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Harley-Davidson Opening Assembly Plant in India

Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Harley-Davidson announced it will open an assembly plant in the Indian state of Haryana where certain models will be built from U.S.-supplied kits. The move will help circumvent import tariffs and eventually allow The Motor Company to drop prices on its motorcycles in India by an estimated 20-25%. Complete knock-down (CKD) kits draw taxes of approximately 60% while fully assembled imported motorcycles are levied a 110% tax rate.

“CKD assembly operations in India are a natural next step for Harley-Davidson as we build our brand presence
One of the best features of the 2011 SuperLow is its 1.2 gallon bigger tank. The new fuel tank holds a 4.5 gallons total compared to the 3.3 gallon tank of last years 883 Low.
Harley-Davidson announced it is opening an assembly plant in India in the state of Haryana where certain models will be assembled from U.S-supplied kits.
around the world,” said Harley-Davidson Motor Company President and Chief Operating Officer Matthew S. Levatich in the official PR. “This investment will allow us to improve our market responsiveness and production flexibility while reducing the tariff burden, which we expect will drive growth over time by making our bikes more accessible to India’s consumers. Given the strong response we have received in the initial months of retail operations, we believe this is the right investment for this important market.”

The Haryana plant is projected to be operational by the first half of 2011. The 70,000 square-foot facility is said to have the capacity to assemble about 200 bikes per year initially. The only specific Harley model mentioned that will be built at Haryana is the Sportster.

With the opening of the new plant, Harley-Davidson looks to expand its presence in the world’s second-largest motorcycle market. Incomes in India have been on the rise and a burgeoning middle-class with more disposable income has developed. The current high-displacement motorcycle market in the country is dominated by Japanese manufacturers.

Harley-Davidson started selling 12 models in India in July of this year after establishing authorized dealers in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh and Hyderabad. The current H-D bikes sold in the Indian market come as completely assembled motorcycles built in the U.S., then shipped overseas. India joins Brazil as the second country in which Harley-Davidson has established a CKD assembly plant.

“We are committed to global growth and growth in India for the long term,” said Levatich. “India’s rapidly growing economy, rising middle class and significant investment in construction of new roads and highways are paving the way for leisure motorcycle riding.”

The announcement coincides with President Obama’s upcoming state visit to India to discuss trade and business opportunities between the two countries.

