Hero MotoCorp to develop and sell motorcycles under the Harley-Davidson brand
Putting a rest to all the speculations on the Harley-Davidson Hero MotoCorp partnership in the country, both the two-wheeler brands announced a joint statement, stating that Hero MotoCorp will be offering sales and service support for Harley-Davidson motorcycles in India. Additionally, the release also mentioned, as part of a Licensing agreement, Hero MotoCorp will develop and sell a range of premium motorcycles under the Harley-Davidson brand name.
A small-capacity Harley-Davidson motorcycle with large volumes should be an important offering for the company
Much like the arrangement that TVS Motor Company has with BMW Motorrad, for the development and manufacturing of the G 310 R and the G 310 GS motorcycles or the alliance between Bajaj Auto and Triumph Motorcycles, Hero MotoCorp too is expected to have a similar setting with Harley-Davidson. Though more details on the same are expected to follow soon, we believe the scale of operations and the economy of manufacturing of Hero MotoCorp will be suitable for Harley-Davidson to enter the volume segment of motorcycles, given the expertise of Hero MotoCorp in this regard.
Entry-level Harley-Davidson / Flagship Hero MotoCorp motorcycle
Earlier this year, HD joined forces with Chinese motorcycle maker, Zhejiang Qianjiang, which is the mother company to Benelli. The first-ever offering from this partnership could be a motorcycle based on the Qianjiang QJ350 and will be reportedly sold as Benelli 350 and the Harley-Davidson 338. At this point, it is too early to assume if this entry-level Harley Davidson motorcycle will also be manufactured by Hero MotorCorp or if the latter will develop an all-new platform for H-D. We believe there are strong chances of the latter. While the Indian two-wheeler giant has always had a strong foothold in the commuter segment, this tie-up should help Hero MotoCorp enter the premium space, provided the partnership allows Hero to develop motorcycles for its own brand.
Markets outside India
Presently, the agreement mentions of Hero MotoCorp offering sales and service network for Harley-Davidson in India. However, Hero MotoCorp does have a strong presence in Asia, Africa, and South and Central American markets. We believe this will also give leverage to Harley-Davidson to enter these markets using the Hero MotoCorp network. There's a strong chance of this happening as Harley Rewire plan mentioned of re-evaluation of strategies to narrow focus and invest in the markets, products and customer segments that offer the most profit and potential. Further, we also believe that Harley-Davidson will retail the Hero developed motorcycles through its dealership network in the international markets as well.
Existing Harley-Davidson network in India
This arrangement is mutually beneficial for both companies and riders in India, as it brings together the iconic Harley-Davidson brand with the strong distribution network and customer service of Hero MotoCorp. states the official release. In the last release sent by Harley-Davidson, it clearly mentions that the existing dealerships will continue to support till the end of 2020, which marks the end of the contract term. Post that, Hero MotoCorp will take over and run the complete distribution network. The Indian two-wheeler major will be responsible for appointing new dealerships as well as re-evaluating the existing dealerships.