Hero MotoCorp will develop and sell Harley Davidson branded premium motorcycles
Harley Davidson withdrew its official presence in India last month only to kickstart an all-new innings, this time in partnership with Hero Motocorp. News about the American cruiser specialist scouting for a suitable partner in India has been circulating for a while now with Hero Motocorp and Classic Legends (Jawa’s parent company) touted as front runners. Now, it is official.
Harley Davidson partners with Hero MotoCorp
Harley Davidson has announced that it has entered into distribution and licensing agreement with Hero MotoCorp as a part of its Rewire strategy. As a part of the distribution agreement, Hero MotoCorp will be responsible for selling and service Harley Davidson motorcycles through the American marque’s existing network of outlets.
Hero’s well established dealership network would also be used to expand Harley’s market coverage. In addition to motorcycles, the Indian partner will also take care of retailing HD parts, accessories, general merchandise, riding gears and apparels.
Hero to develop Harley motorcycles
The most interesting aspect of the partnership is the licensing agreement according to which Hero MotoCorp will develop and sell a range of premium motorcycles under the Harley Davidson brand name. No further details about this arrangement have been revealed as of now.
Hero MotoCorp, the world’s largest two wheeler maker in terms of volume, has been aspiring to establish a strong presence in the medium displacement motorcycle segment. The company’s expertise lies in highly fuel efficient small displacement commuter motorcycles and scooters.
Hero’s premium motorcycle ambitions did not progress beyond a handful of design concepts. The acquisition of American sportsbike brand EBR turned out to be unfruitful for both the entities.
Harley Davidson’s backing would come as a huge boost for Hero’s aspirations. In turn, the cruiser brand will benefit massively from Hero’s unparalleled cost structure and distribution network in India.
The made-in-India medium displacement Harley Davidson’s are expected to be pitted directly against the Royal Enfield range which has been enjoying near monopoly in the segment. Hero is also likely to export the entry-level Harley Davidson motorcycles to several markets.
It is a bit too early to talk about the product segments and timelines as of now. If we were to take a guess, the first product to born from the Hero-Harley partnership would be a motorcycle with a displacement between 350 to 500 cc.
The Harley Davidson – Hero MotoCorp partnership is a great news for the Indian motorcycle enthusiasts. Owners of existing Harley Davidson motorcycles will be able to get service as well as spares at Harley Davidson dealerships as well as at Hero dealerships.