Harley-Davidson Inc had announced in September 2020 to discontinue its sales and manufacturing operations in India, effectively abandoning the world’s biggest motorcycle market after a decade of unsuccessful efforts to gain a foothold. It then entered a strategic tie-up with Hero MotoCorp and allowed Hero the exclusive distributor rights to import and sell Harley bikes in India. Harley had spent months moving dealerships in the country to cheaper locations, and the announcement followed soon after about a month of the movement.
The move involved $75 million in restructuring costs, around 70 redundancies, and the closure of its Bawal plant in Haryana, walking away from a market worth about 17 million bike and scooter sales a year.
Harley Davidson's volumes for FY2020 were at about 2,495 units. And in FY2021, it fell to just 680 units - the decline was about 1,185 units. This huge drop in volume also reflected in a reduction in the number of models that Harley offered in India. Earlier we had about 21 models and now it shrank by more than half to about 10 models.
Harley's highest sales came from their Street 750 model, which sold about 295 units. This was a drop of more than 840 units compared to this model's previous financial year figures.
Their second-highest selling model was the 883 Iron, which struggled to cross the 100 mark and stood at 106 units. This was the only model that managed to deliver some face-saving growth. All the other models have declined for HD in India.
The remaining model volumes from HD were all in degrowth. Be it the FAT BOY or the Lower rider - With collective 1,815 units drop in volume.
Hero has recently shared the price list for the 2021 range of Harley Davidson bikes in India and the line-up is now strengthened with the introduction of the Pan America Adventure Tourer. Hero has tried its best to minimize the inconvenience to the transitioned Harley Davidson dealers and customers.