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  • Harley Davidson 338R Patent Images Leak – To Be Produced By Hero In India?

    The Harley Davidson 338R will have Asia and Europe as its primary markets but it remains to be seen what the company has in store for its future in India
    Ever since Jochen Zeitz took over as Harley Davidson’s CEO in July 2020, there have been sea of changes, most of which involved rolling back on the aggressive market and product expansion plans his predecessor announced. Under “The Rewire” strategy, the American cruiser brand has decided to trim its product portfolio by 30% and this also affects the ones that are in the pipeline.
    Harley Davidson 338R

    The Harley Davidson 338R, widely referred by the international media as the “baby Harley“, has been in the news for quite a while now but the brand’s course correction put its prospects into uncertainty. However, the recent spyshots and leaked patent sketches strongly indicate that the most affordable Harley has managed to escape the restructuring process and is on its way to the production line.
    The 338R is an atypical Harley Davidson because it is neither a cruiser nor does it feature a big displacement engine. Developed in association with China’s Qianjiang Group, the 338R shares its platform with Qianjiang QJ350 and Benelli 302S. The motorcycle adopts flat-track racer body style. Salient features include a slender fuel tank, heavily contoured seat, a exposed trellis frame and alloy wheels.

    The Harley Davidson 338R will be powered by a 338 cc parallel-twin engine (final confirmation of the displacement is awaited) which is reported to generate 43 hp (5 hp more than the 300 cc engine of Benelli 302S). Transmission is a 6-speed unit.
    The motorcycle sits on inverted telescopic front forks and monoshock rear suspension. Wheels, braking system, swing arm etc come from the Benelli 302S and QJ350.

    Target Markets
    As a part of its new strategy, Harley Davidson has decided to focus only on around 50 highly profitable markets across the world. This meant withdrawing from several low-volume markets including India. However, Asia will be the primary market for the entry-level Harley Davidson motorcycle. The company has hinted that it is working on a new business model for India. This could mean, entering into a partnership with a local entity to manufacture and retail its 338R but things are too early to speculate on this front.
    The Harley Davidson 338R will emerge as an important volume generator for the brand, not only in Asia, but also in Europe where medium displacement motorcycles cater to budding riders with A2 license.
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  • Hero MotoCorp Likely To Manufacture Harley Davidson Motorcycles In India

    Hero MotoCorp looks the likely candidate to continue Harley Davidson’s operation in India
    A few days ago we received the heartbreaking news of motorcycling giant Harley Davidson quitting India. The company failed to increase their sales in India and that has forced the bike maker to make this tough decision. After a decade of unfruitful returns, the company shut down all its manufacturing and sales operations in India.

    The Milwaukee-based motorcycle brand on Thursday announced that it is shutting down its manufacturing plant in India. According to FADA, the closure of Harley Davidson’s operations in India could lead up to over 2000 job losses. However, that might not be the end of the road for the iconic brand in India.
    What this deal could mean?
    As per reports, Hero MotoCorp is close to inking a deal with Harley Davidson which will grant the distribution rights of the latter’s products in India. This distribution arrangement will allow the Indian bikemaker to import and sell Harley-Davidson bikes in India. However, there has been no official word from either of the companies.

    Hero MotoCorp could also manufacture Harley Davidson motorcycles in India. They have no plans to takeover the Bawal plant of Harley, as they have production capacity at their existing plants. This could likely mean that the Street 750 and the upcoming Street 350 will likely be produced in India by Hero MotoCorp.
    A Harley official was recently quoted saying, “This is not a permanent exit. We are evaluating all options to maintain a presence in the Indian market after December.” Currently, both companies are working out the modalities of managing Harley’s 33 outlets in India. Confirmation about the same could be received in the next fifteen days.
    Harley in India
    HD arrived in India about a decade back. At first, they only sold CBUs. Later, Harley Davidson started assembly operations and brought completely knocked down (CKD) kits imported from the USA at their facility in Bawal, Haryana. The company is currently in the process of laying off its workers and informing its dealers and suppliers about reimbursements and future plans. In a decade of operations in India, the American marque could only sell 25,000 units of its motorcycles till date.
    Hero MotoCorp, on the other hand is the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer and therefore, it is fitting that the company takes over Harley’s operations in India. However, industry experts believe that Hero is not looking to take over Harley’s Bawal facility or any other asset as it is confident of contract manufacturing and assembly of Harley motorcycles in India.
    If the deal does materialise, then Harley could continue its operations in India at a considerably lower cost structure than before. Harley Davidson is currently evaluating options to continue offering servicing and spare parts to its existing customers. Reports suggest an official announcement could be made within 2 weeks.
    Other Manufacturers who quit India
    The Street 750 has been the most popular bike from the American bike manufacturer in India. Harley Davidson becomes the latest bandwagon of automotive manufacturers to quit India. The others include General Motors, Fiat, UM Motorcycles, MAN and Scania. More