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raj_pol   April 11, 2013 04:52 AM
Even though this is a very old article it was interesting reading through the comments. The funny thing is that no one actually read the article and made an assumption that India made HD's will be sold in the states which was wrong as they are meant only for India to circumvent the high taxes. Considering that capitalism is an American gift to the world, I am always struck by the talks about job losses, jobs moving abroad etc. This is what capitalism is supposed to do right make profit. Nothing else matters, country, people or relations for then it would be socialism. Thought for a long discussion over beer maybe. Yes I am an Indian and no I do not hate anyone just curious about the comments.
bharathjreddy   June 28, 2011 10:14 PM
Not a lemming -Rider, not a biker  January 20, 2011 06:30 AM
LOL! I love it! Get off your high horse of an antiquated engineered hd and buy a Victory!
mike -Bellwrench  January 7, 2011 03:02 AM
1) Why don't the Indians open up assembly plants here for all the crap they sell in the USA? A coincidence that H-D is laying off 1500 in Milwakee? I don't think so..
Wow -Captain  December 17, 2010 12:29 PM
Are they going to call the US for support when the seat won't bolt on correctly?
Rohit -Bullet rider  December 9, 2010 08:17 AM
I checked out the Harley models for sale here in India They are targetted for a niche segment here and not the mass market. The road conditions here are also not good for low slung machines like these. Also the 110 percent tax duty on this Made in America machines makes them very pricey.
As far as the manufacturing in India is concerned, it is neccessary for a Brand to continuosly remain competitive in the global market. Right now India has all the factor conditions which can be used to set up an economical manufacturing plant for Harleys. Also this will be a big market in years to come, the Japanese and the Italians(Ducati) are here already with their superbike range and the sales have started picking up now for some models like Hayabusa and R1. So it is a win-win situation for Both Harley and the Customers here. Ofcourse the Brand image will not be diluted for sure.
I own a Royal Enfield Bullet and hope to buy a Harley someday
Da Hunk -do not worry  December 2, 2010 02:39 AM
I saw HD in autoexpo2010, these bikes were much more in size and prize too. these bikes cannot acquire big market in India, some bike lovers may buy these bikes. these bikes are heavier than heaviest Indian bikes and much more expensive than any Indian bike. the biggest Indian made bike is royal enfield and most of people cant ride them, hardly 5% bikers have royal enfield bullet and its around 200kgs only, it costs between Rs100,000 to Rs149,000 ($2500 to $3500) and have good mileage comparing to HD. avrage indian bikes starts lower than $1000 to $1500 and they are of 100kgs to 135kgs only. with very good mileage of 50-60km/ltr petrol. moreover that people would prefer to buy any luxury car below the price range of HD, if HD launching bikes for india they shoud be fuel efficient and lower at price, but if HD manage to get 1% sales of Indian two wheeler sale, then there will be more HD rider in india then USA in its first year. but indians ride bikes for their need not for touring pleasure, there would be very few people who want to tour Himalaya on HD instead of RE Bullet coz there would be no spare parts and mechanic availability there in mountains for such kind of bike(parts would be much expensive too), these bikes could not be enjoyed in streets. you have to have good roads or highway to use them,
Jimmy D -Writing's on the road!  December 1, 2010 12:13 PM
Building Sportsters for Indians so we do not have to pay the high Tariffs - that is just the beginning. Wait til more HD plants are shut down and more assembly plants in India are built. It's only a matter of time. What a bunch of bull. Thanks Obama! Keep up the good work. I can't wait to start calling him, "Dear Leader" and sing songs to him.
Bandit in MN -Lifetime Rider  November 23, 2010 03:20 AM
Are the people of India really that into such an icon of American culture? Almost every country in the world has an extremely negative view of our culture, including our obsession with money, things and bling! America is ridiculed and compared to the likes of a spoiled, rotten 12-year old boy that says, "My dad's truck is cooler than yours!" Their culture is so completely contradictory to everything Harley means to Americans. I mean this in the same way that Americans just can't understand how India can be such a starving nation while they believe cows are sacred and won't eat them! From what I've seen, the people of India are somewhat small and thinly built; can they even hold up such a big bike? A Harley is nothing like those little scooters that are prevalent there. I mean, I don't know how to ride a horse, but I'd get on one anyhow. But I don't think I'd get on an elephant... Additionally, I'm curious as to what iconic thing that we as Americans covet that is the same degree of an iconic symbol that we covet enough to begin manufacturing. As in: Harley Davidson is to American Culture as (blank) is to the culture of India. Try substituting with China or even Indonesia. Do they even have anything that Americans would want that much?
j peoples - harley rider  November 17, 2010 09:55 AM
just like every other american industry of days gone by. what in the
---- ripp is this nation going to. soon americans will be jumping borders trying to find a job.
IronHorseman -Read more carefully  November 17, 2010 06:02 AM
Hey, guys, read the article more carefully. The Harleys you will be buying are still made in the United States. They are simply opening plants for consumers in India. At an initial 200 Sportsters per year production do you really think they are planning to supply the US market? Do you also believe they will take on the shipping costs to ship the bikes back to the US? Nothing has changed for the US consumer of Harley Davidsons except that if they crack the Indian market, the Motor Company will be healthier financially. In lean years earlier in the century Harley Davidson stayed afloat financially because of their foreign bike sales but import taxes have killed much of that (especially in the asian countries). This is only designed to cercumvent some of the import taxation the country of India places on foreign goods that they also happen to produce, like motorcycles and cars. All you riders of Harley touring bikes saying you will not buy another Harley because of the little plant in India opening to produce a small number of Sportsters, give your head a shake!
Rohit sharma -it's good start of H-D In india  November 14, 2010 05:36 AM
I Love H-D biles bcz when i ride it i feel i am fly in sky.
george blumfield -civil/petroleum engineer  November 10, 2010 08:15 AM
Dear Sirs:
