Harley-Davidson took almost 2 years to plan the launch of its brand retail outlets in the Indian subcontinent. And finally they are close to launching, nearly 2 years after receiving the import license for the Indian market.
The Milwaukee-based motorcycle manufacturer, which is enjoying a robust growth in international market apart from its domestic circle, will now be launching an array of its models in India apart from setting an assembly unit.
It is said that Harley Davidson has approached the foreign investment promotion board for further permissions.
“Harley-Davidson continues to lay the groundwork for possible entry into the India market and is exploring options for doing so,” said Bob Klein, director, corporate communications at Harley Davidson. He was very brief in his comments.
The company was granted permission to launch their products in India in 2007 itself but they decided otherwise as the high import duties would make the bikes too expensive.
The company would launch bikes whose price tag would range from Rs 4 – 14 lakhs via the CBU route (which will see 60% import duty) by the end of 2009. Subsequently, it may consider assembling its low-end Sportster 883 at its proposed Greenfield assembly facility (in a CKD form), although the location has not yet been finalized.
India’s ministry of shipping, road transportation and highways had earlier rejected Harley Davidson’s proposal to come to India saying that India lacked prescribed emission norms for motorcycles with an engine capacity more than 500cc. Although, after that, many bikes have been allowed imports which do have engine capacity above 500cc, which includes 1300cc Suzuki Hayabusa last November.
The FIPB will meet on 20 February to review Harley Davidson’s application. The Harley Davidson bikes are expected to hit the Indian roads by the end of 2009, and local assembling of CKD units would start in India by 2010-2011.