Harley-Davidson recently announced it ambitious strategy that would take the American cruiser motorcycle brand into different segments. “More Roads to Harley-Davidson” growth plan, which will see the brand venture into adventure tourers, roadsters and entry-level performance motorcycles, is aimed to support Harley-Davidson’s 2027 objectives with increased focus and strategic investment to reinvigorate the U.S. business while accelerating the pace of international growth.
What caught our immediate attention was the fact that Harley-Davidson is planning to develop a more accessible, small-displacement (250cc to 500cc) motorcycle for Asia emerging markets through a planned strategic alliance with a manufacturer in Asia.
While the news may worry some manufacturers in the 250cc to 500cc segment of motorcycles, Rajiv Bajaj, Managing Director of Bajaj Auto is least worried. In an recent interview to CNBC-TV18, Bajaj said, “One can never underestimate any competitor and certainly not someone like Harley but I will stick my neck out and say this, I have learned, even from our own failures that the minute a brand steps out of its ‘Laxman rekha’ it’s on a very thin ice. To me, quite frankly, being a big loud motorcycle is intrinsic to Harley. A 250 cc is pipsqueak and I am not very worried about that right now.”
Meanwhile, Bajaj Auto is working with Triumph Motorcycles to co-develop a middle-weight motorcycle. The Triumph-Bajaj partnership intends to introduce a relatively affordable motorcycle in the 250-500cc segment and the first product is expected to be production ready by 2020.
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