  • Harley Davidson India Dealers Were Kept In The Dark – 2,000 Job Losses

    Harley Davidson has officially exited from India – Shut down their manufacturing plant
    Harley Davidson’s exit from India may have limited financial impact on the country, but it could be a negative sign for investors. Such developments may be a cause for concern in the current scenario where the government is working to kick-start the economy and attract foreign investment.
    2k job losses possible

    According to FADA (Federation of Automobile Dealers Association), Harley’s exit can lead to around 2k job losses across its dealerships. Around 70 employees deployed at the company’s assembly plant in Bawal, Haryana will also have to start looking for new work opportunities.
    Speaking about the development, FADA President Vinkesh Gulati said that luxury two-wheeler dealerships usually employ around 50 people. As there are 35 Harley dealerships, around 2k dealer staff could lose their jobs.

    In financial terms, Harley’s exit would result in losses of around Rs 130 crore. Setting up a dealership for luxury brand such as Harley costs around Rs 3-4 crore. With 35 dealerships going out of business, the overall capital loss will be nearly Rs 110 – 130 crore.
    Dealers kept in the dark
    Talking about dealerships, their main complaint is that Harley took an abrupt decision and did not provide any information to them in advance. As a result, they are now staring at an uncertain future. Mr Gulati said that such developments happen because currently there is no Franchise Protection Act in the country.
    As of now, Harley has not officially informed its dealerships about the decision to close the assembly plant. Harley said that its dealerships will continue to serve their customers throughout the period of the contract term. Harley is also in touch with customers and has assured that they will be updated about the next steps.
    Harley’s India exit is part of its global business restructuring plan wherein the company will be reducing its product portfolio and exiting from unviable markets. Harley will focus on markets with potential, ones that can deliver targeted profits. The company also aims to reduce its global workforce. Around 500 employees are expected to be terminated and close to 700 positions globally will be eliminated.
    Search for a local partner
    It has been reported that Harley is looking for a local partner that can import and sell the company’s bikes in the Indian market. Sources have revealed that Harley is currently in advanced talks with Hero MotoCorp, India’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer. However, both Harley and Hero MotoCorp have refused to confirm this. We do hope such an arrangement becomes a possibility, as it will create a win-win for all stakeholders including Harley fans and dealerships. More

  • Harley Davidson Exits India, Employees To Be Laid Off – Official

    No update on what will happen to existing dealer networks or customers of Harley Davidson motorcycles in India
    Today, Harley Davidson announced their official exit from the Indian market. Harley Davidson’s announcement of closing its manufacturing operations in India and reducing the size of its sales office in Gurgaon does not come as a surprise. Recently, the American cruiser brand revealed that it is withdraw from several international markets and focus only on 50 odd highly profitable ones.
    Harley Davidson India

