India’s 13-million-unit-per-year motorcycle market is comprised of mostly small-displacement models, so it sounds odd at first when manufacturers such as Harley-Davidson and Triumph enter the market with their larger-displacment models. The question quickly arises as to whether they will stick with their existing big-bore models or introduce an all-new, small-capacity model for the Indian market.
Manufacturers like the Big Four from Japan already produce smaller models for other markets so it’s a relatively easy task for them to introduce new models such as Honda‘s recently launched 109cc Dream Yuga. Harley-Davidson and Triumph may be better served going after the 350-500cc segment and face off against competitors such as Royal Enfield.
Triumph is rumored to be developing a small, single-cylinder model for its impending Indian launch but don’t expect something similar from The Motor Company.
In an interview with India’s Business Standard, Harley-Davidson India Managing Director Anoop Prakash says the Motor Company will not be developing new models smaller than its 883 Sportsters.
“We can not go below 800cc. We cannot have an India-specific product,” says Prakash. “All our products are for global markets.”
Prakash tells Business Standard Harley-Davidson is selling about 1,000 units a year in India. Harley-Davidson has a plant in India to assemble Complete Knockdown Kits for five models while 11 models are imported as completely assembled. CKD units are exempt from certain tariffs, reducing costs which translates into lower prices.
Tariffs on both CKD and fully assembled units still make Harley-Davidon’s models more expensive than Royal Enfield’s smaller and locally manufactured models, but Prakash says the Indian manufacturer is not viewed as a direct competitor.
“I think it is a great compliment for us, rather than a competition. Most of our customers are upgrading from Royal Enfield,” Prakash tells Business Standard. “For me, competition is if somebody is doing something else on a Sunday morning because I want him to experience Harley Davidson during that time.”
[Source: Business Standard]