Harley-Davidson India models could become cheaper by bringing current import tariffs down to “a single-digit”.
A good majority of Indians, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, were pleased to receive US President Donald Trump and his family for the very first time in India as part of ‘Namaste Trump’. Needless to say, the two-day visit of one of the most powerful individuals in the world is still a hot topic for the Indian media and everyone is looking forward to understanding the positive outcomes of the event — social, economic and strategic — that would affect either country.
For Indian automotive enthusiasts, ‘Namaste Trump’ was expected to bring some good news in the form of reduced prices for premium motorcycles. Donald Trump had insisted the Indian government reduce import tariff on American-origin Harley-Davidson motorcycles on multiple occasions. As per reports, the Indian government will be making a final decision on this, at a later stage of the year.
Apparently, the concerned authorities have promised to lower import tariffs to “a single-digit” for motorcycles with a displacement over 1,600cc. A new tariff classification will be formed for such two-wheelers. As a result, top-end models from the likes of Harley-Davidson, Indian Motorcycles, British-origin Triumph Motorcycles as well as every other brand who makes high-capacity two-wheelers; will become significantly cheaper on the Indian market. However, the two-day maiden visit of the 45th president of the United States of America (seventh to visit India) could not make it happen at the moment, but was concentrated on other ‘important decisions’.
At present, the import duty on CBU (Completely Built-Up or Completely Built Units) motorcycles stand at 50%; which itself was reduced from 100% (or double the original asking price) in 2019 after a conversation between Trump and Modi. However, the US President remained unhappy claiming that the taxes were “too high” and “not acceptable” since “it’s 50% versus nothing”.
Meanwhile, the Indian government had increased the tariffs on CKD (Completely Knocked Down) products from 10% to 15%. A good majority of products sold by premium brands operating in different segments come via the CKD route. The higher tariffs made them much more expensive at a time when the Indian automotive industry as a whole was not at its best performance.
High-end cars and motorcycles available on the Indian market are much more expensive compared to their foreign counterparts. For the same reason, those who are able to afford and maintain such products are still making a questionable financial decision (especially taking the rate of depreciation into account).