As I read this, the bikes that are being assembled in India are only for purchase and consumption in India; is this correct?
I suppose that HD can expand their product base in other countries or do whatever they please, but as a 77 year old rider of their products from 1950 (1937 Indian, 1979 Sportster, 1978/early modlel Electraglide, 1978/late model Electraglide, 1982 FLT, 1985 Electraglide, 2005 Electraglide), I sincerely feel that they will lose loyalty if and when they bring the "made in India" bikes to the US. I feel that there are much better motorcycles for sale, but I like to tinker with Harleys!
I recently came upon probably the most worthwhile accessory for a Harley that I have ever ran across; a brace that ties the frame to the engine for my 2005 E Glide Standard. Gets rid of the instability on corners!
Be careful!
Tim W -India and Taxes  November 8, 2010 08:08 AM
H-D love/hate aside, maybe the US should tax all goods and *SERVICES* from India at the 110% rate they tax American motorcycles. Why are our international trade deals always one sided?
ExHarleyFan -No More Harley's For Me  November 7, 2010 03:10 PM
Next bike - Big Dog. Open the plant here and create jobs for Americans. After all, who made HD what it is today ? Certainly not Indians. Too many Americans have lost their livelihood to india in the name of corporate greed. Going to look at the Bulldog tomorrow. Glad I heard this before I bought another HD.
Disgusted Vet -Say What  November 7, 2010 01:40 PM
The real issue being missed is our tax on exports that makes foreign manufacturing more profitable. The stimulus was just smoke and mirrors, because if the White House wanted to create jobs here, it would have rescinded this excise tax.
Tim wymore -Harley Rider  November 7, 2010 09:22 AM
I am disgusted to here about this Harleys are one thing you could count on being made in America this sucks.
Curry Rice -red dot  November 6, 2010 09:10 AM
Instead of Tattoos...hip HD riders will now sport a Red ink Dot between their eyes
terry wax -Harley Davidson made in India  November 5, 2010 01:59 PM
So sad. I loved seeing the bikes on the highway, small American flags waving, guys with Viet Nam patches, POW patches....... a quick blur as I drove in my boring sedan, two hands on the wheel. They were beautiful..... never a doubt in my envious mind.....they were American.
Guy -Check the VIN number... nex time before you buy, if concerned.  November 5, 2010 03:43 AM
First digit in the V.I.N. is the country of origin / production.
1 = United States 2 = Canada 3 = Mexico 6 = Australia 9 = Brazil
J = Japan K = Korean L = Taiwan S = England V = France W = Germany
Z = Italy and More…
I’ve owned foreign vehicles that were made here, in the US. United States vehicles that were made in a foreign country. And if you dig deeper, you can look at the shareowners. Where US companies are owned by foreigner’s and Foreign company are owned in the US. If you invest in a 401K you probably own interest in a lot of different countries… So your retirement may be based on how well a foreign company does in the US. So ride what you want, no one's better than the next person.
GB -sorry milwankee mike  November 4, 2010 09:00 PM
but if you refer to an american made Victory as a metric and it's made in this country by american workers and an American owned company then HD will be a metric by your definition. no matter how you try to roll it, it's still gonna be a metric.
milwaukee mike -Indian HDs  November 4, 2010 07:42 PM
Harleys are going to dominate the worlds "Big Bike" needs. I have said this before and it is true. Indian HDs are for the asian market and not the North American market.
And to the smart-ass that asked about if they are going "metric", no you idiot,...read the article just a bit more carefully.
Ultra Owner -Bye-Bye HD  November 4, 2010 12:28 PM
That cuts it. If harley can't keep it American, I can't buy another bike from them. Screw harley davidson.
Maxx -I agree Dennis  November 4, 2010 12:22 PM
That has been the situation for years, people clinking to brand loyalty all the while the corporations don't give a damn about them, quality or customer service.
Dennis -More American Corporate BS  November 4, 2010 08:55 AM
Quite a few of you have nailed this:HD isn't the first company to "manufacture-assemble" overseas. BMW, Toyota, Hyundai, Kawasaki, etc, make/produce products here and everywhere. And that's only in transportation. The list is endless in other categories. As a currently unemployeed factory worker, I've always felt strongly about buying American products. I've owned an HD or two, drive a Ford, but also own a Yamaha motorcycle. But as others have said, the line gets blurred. Is a Toyota or Kawasaki "made" here a Japanese or American product? How about that Ford or Chevy made in Canada or Mexico? The world is getting smaller and big companies have no loyalty to the people in the countries in which they produce. Only to themselves and their stock holders. I'd like to buy products that are made by my fellow countrymen as much as the next guy. They work here, pay taxes here, they are your friends and neighbors. Unfortunately, most people could care less about this. What happened to HD's workers in their recent contract talks was disgusting has happened to me, several times. Less pay, less benefits, less opportunity for the workers who actually make the product while upper management rakes it in. It's a prime example of whats wrong in America. Someone else said it best:eventually we'll all be working at Wal-Mart and the like, but that HD will only cost a grand. It's a sad state of affairs.
Mitch -Inevitability of the global economy  November 4, 2010 08:15 AM
I certainly don't blame Harley for expanding more of it's operations overseas in this competitive global economy. Many metric brands have been producing vehicles here in the states for years now. However I think the HD banner "Made in America" has become more of a marketing slogan rather then a factual claim and if things continue the way they are in a few years you may see such marketing of nationality & patriotism focusing more towards the HD brand rather then their product.
Bad Move Harley -Davidson  November 4, 2010 03:53 AM
A motorcycle made in the USA is just that, made in the USA, built from the ground up. They can put all the positive spin on it they want, but a bike assembled in another country is not a bike made in the USA. As others have stated, this is the first step to full overseas manufacturing.
GB -hey milwankee mike!!  November 4, 2010 12:15 AM
does this mean HD's are now gonna be metric???
mchoser -Harley Davidsom made in India?  November 3, 2010 09:13 PM
I REALLY want to hear what "Milwaukee-Mike's" thoughts are on this...
jaimeb -Plant in India  November 3, 2010 08:22 PM
The writing is on the wall - in 20 years our manufacturing base will be the same as China's 50 years ago: assembling fake decorative plants, making tooth-picks, assembling wheelbarrows, pencils, etc.