    With only 2,500 units sold during last financial year, the Indian operations weren’t up to the HQ’s expectations. To make the matter’s worse, the outlook has been strongly affected by the ongoing pandemic situation. So, as a part of Harley Davidson’s ‘Rewire‘ medium-term restructuring strategy, the India operations will be wrapped up. The move will lead to job losses of approximately 70 employees in India.
    Harley Davidson operates an assembly plant in Bawal, Haryana which primarily builds Street 750, the brand’s best selling model in the country by far. In addition to India, HD is expected to walk out of several other markets.
    Harley Davidson India said that they are evaluating options to continue serving their existing customers for servicing and spares parts.
    The Rewire strategy
    Under the new leadership, Harley Davidson has made a major course correction by scaling back the aggressive expansion plans. The company now aims to focus in attention of handful of core markets and reduce its product portfolio by a good 30%. The scaling back will also affect the new models that were previously announced. For example, the Bronx 975 roadster which was destined to take on popular street fighters like the Triumph Speed Triple, Kawasaki Z900, etc., is now facing uncertainty.
    However, a recent spyshot of Harley Davidson 338 which is born out of a platform sharing partnership with China-based Qianjiang Group suggests that the entry-level motorcycle project is progressing as planned. The 338 would have given the new Royal Enfield range a run for its money in India but we guess we will never know.
    What now?
    There were reports that Harley Davidson is scouting for a viable partner in India to promote its upcoming medium displacement offerings. While there is no concrete evidence or announcements related to such a move, rumour mills indicate that Classic Legends and Hero MotoCorp are the leading contenders for a potential JV.
    If Harley Davidson can find a suitable partner in India, it could resume its operations with significantly reduced cost structure than before. If not operations, they could atleast offer servicing and spares to their existing customers. We do hope such a plan materializes. The American marque did say that it is “changing its business model in India and evaluating options to continue to serve its customers”.
    Harley Davidson joins the ever expanding list of automakers who walked out of India in the recent times. Other brands include GM, SsangYong, Fiat, UM Motorcycles, MAN and Scania. More

  • Harley Davidson scouting partner – Hero, Classic Legends (Jawa) in shortlist

    Harley and its Indian manufacturing partner are expected to have a non-equity arrangement
    Harley Davidson has been exploring for partnership opportunities in Asia to venture into cost-effective compact displacement premium motorcycle market. Not long ago, American company found a partner in China-based Zhejiang Qianjiang, the parent company of Benelli, to develop and manufacture a 350 cc twin-cylinder, badge engineered, entry-level product which is dubbed as Harley Davidson 338. Now, the company is reportedly scouting for a manufacturing partner in India to strengthen its future medium displacement portfolio.
    Contract manufacturing partner in India

    According to ET Auto, Harley Davidson is looking for a contract manufacturing partner in India who has adequate production capacity and well established vendor base. It is being reported that Classic Legends, the makers of Jawa Motorcycles, and Hero Motocorp are the top contenders to be the American cruiser brand’s local partners. However, none of the parties involved responded to the publication’s email query.
    Classic Legends which is focusing on medium displacement premium motorcycles has ample production capacity at its disposal. On paper, the brand supported by Mahindra appears to be a viable partner for Harley Davidson but the company has been struggling with delivery timelines and quality issues of its Jawa Motorcycles. Harley Davidson can’t afford to face similar problems with its volume-oriented entry level products that primarily target India and India-like markets in Asia.

    Hero Motocorp with its unparalleled scale and interest in establishing a presence in premium segment emerges as an interesting option for Harley Davidson. Hero Motocorp has previously gone on record to state that it is open to partnership with global brands to explore the medium displacement motorcycle segment. The Indian two wheeler giant has a comfortable market leadership in the commuter motorcycle segment but has zero presence in medium displacement space and this would change with Harley Davidson partnership.
    With a right partner, Harley Davidson would be able to drive down fixed costs, accelerate sourcing process of its upcoming entry level products. Continuing production on its own will make it challenging for the brand to achieve the scale required to arrive at a competitive price point.
    Harley Davidson’s restructuring
    With new top management, Harley Davidson has scaled back significantly on its aggressive turnaround plan announced last year. Under the new CEO, the company is planning to withdraw from less profitable markets and reduce its product portfolio by 30%.
    This may include axing a few future products even before they could materialize. However, the medium displacement motorcycle project is likely to proceed as per plan considering that this segment is growing globally.
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  • Harley Davidson 338R Spied Undisguised For The First Time

    While Harley Davidson as a brand is more prominently known for its high-end bobbers, the bike manufacturer has also been developing an entry-level bike for masses
    In recent times, American bike maker Harley-Davidson’s grip in the market has been on the wane. Since beginning, the premium bike manufacturer has positioned itself as a brand that primarily caters to a niche segment of bikers. However, off late, due to the economic slowdown and various other reasons, Harleys seem to be losing their old-school charm.

