Harley strives for a better position in big bike segment in India

American cult bike manufacturer Harley-Davidson on March 14 said it wants to further consolidate its position in the over 1,600-cc segment in India, which it currently dominates with over 90 percent market share.

The company recently released its 1200-cc model Forty-Eight Special in India priced at Rs 10.98 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). It currently holds four models in its big bike (over 1,600-cc) portfolio in the country.

Harley-Davidson India Managing Director Sajeev Rajasekharan told PTI that they would definitely be consolidating in the big bike segment.

Sales in the 1,600-cc plus bike segment in India currently stands at over 600 units annually. Rajasekharan said last few years have witnessed steady growth in terms of big bikes; and the company has been able to gain a strong foothold in this segment.

Harley expect the market to grow from this year as the trends shown positive signs. More models are there and road infrastructure has improved. There is a lot of awareness and these factors could trigger further growth in the market.

Last year, Harley-Davidson had reported sale of over 3,000 units in the country. The company’s bikes are priced between Rs 5.33 lakh (Street 750) and Rs 50.53 lakh (CVO Limited).

Responding to the time-frame for introducing small capacity bikes in India, Rajasekharan said there hasn’t been much to share on that.

Last year, Harley-Davidson planned to design a 200-500 cc motorcycle through a strategic alliance in Asia which will be used to primarily fuel its growth in India.

While introducing its Livewire electric bike, he said that they would launch it in the US and Europe; and when infrastructure is developed, while Harley would launch the model in other markets as well.

He said that there has been a lot of demands for electric mobility in India and the company is positive about the changes to make the environment more conducive for launch of such vehicles.

On March 14, Harley introduced an updated version of its touring bike Street Glide Special priced at Rs 30.53 lakh .

Speaking this new edition, Rajasekharan said that bikes nowadays come with an upgraded 1,868-cc engine and other accessories.

The model is one of the three touring models that Harley-Davidson sells in country right now. Other two have already been updated and launched.

Speaking about the company completing ten years in India, Rajasekharan said this it was just the beginning as they have been the cruiser of choice for many riders. He added that along with the all-new Forty-Eight Special, the company takes its motorcycle line up in the country to 17 models.

He also said that in the past ten years one of every two big bikes sold in the country has been a Harley.

Stressing on company’s plans for the current year, Rajasekharan said Harley would add two more dealerships during the course of the year taking the total count to 33 from current 31 outlets.

Rajasekharan concluded by saying that they plan on adding three lifestyle stores driving the count to 10. In its tenth year of operations in India, Harley would have 43 touch points in all.

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