Last year in October, Hero Motocorp donned its armour, helmed a white stallion and arrived to save Harley-Davidson’s sinking ship in India after the iconic American bikemaker announced its exit from the Indian market. Although their deal stated that Hero MotoCorp will be looking after H-D’s retail operations in India, we couldn’t help but wonder at the possibility of both the companies joining forces to develop a new product. And now, the same has been confirmed by a senior Hero MotoCorp official. According to his statement, Hero MotoCorp is gearing up to launch a Harley-Davidson model with retro styling to enter the segment of premium motorcycles.
Responding to a question on the future of Harley-Davidson in India during an analyst call, Hero MotoCorp CFO Niranjan Gupta said, “There are two legs to the Harley tie up strategy. One of course is that we are the sales distributors for Harley bikes in India. We have 14 dealers, around 30 touch points, and that is going well. The second part of the strategy is to launch a bike in that retro segment, which is almost one-third of the overall premium segment out of the profit pool.”
“I dare say that the segment probably has around 60 to 70 per cent of the profit pool of the premium segment, so that is the second leg of the strategy, to launch in that segment, and clearly Harley is an iconic brand and the work is going on in full swing on that,” Gupta further added.
What could it be?
It is worth noting here that under Harley’s ‘More Roads to Harley-Davidson’ strategy, they partnered with China’s Qianjiang—the owner of Benelli, to co-develop a premium 300cc cruiser. Visually speaking, it looks like a proper Harley, albeit in a miniature form. It was later revealed that it is going to be powered by a 296cc, V-twin engine that makes around 30hp.
The claimed kerb weight, meanwhile, stands at 163kg. Now it remains to be seen how different this ‘retro Harley’ by Hero MotoCorp is going to be as compared to the one that is set to arrive in China. Watch this space for more updates regarding this rumoured offering from Harley-Davidson.