    While traditional bike enthusiasts would still dig for a Harley, with each day passing new models will leave a bigger hole to the consumer’s pocket. Therefore, in light of recent events, Harley Davidson has been developing an entry-level motorcycle which will be much more affordable than its current line of products and cater to a younger audience.
    Dubbed as ‘338R’, this new bike has been the talk of the town for quite some time now. Now, we have got hold of a spied image which is supposed of the final production-spec of the 338R. From the looks of it, the bike is a lightweight naked street racer that will go well with young speed seekers.

    Harley 338R Launch Timeline
    The said image has broken cover in many social media apps. It seems that the image has been clicked at the factory site of QJ Motors, the parent company of Benelli, in China. For reference, Harley-Davidson, back in June last year, had announced its plan to develop an entry-level parallel-twin engine bike in partnership with Qianjiang Motors.
    With the fuel tank clearly sporting ‘Harley Davidson’ badging and the rear fender showcasing the ‘338R’ branding, reports suggest that it uses the same structure as that of Benelli 302S. If one looks closely at the spy shot, they can clearly view the frame set- mainframe and subframe, suspension, wheels, brakes and even the swing arm to be borrowed from 302S. However, certain changes have been made to the bodywork and the engine will bear slightly more capacity.
    The 338R is believed to be powered by a 338cc unit which is good to generate a power of 43 bhp. That’s a jump of 5 bhp from the 300cc unit employed by 302S. The engine of 338R is said to be crafted by combining the crankshaft and bottom end of the 300cc unit of 302S and the pistons and cylinders from the larger unit of 502S. The increase in power is evident due to the 13 percent increase in displacement.

    Harley 338 will share its parts, engines, chassis with Qianjiang’s QJ350
    While the American company originally announced the bike with a 338cc unit, it later renamed the prototype as ‘HD350’ suggesting its capacity had been increased further. The final detail on specifications is yet to be revealed whether it will be a 350cc unit or a 338cc unit. Either way, it won’t make much of a difference as far as output is concerned.
    Expected Launch
    This naked street racer has been developed by the company keeping in mind the Asian markets where such bikes have been raging hot. Therefore, it is unlikely to find its place in the US and other Western markets, where Harley is proudly known for its big bikes. The question arises whether this bike will make its way to India or not. With recent reports suggesting Harley Davidson shutting its operations in India by nearly 30 percent, things seem a little tricky right now. However, if it did launch and is priced competitively, it will surely find takers.
    The bike was supposed to be officially launched worldwide sometime later this year, however, chances look bleak now since the pandemic has impacted the time frame adversely.
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  • Harley Davidson Bronx 975 Deleted From Official Website – Launch Cancelled?

    Under the new management, Harley Davidson is aiming to reduce its product lineup by 30% and withdraw from several markets
    After struggling for a prolonged time, Harley Davidson announced a turnaround strategy last year dubbed ‘More Roads to Harley Davidson’ which aimed at establishing presence in new product segments and enter new markets in a bid to bring incremental sales. The primary idea is to nurture a whole new generation of Harley Davidson riders across the globe.
    Change of guard and strategy

    Integral part of this aggressive product launch plans were the new Harley Davidson PanAm 1250 adventure tourer, Bronx 975 street fighter and Asia market-specific compact displacement motorcycle dubbed as HD350. However, the American motorcycle manufacturer recently underwent a senior management change which has changed things quite a bit.
    Jochen Zeitz, the new president, CEO and Chairman of board of directors at Harley Davidson has opted to take a more conservative approach. For starters, the new head honcho dissolved the More Roads strategy and kick started an interim restructuring campaign under the ‘Rewire’ banner. As per the new plan, HD is set to cut 30% of its product portfolio and concentrate its resources on 50-odd profitable markets against the current 100-odd markets.

