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Harley-Davidson looks to small towns for growth in India

08 Jan 2012 , 11:29

New Delhi: Iconic bike-maker Harley-Davidson is looking beyond India’s metros for growth and is eyeing smaller towns to achieve its target for 40 percent of sales to come from outside the US by 2014.

The company’s Indian arm, Harley-Davidson India, which currently has seven dealerships, is now looking to open new ones in Kolkata, Jaipur and Kochi.

“Gradually, we have been ramping up our operations. We have also been able to increase the number of models assembled in India to five. There is a latent demand for our bikes in smaller towns across India apart from metros. So we will be going there,” Harley-Davidson India Director-Marketing Sanjay Tripathi told PTI.

He said while metros would continue to account for more sales, the smaller towns “will help in expanding the Harley-Davidson culture”.

Iconic bike-maker Harley-Davidson is looking beyond India's metros for growth and is eyeing smaller towns to achieve its target.Naresh Sharma/Firstpost

In the first quarter of 2012, the company will open a showroom in Kolkata. This will be followed by new showrooms at Jaipur and Kochi by the fourth quarter of the calendar year, Tripathi added.

“Since the time we formally entered India in July, 2010, we have sold over 1,000 bikes, which is a good number, and we are confident of India also contributing significantly as Harley-Davidson targets 40 percent of sales to come from outside of the US by 2014,” he said.

At present, about 35.7 percent of Harley-Davidson’s sales come from outside the US, he added.

Currently, the company sells 15 models in India, out of which five are assembled at its facility at Bawal, in Haryana, which is the bike-maker’s second plant outside the US after Brazil.

Asked if the company plans to assemble more models in India, Tripathi said any move would depend on market demand, just as in the case of the recent decision by the company to assemble two of its models, ‘Street Bob’ and ‘Super Glide Custom’, in the country.

Earlier, the company was assembling only its ‘Superflow’, ‘Iron 883′ and ‘Forty Eight’ models at the Bawal plant.


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