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Hero Tells Harley: You Got A Friend In Me


Yeah, the deal is likely to go through soon

After a tumultuous 2020, Harley-Davidson might get a little respite with its proposed alliance with Hero MotoCorp. The two manufacturers are likely to strike up a partnership to handle Harley’s Indian operations henceforth. That means all 33 Harley-Davidson dealers in the country will now be taken care of by Hero.

What about manufacturing, you ask? The details on that still seem a little sketchy but don’t rule out Hero expanding one of its facilities to accommodate Harley-Davidson’s CKD business. As of now, Harley has pulled out of the manufacturing side of things in India, thus bringing an end to the Street 750 and Street Rod. The Street 750 was being sold at heavy discounts in the past few months as Harley-Davdison was looking to clear off the remaining stock of bikes.

As tempting as it sounds, to manage the iconic American brand in India, Hero will have its work cut out for itself. This is the first time it will partner up with a company that primarily focuses on premium motorcycles. And it doesn’t want a repeat of the disastrous stint with ex-Harley offspring, Buell. Hopefully, Hero could possibly help Harley-Davidson expand to more than just 33 touchpoints. Harley has been stagnant in recent years in that department with the likes of other big bike players enticing Indian audiences with their products.

Also Read: Is Harley Going To Be Hero’s Newest Buddy?

Harley-Davidson’s seemingly one-track product portfolio too has a lot to do with its downfall in India. The manufacturer has always been seen as a brand that does just cruisers and nothing else. Even bikes like the Street Rod, Fat Bob and Low Rider S, which are Harley’s performance motorcycles, do not deviate a lot from their cruiser lineage. Harley had the potential to change that perception, at least in emerging markets, with the small bike project which was being developed in collaboration with QJ Motors. Sadly, that small bike project might not see light of day at all. Even if it does, India will not be on the cards.

There is a glimmer of hope, though. Hero seems to be pushing Harley-Davidson for a bike with an engine displacement between 300-600cc. Hero is already working on its own 350/450cc product which is likely to first appear in an adventure avatar. Perhaps, Harley could use that as a base for the Indian bike. Perhaps a Harley-Davidson Pan India 300? Sorry for the awful joke.

Let’s hope that these two giants ink the deal soon enough so that current HoG owners can breathe peacefully. Stick around to ZigWheels for more development on the partnership.

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