Harley Davidson launching in India


Legendary American motorcycle maker Harley Davidson is all ready to setup shop in India coming week
Just a day stands between America’s most successful motorcycle-maker from gracing the Indian shores. Yes, we are talking about the iconic and cult brand Harley Davidson, which has enticed and charmed over a million bikers around the world and it continues to do so with the same enthusiasm and energy that it had 108 years back when William S. Harley made his first blueprint drawing of an engine designed to fit into a bicycle.
Harley Davidson has officially announced on its website that the company will make its foray in the fast-emerging and promising Indian market with its range of elite cruiser motorcycles. The model-range and its pricing are still under wraps as the product is yet to be launched. However this is a clear indication of the impact the recent economic showdown has had on the American economy. The US auto giants are now focusing on developing markets such as ours in order to reap the maximum possible benefits they can, to cover up on the lost ground and tap the potential of an emerging economy.
The import route for bikes above 800cc was opened in mid-2007 when the Indian government traded mangoes for Harley Davidson motorcycles. Yes, you read it right. For last 18 years, the Indian mangoes were banned in the US since the American government believed that the Indian farmers were using too many pesticides. In April 2007, the US government lifted the ban on Indian mangoes which meant that the Indian farmers could now be entitled to farm subsidies. In return, the Indian government revised the rule of importing high-capacity powered two-wheelers to India allowing bikes above 800cc to be imported legally in the Indian market.
However, the excise duties charged by the Indian government on 800cc and above capacity imported motorcycles are extremely difficult to overcome in order to gain a manageable profit margin. Hence Harley Davidson, which was the key factor in opening up the import route, held back its foray into India in 2007. The Japanese bike-maker Yamaha was the first one to make use of the import trade policy to launch its flagship model the YZF-R1 and its street-fighter model, the MT-01. Suzuki and Honda have followed suit by bringing in their international flagships to India and now Harley Davidson is all geared up and ready to roll into the country with its extensive range of life-style cruiser motorcycles.