Hero Motocorp, the undisputed leader in small displacement commuter motorcycle segment, has been eyeing the premium end of the two wheeler market for quite some time. The company is open to a partnership with global premium motorcycle brand to realize its goal.
When asked by Times of India whether Hero is ready for an alliance with Harley Davidson, Chairman Pawan Munjal replied that if Harley want’s to enter into a partnership, he will surely be open to it. Speaking further about a possible partnership with a premium brand, Munjal said, “This is the era of partnerships and as and when the right kind of partnership comes our way, or we are able to get around to one, we would be willing to do that.”
While he did not confirm anything, TOI reports that the American cruiser specialist held talks with Hero Motocorp recently. Harley Davidson has previously revealed that it is looking for a partner in India with established manufacturing and distribution operations to make sub-500 cc motorcycles for the country. With TVS associated with BMW and Bajaj forming a partnership with Triumph, Hero Motocorp emerges as the logical choice for Harley Davidson to tie up with.
Harley Davidson has been going through a rough patch internationally and is in the process of entering new segments and markets to keep its business sustainable. The company recently announced a partnership with China-based Qianjiang Group, the owner of Benelli brand. HD also teased a medium displacement 338 scrambler which is essentially a badge engineered version of Benelli TNT 300.
A partnership between Harley Davidson and Hero Motocorp would have a lot of synergies to be explored. The Indian brand’s expertise in low-cost manufacturing, well established vendor network and a wide distribution network would greatly benefit Harley in optimising costs and expanding its sales volume. On the other hand, Harley’s brand pull and its expertise in developing finely detailed high-end products would help Hero establish presence in the lucrative premium medium displacement motorcycle market.
Hero Motocorp’s first attempt at partnering with an American premium motorcycle brand didn’t really go as planned. Hero picked up a sizeable stake in Erik Buell Racing, a low-volume superbike maker who ended up filing for bankruptcy and shut down operations.