Harley-Davidson and Hero MotoCorp partnership looks more positive than ever before
American motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson recently announced its plans to shut its India plant, making everyone believe it is the end of the road for the company. However, that might not be completely true if the latest reports are to be believed. Harley-Davidson is likely to form an alliance with Hero MotoCorp, the world's largest two-wheeler manufacturer, which could take care of the distribution of the former's premium range of motorcycles in India. An official agreement is expected to come this week, mentions a report.
On reaching out to Hero MotoCorp, the company spokesperson stated that Hero does not comment on market speculations. However, Pawan Munjal, Managing Director of Hero MotoCorp in the past had already expressed the company's readiness for an arrangement like this with any manufacturer. Given the scales of operation and the market presence, Hero MotoCorp could very well be a lucrative option for contract manufacturing, if Harley-Davidson decides to move in that direction. For now, even Harley-Davidson India has termed these reports as just speculations and has denied giving any statements on the same.
Sources mention that Hero MotoCorp could have exclusive distributorship rights of the Harley-Davidson range that is being imported from Thailand as CBUs. Further, the company will chart a detailed plan for Harley's 33 Indian outlets and distribution network, which will be done on priority. The report also states that the discussions between these two companies were happening for quite some time now, as Hero did not just want distributorship rights but also an arrangement that allows sharing of technology for a middle-weight motorcycle. While there is no official confirmation on the same, the first motorcycle which is believed to be in the 300-500cc range could take shape in the next three to five years.
With this Hero MotoCorp that currently sells motorcycles of up to 200cc will enter the premium segment. Also, this should help Harley-Davidson and Hero battle it out with Royal Enfield. The contract manufacturing arrangement between Harley and Hero could be similar to what Triumph Motorcycles has with Bajaj Auto and BMW Motorrad has with TVS Motor Company.
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