With nimbler bikes, Harley sharpens Asia focus to revive growth

31 July, 2018, 17:50 | Author: Natasha Holloway
  • Harley-Davidson Custom 1250

US-based motorcycle major Harley-Davidson on Monday said that it is developing a "small-displacement motorcycle" for India and other Asia markets. It will be a radical departure for a company as big as Harley-Davidson's magnitude and it does not just mean covering all riding communities.

"Competitors have entered into various alliances and partnerships to accelerate the pace of market entry (in India)", the company said.

Harley-Davidson, known for its car-alarm triggering engine rumble, said LiveWire will have no clutch and no gears.

"The company believes its accelerated strategy is in line with and reinforces its objectives to drive revenue growth and expand operating margins", it said. They'll be what the company called its first Adventure Touring motorcycle, the Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250, as well as a 1250cc custom model and a 975cc Streetfighter model. In a fast-changing world with new consumer demands, these accelerated actions support Harley-Davidson's 2027 objectives with increased focus and strategic investment to reinvigorate the USA business while accelerating the pace of global growth.

Leading the electric motorcycle market by launching Harley-Davidson's first electric motorcycle, LiveWire, in 2019 - the first in a broad, no-clutch "twist and go" portfolio of electric two-wheelers created to establish the company as the leader in the electrification of the sport.

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Sales have fallen in the past year, and Harley-Davidson stock has declined 15 percent so far this year. For this market, Harley intends to develop a much smaller bike, in the range of 250 to 500 cubic centimeters.

It will also open smaller storefronts in urban areas to broaden its appeal.

Speaking with CNBC, Levatich said that riding the LiveWire "is a different feeling".

In a video released by the company, titled "More Roads to Harley-Davidson", you can clearly see Shedjale working on the design of the bike, and also working on a clay model. With India being at the fore of it, we can expect Harley-Davidson to reach out for the people who fancied the brand only from bedroom wall posters and make them ride it in reality. This puts it the US-based company, famed for its cruiser-style of motorcycles, in direct competition with Eicher Motors-owned Royal Enfield-the market leader in the 200-500cc motorcycle segment in India.

It also plans to add "lighter, smaller and more accessible products" through 2022 in its electric motorcycles portfolio.

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