Harley-Davidson and Hero: Indians take over India business

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Harley-Davidson and Hero: Indians take over India business


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Harley-Davidson and Hero: Indians take over India business

Harley-Davidson and Hero
Indians take over American business in India

After Harley-Davidson withdrew from the Indian market, Hero is now taking over the American’s production and sales activities.

Uli Baumann


Hero MotoCorp doesn’t have a name like Donnerhall in Europe, but Hero is India’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer, and that’s saying something. Pawan Munjal, Hero chairman, told the Times of India in February 2020 that they would be open to a partnership with the American motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson if they wanted one. So far, however, there have been no advances from the Americans.

Hero takes over India business

But at the end of October the situation changed. Just last month Harley-Davidson announced that the company will cease sales and manufacturing operations in India. A strategic decision that has greatly unsettled brand fans and customers. Now the Americans are announcing a new partnership with Hero. The Indians take over the Harley-Davidson sales and service network in India. The new agreement states that Hero will also sell parts, accessories, apparel and merchandise through a network of brand-exclusive Harley-Davidson dealers and the country’s existing own dealer network.

As part of the new joint venture, Hero is also developing a number of new motorcycles under the Harley-Davidson to be sold. The contracting parties did not provide any further details. However, they are likely to be small-volume entry-level models that are mainly geared towards various Southeast Asian markets.

Harley already has a China partner

Harley-Davidson itself had already announced in 2018 that it would bring new models in the displacement classes 250 to 500 cm³, which are to be offered primarily on Asian markets and explicitly in India. They want to look for a local partner for the production and development of the new models. As early as 2019, Harley-Davidson entered into a partnership with the Chinese two-wheeler manufacturer Qianjiang, Benelli’s parent company. The first model of this cooperation has already been presented. With the new one small Harley for Asia it is a slightly modified Benelli 302S.

The fact that large motorcycle manufacturers are looking for a local partner in India or China is neither unusual nor new. Just a few days ago, Triumph announced its collaboration with Bajaj. KTM and Bajaj are already working closely together. In China, the Austrians are linked with CF Moto. BMW has found a local partner in India in TVS, while MV Agusta plans to develop and manufacture two-wheelers in China with Loncin.

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