Harley Davidson to bite more into the Asian market with new 250cc to 500cc motorcycle
Will enter developing markets through strategic allianceby Sagar, on
Harley-Davidson seems to be slowly shifting gears post its struggle to register any success stories due to its current downward trend in the market off-late. It has become a worldwide brand now after aggressive expansion that took place in the past decade, and to keep things from drifting away, HD dawned these new concepts upon us showing what the future holds in its sac.
And now, as part of its brand new “More Roads to Harley-Davidson” growth plan through 2022, HD has showcased multiple concepts under electric motorcycles, adventure-tourers, customs, and streetfighters being prominent ones. Surprisingly, Harley is also developing a more accessible, small-displacement product for the Asian markets.
India is in the highest rankings in terms of growing economy and recently became the biggest market in the world for two-wheelers. The market in India sees an upward trend ever since 2010, thanks to the improved rural infrastructure and rising income levels, affordability has become a norm for people from small towns and villages too. Close to 20 million two-wheelers are being sold yearly, most of which are commuter motorcycles under the 500cc segment.
Harnessing such potential, Harley Davidson will be fueling its growth in developing markets like India and China through strategic alliance and will be sharing its global growth road map through 2022. The firm is currently planning a 250cc to 500cc motorcycle to be manufactured in India or their new Thailand plant.
Harley says that this move is for “broader distribution intended to fuel Harley-Davidson’s customer access and growth in India, one of the largest, fastest growing markets in the world, and other Asia markets.”
Of course, the pricing will be imminently low and so will be the margins. But with more a country of 1.3 billion people, the increase in demand for premium motorcycles has been on the rise constantly for over a decade and shows no signs of coming down. Similar strategies were involved in the Chinese markets too.
Harley is also eyeing on expanding the Chinese foothold by leveraging its existing portfolio into updating and adding more models and with the Thailand factory in operation, HD will look at making the most of this by assembling all products here and shipping it to China. This will lower the prices of their models making it more accessible than ever before, thanks to the lowered duties.
All of this comes in as a surprising change in corporate stance, Harley Davidson has gone on record showcasing its future plans over the next five years in great detail. “We have typically been very conservative,” says Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Michelle Kumbier.
Blowing the door wide open, HD gave us a peek at all their new products coming in the next five years including new internal combustion engines (500cc, 750cc, 975cc and 1,250cc) that will go onto 16 new models, all of which will be liquid-cooled, 60-degree V-twins with DOHC.
The first to hit the streets will, however, be none of these. Harley Davidson will be instead launching its first electric motorcycle, LiveWire, in 2019. It will be the first in a broad, no-clutch “twist and go” portfolio of products that will put the company right in the center of the electric race.