    This would mean, a lot of existing products and some of the proposed future products will face the axe, and the cruiser brand will withdraw from several international markets. North America, Europe and select markets in Asia will be under the company’s radar moving forward.
    Harley Davidson Bronx 975’s future
    The Harley Davidson Bronx 975 and PanAm 1250 were originally supposed to be introduced in 2020 but during a recent media interaction, Mr. Zeitz confirmed that the launch of adventure tourer will be pushed to 2021. When quizzed about the Bronx street fighter, the CEO’s non-committal response reiterated that the focus for 2021 is the adventure tourer. He went on to say that other product line related decisions will be revealed on real time basis.
    So, suffice it to say that the future of Harley Davidson Bronx 975 is uncertain as things stand now. The stylish naked motorcycle, if launched, will employ a smaller 975 cc version of PanAm’s liquid-cooled Revolution Max V-Twin motor. The power and torque figures are estimated to be slightly better than those of the popular Yamaha MT-09. Intended rivals include Kawasaki Z900, Ducati Monster 821, Triumph Street Triple, etc.
    Going by the images previously shared by the company, the Harley Davidson Bronx 975 is a good looking motorcycle with top-spec equipment. It would be a shame if it doesn’t see the production line.
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  • Harley-Davidson Street 750 prices cut by Rs 65k ahead of Plant Closure

    Harley-Davidson India plans to wind up local production and concentrate only on import models
    American motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson has not been doing well on sales in recent times. The company is undergoing a major restructuring process and as a result, it plans to exit or limit focus on certain markets outside the USA. In fact, unconfirmed statements claim that its wholly-owned Indian subsidiary, Harley-Davidson India is planning to shut down the manufacturing facility in Bawal, Haryana towards the end of next month.
    Street 750 prices to shoot up in India

    This means that the entry-level Harley-Davidson Street 750 will not be locally manufactured anymore. In other words, the most affordable Harley in India will substantially go up in pricing. Now, Harley-Davidson India has announced a discount of Rs 65,000 for its starter product.
    Ex-showroom prices currently start at Rs 4.69 lakh (varies with colour). Last year, the limited-edition Harley-Davidson Street 750 10th Anniversary was launched at a special price of Rs 5.47 lakh ex-showroom.

    The Harley-Davidson Street series debuted at 2013 EICMA show in ‘750’ format. For markets outside North America, the Harley-Davidson Street 750 is manufactured at the Bawal plant. Its lesser ‘500’ sibling is also manufactured in India even though it is not sold in the domestic market. At present, Harley-Davidson India has six products in ‘Street’ category: Street 750, Street Rod, Iron 883, Forty-Eight, Forty-Eight Special and 1200 Custom.
    Powering the Harley-Davidson Street 750 is a 749cc liquid-cooled SOHC ‘Revolution X’ V-Twin engine. It generates roughly 68bhp @ 8,750rpm and 64Nm @ 4,000rpm while mated to 6-speed transmission. The motorcycle holds 13.1 litres of fuel and weighs 233kg. Front and rear tyre specifications stand at 100/80R17 and 140/75R15, respectively.
    On the other hand, the Street 500 employs a 494cc engine (similar configuration with reduced bore) and makes about 33bhp and 40Nm of torque. In almost all other respect, it is identical to the more popular Street 750.
    There are five colour choices: Vivid Black, Performance Orange, Black Denim, Vivid Black Deluxe and Barracuda Silver Deluxe. Except for Vivid Black, all other Street 750 shades add Rs 12,000 to the price tag.
    The Milwaukee-based automaker aims to concentrate on key markets such as Europe, China and the USA to reduce further losses. Unlike its initial principles, Harley-Davidson has diluted its portfolio to smaller, more accessible choices, an adventure tourer (Pan America) and even an all-electric model dubbed LiveWire. Furthermore, it has teamed up with China’s Qianjiang Motorcycle (parent company of Benelli) to produce a 350cc twin-cylinder streetfighter — first images have leaked online. More