Harley-Davidson Inc is scouting for a partner with a manufacturing and distribution footprint to make lightweight motorcycles for use in India and other Asian markets, a top company executive said. The Milwaukee-based company, known for its heavy touring motorcycles, said last week it would launch a 250cc to 500cc motorcycle in India to boost sales in the world's largest two-wheeler market as it grapples with an aging customer base and falling sales in the United States.
That could mean Harley will not necessarily make the new motorcycles at its own facility in India, and may instead use a local partner, McAllister said. He declined to discuss names or details of potential partners. Helped by rising discretionary spending, motorcycles sales in India are experiencing double-digit percentage growth, compared with tepid recent consumer demand in the United States. Lured by the enticing growth prospects, British motorcycle maker Triumph and Germany's BMW have partnered with Indian companies Bajaj Auto and TVS Motor, respectively.
Industry sales are projected to grow 25 percent a year in Asia's third-largest economy in the 250cc to 500cc segment through 2021. Harley expects the lightweight segment to act as a "bridge" to its brand, giving it a chance to make deeper inroads into a market where over 20 million two-wheelers are sold annually. It hopes to expand its operating margins and add up to $250 million in operating profit in 2022.
Article Source : NDTVAuto