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Harley-Davidson will shut local manufacturing, curtail sales operations and re-structure the Indian business

Simran Rastogi  | Updated: September 24, 2020, 06:05 PM IST

Harley-Davidson has announced that it will shut down manufacturing at its Bawal, Haryana plant, set up in 2012, while reducing its sales operations, and evaluating options for its future in India. The decision comes on the back of announcements made earlier in the year to shift focus to its core markets, as part of The Rewire strategy to put the motorcycle company back on track globally. It is reported that marketing and service operations in the country will continue, with greatly reduced manpower strength, and that the company will shift to a new business model, yet to be announced.

Harley-Davidson India began operations in 2009, and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the parent company in the US. Under The Rewire strategy, the company had planned to prioritise the markets that matter, including Europe, China and its home market of the US, as well as focus on profitable models, like the CVO specials. Harley-Davidson's global sales have fallen over 20 per cent, according to some reports, in the first half of 2020, against already-slipping sales figures from 2019.

Despite the rough patch and a proposed axing of 30 per cent of its planned models for 2021, the company had announced a slew of new models, including electric motorcycles, and low- and mid-capacity models where there is fresh, burgeoning demand in most markets. The Pan America 1250 adventure motorcycle is said to still be on the cards internationally, as is the Bronx Streetfighter 975. Delays are expected, including in the reveal of the planned H-D 338, a sub-400cc motorcycle that was to be built in collaboration with Chinese manufacturing giant Zhejiang Qianjiang, sharing parts with the Benelli 302. The activities surrounding the restructuring of Harley-Davidson, including the scaling down of its India operations, are expected to be complete in the next 12 months. We'll update this story with details as we get them.


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