What was once one of the most desirable motorcycle brands in the world, Harley-Davidson isn’t as popular these days as it was. As motorcycling genres evolved and expanded, Harley-Davidson’s tramlined range offered a limited choice to enthusiasts, while other brands kept on dishing out newer and varied experiences.
Yet, until recently, the American brand topped the charts when it came to premium motorcycle sales in India. The brand, which was once bullish about the Indian market, is now said to be downsizing its operations in India and according to some reports, has also slashed production at its facility in Haryana. The brand’s Indian MD has been shifted to Singapore, which will now act as the new headquarter for Asian markets.
Harley-Davidson’s new CEO Joechen Zeitz unveiled a strategy called ‘The Rewire’, which will help the manufacturer work lean and focus on core markets, where the brand can foresee revival. For the uninitiated, Harley-Davidson posted a $92 million net loss in the second quarter of this year and sales have been dismal even in the much-important home market.
To enhance profits and make the brand more accessible in markets like India, the company introduced entry-level models like the Street 750, which offered the Harley experience at a lower price. The bike did well initially, however, sales started dwindling after the arrival of more modern choices. Harley’s new CEO has plans to refocus on premium products, which are still popular among fans and cut the existing model lineup by 30%. The plan also includes withdrawal from under-performing markets and eliminating inefficiencies in manufacturing processes.
Beyond the current ‘Rewire’ plan, another 5-year-long ‘Hardwire’ restructuring plan is said to be in the printer. While there is a lot of uncertainty if products like the all-electric Livewire will make it back to dealerships, the Pan America 1250 has been confirmed for introduction in 2021. This dual-sport machine, along with the Bronx, make use of Harley’s brand new liquid-cooled V-twin motor and both choose to be different, compared to traditional Harley machines. For the Indian market, the brand is yet to release an official statement about its future operations here. We’ll bring you all the updates once we hear from them.