Harley Davidson leaving India: Harley Davidson conformed to quit the world’s largest motorcycle market.


Harley Davidson leaving India: Harley Davidson conformed to quit the world’s largest motorcycle market.

The US-based iconic luxury motorcycle company Harley Davidson was founded in 1903 and became very popular and has a good customer base all over the world. No other brand competes with Harley Davidson in the luxury cruiser bike segment.

Harley Davidson came to India a decade ago and gained popularity and a loyal fan base. But the company has confirmed that it will drop its operations in the Indian motorcycle market. For the last few years, Harley Davidson failed to gain popularity among the young customers of India. The company has sold less than 30,000 units in India where Royal Enfield sells double of that every month. But the main question is what went wrong that the company is pulling out the world’s largest motorcycle market.

Let’s see: 

Harley Davidson isn’t meant for India

As we already know, India is the biggest auto market in the world. Last year approximately 17 million motorcycles including scooters were sold in India. This number is enough to show how Indian motorcycle market is the largest motorcycle market in the world. 

Most two-wheeler owners own motorcycle less than 150cc engines, these low cc bikes are cheaper and easy to maintain. Whereas, Harley Davidson bikes come with a high price tag. It's not only about the price of the bike, maintenance of the Harley motorcycles is also not an easy job. Maintenance cost of the bike in India is a deal breaker for many customers. Also, the spare parts of the Harley Davidson’s bike are not easily available in India. This is why Indian customers are not really getting attracted towards Harley Davidson.

Royal Enfield price

Royal Enfield 650cc bikes are very popular in India and the first choice for the customers who want to buy a big bike under Rs 4 lakhs. Harley Davidson’s most affordable bike is the Street 750 which cost around Rs 4.7 lakh. In India, the majority of motorcycle buyers don’t want to buy very expensive bikes like Harley. Indian customers want a motorcycle with an attractive price tag and low maintenance cost; this is where Harley Davidson struggles. Brands like Royal 

Enfield, Benelli, Jawa produce motorcycles more reliable than the Harley Davidson. Motorcycles like Thunderbird 350-500, Interceptor 650 from the Royal Enfield, Jawa 42 and Benelli-Imperiale 400 are very popular in India and cost less than the Harley Street 750 and are easy to maintain. This is why pricing is one of the major reasons for Harley Davidson failure in Indian motorcycle market.

No other brand support

We saw other motorcycle brands like KTM, BMW and Triumph how they tie-up with other motorcycle brands which are already doing very well in Indian motorcycle market. KTM and Triumph are with Bajaj Auto and BMW did tie-up with TVS. Harley Davidson chose to remain a lone wolf. Though we heard tittle-tattle that Harley may collaborate with Hero MotoCorp but there is no official confirmation from Harley Davidson itself. It would have been different stories if Harley collaborated with any other famous motorcycle brand in India.

Performance not suitable for Indians

Probably the major problem with Harley Davidson motorcycles is their poor engine performance while long rides. Harley Davidson motorcycles are meant for long rides, Harley owners love to accelerate their bike on lengthy roads but there are so many dissatisfied customers of the Harley Davidson. There are so many complaints about their engine, breaks, clutch and fuel pump. According to customers Harley engines overheat, brake pads worn out too soon, clutch plates are also not up to the mark.

Lack of satisfied customers and poor service back-up forcing Harley to quit Indian two-wheeler market.

Due to the difficult business environment and improper marketing techniques Harley Davidson failed to make a major mark in Indian motorcycle market.



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