Harley-Davidson to exit world's biggest bike market

Daniel Fowler
September 25, 2020

"The lifestyle element that goes with owning a Harley bike is also not fully developed in India yet". "Including previously disclosed restructuring charges, the Company expects total restructuring expenses associated with Rewire restructuring actions approved through September 23, 2020 of approximately $169 million in 2020", Harley Davidson told the SEC.

Things have been tough for automobile manufacturers for the past few months but it seems like iconic American motorcycle brand, Harley-Davidson has faced the worst brunt of it.

The company, however, is certain on significantly reducing sales operations in the country, said the above-mentioned sources, adding that Harley-Davidson is likely to announce future plans for India in the coming days.

Including previously disclosed restructuring charges, the company expects total restructuring expenses associated with Rewire restructuring actions approved through September 23, 2020, of approximately United States dollars 169 million in 2020, the filing said.

Harley-Davidson was among the first premium motorcycle brands which started their operations in India. The company confirmed its plans to exit the Indian market in a press statement. Sure. I am open to the right kind of match...

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The company will incur a restructuring cost of $75 million, including one-time termination benefits of $3 million, non-current asset adjustments of $5 million, and contract termination and other costs of $67 million. This made the Indian motorcycle market one of the worst performing worldwide markets for Harley-Davidson with the overall downturn in its global sales and the Cover-19 pandemic. However, there was no significant information on how Harley-Davidson will support its existing customer base in India.

Harley has an assembly plant at Bawal in Haryana, where it assembles completely knocked-down (CKD) motorcycles for local sales.

US President Donald Trump had called India "tariff king" and complained of the country's high-tariffs for imports of the iconic motorcycle. Such a partnership would have allowed Harley to make bikes with smaller engines, which would be cheaper and possibly more popular. It looks like India will no longer get a taste of these offerings when, or if, they push through.

Even so, that's not an insignificant number of machines that will be going by the wayside in 2021 with the Sporster range comprising eight models - the 1200 Custom, Forty-Eight Special, Forty-Eight, Iron 883, Iron 1200, Roadster, Superflow and Superflow 1200GT.

Growth in domestic sales has slowed of late - with sales of cars and motorbikes falling 18 per cent in the last financial year to March 31 from a year ago.

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