

Hope the Boomers put up a good fight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post

A brand that sells 5 - 6 lakh two wheelers each month needs a bigger lunch to satisfy its appetite. Hero won't sell for a packet of peanuts.
Those lakhs of bikes are running on the shoulders of orphaned Hondas. It's one thing to learn how to manufacture bikes, but another altogether when it comes to ground up design of a new bike. Thirst for that expertise made Hero invest in EBR, a company that sold less bikes overall than what HD did in India.

I wouldn't be surprised if a relationship appears.

Cheers

Ride Safe
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Old 28th September 2020, 15:03   #9
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Default Re: Rumour: Hero MotoCorp to import Harley Davidson bikes in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by gthang View Post
Thirst for that expertise made Hero invest in EBR, a company that sold less bikes overall than what HD did in India.

I wouldn't be surprised if a relationship appears.

Cheers

Ride Safe

On the Contrary, I am of the Opinion that due to the Futile EBR Experience still fresh in memory, Hero would most likely be not enthusiastic to bail Harley Out of this mess.
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Old 29th September 2020, 13:20   #10
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Default Re: Rumour: Hero MotoCorp to import Harley Davidson bikes in India

I am all for the rumoured local distribution agreement between Harley and Hero MotoCorp. Harley needs reduce it's involvement in the Indian market with as little difficulty as possible while also ensuring that there is a means for their dealerships to get the bigger bikes and continue with uninterrupted sales and service support. This will keep Harley owners happy while also retaining the value of the bikes in the pre-owned market, which incidentally has been flooded by Harleys since the Covid pandemic has happened. Without a proper exit plan, Harley will
- face the ire of their customers which can be troublesome in today's social media world.
- have zero new sales!

The only way out for Harley is with a local partner who brings enough experience in the industry and will provide the support and infrastructure that they need. And there is nobody left except the perpetual bridesmaid, Hero MotoCorp. Every other big manufacturer has made their moves and already partnered with the biggies while Hero has been left looking on from the sidelines. The rumoured technical partnership between the two companies made no sense at all but a distribution partership makes all the sense in the world for Hero. It brings them a good degree of "legitimacy" and gets them a slot at the big boys table. Of course, they will likely extract their fair pound of flesh for the deal to take away a lot of the exit related worries that Harley would otherwise have to deal with but in the end, its a win win for both companies.
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Old 29th September 2020, 15:01   #11
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Default Re: Rumour: Hero MotoCorp to import Harley Davidson bikes in India

I am ok to Hero and HD tie up. I am not ok to Hero doing the following with HD Brand.

1. Sell the same bike as Street 750, Street 750+, Street 750++, Super Street 750, Super Street 750++ , ismart-whatever- 750 etc.

2. "Yeh bike dega 65kmpl* " kind of marketing.

Apart from the above two, i am all for this Tie up.

*Under very controlled conditions with only one cylinder firing.
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Old 29th September 2020, 20:33   #12
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Default Re: Rumour: Hero MotoCorp to import Harley Davidson bikes in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Hero is too big to bother with importing motorcycles as overpriced CBUs that will sell a handful of units each month. Hero is a "big thinker". IMHO, if at all Hero does do something with Harley Davidson, they will build / assemble the motorcycles here, price them well and look at a level of reasonable sales numbers that make it worth their time.
Looks like you were right.

Hero might produce the Harley Davidson 338R in India. It is a model specific to European and Asian markets.

https://www.rushlane.com/amp/harley-...-12377219.html

Nothing has been confirmed though.
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Old 29th September 2020, 21:12   #13
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Default Re: Rumour: Hero MotoCorp to import Harley Davidson bikes in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Hero is too big to bother with importing motorcycles as overpriced CBUs that will sell a handful of units each month. Hero is a "big thinker". IMHO, if at all Hero does do something with Harley Davidson, they will build / assemble the motorcycles here, price them well and look at a level of reasonable sales numbers that make it worth their time.

A brand that sells 5 - 6 lakh two wheelers each month needs a bigger lunch to satisfy its appetite. Hero won't sell for a packet of peanuts.
Another thought is - Hero is a brand that lacks the cachet of its competitors - Every other indian brand has some sort of Halo product to draw customers to showrooms - the Japs have the superbikes, Bajaj have KTM and TVS has their BWM JV bikes.

The most expensive hero bike is the Xpulse 200 which is at best a premium commuter. If they started giving out HD franchises to their major dealers- Having an HD for sales in their major showroom would be a big image booster for them and their dealers - and they don't even need to sell them. Investment wise - its a no brainer - All the dealers will have to do is take out 5 splendors and put a fancy stand for a token harley display model. This could
1. Increase their sales and service network SIGNIFICANTLY
2. Be a significantly better business case to dealers from an ROI point of view
3. Be turned around fairly quickly
4. Help them fill a gap in their sales portfolio they have been trying to plug.

The Experience is going to suck for prospective customers (remember the tata - fiat flop) but I see some value for Hero out of this

Last edited by greenhorn : 29th September 2020 at 21:30.
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