Harleys, Buicks and Intel quadra-core chips made in India and China, just to give a few examples. On the other hand, we will be the kings of manufacturing fake investment products (CDO's and CDS's), Credit Cards at 40%, housing with 50% down - leaving you with just enough on your Wal Mart salary to buy that $1,000 Harley made in India...
robert mcallister -dt-175  November 3, 2010 07:23 PM
give those guys a tax break! those bikes will be here as early 2012's by october next year...
Maxx -about time  November 3, 2010 05:19 PM
So much for that buy american crowd. Who your Daddy. lol
Dennis T -Yea that's right...  November 3, 2010 05:12 PM
an "assembly plant" that's all it is... really... yea all the parts are US made... really... just assembly to get around the tariffs is all... LOL This is an old" camels head in the tent" trick and a first step to full overseas manufacturing - seen it before, old trick, I guess yesterday showed us how astonishingly dumb and gullible Americans can be, so they thought they'd buy this BS too...
MikenBike -Harleindian?  November 3, 2010 04:03 PM
C`mon guys let see the positive side: Now you can buy parts and accessories in any 7eleven. The costumer service already know you (they handle your amex, dell, medical files, etc etc) Leather parts done by kids will make you feel like you are helping them bring some money for lunch. Gonna look cool with those tattoos, elephant head in a chick`s body with 8 arms. And now the BBQ ribs go with rice and curry.
Jack -Mr  November 3, 2010 03:44 PM
Good maybe now the quality will go up.
irksome -HD swine  November 3, 2010 02:48 PM
Every bike assembled in India is a bike not assembled by an American worker. And they've just screwed their union into accepting $17 an hr "casual workers" (THEIR term) as well as held the State of Wisconsin hostage for a $25 million tax break. So much the the Harley "mystique", eh? They can do whatever they have to do to survive , but the next time some wanna-be badboy pirate looks at my Triumph and tells me to "Buy American" I'll have even more cause to laugh in his face.
Is Comin -HaHa2  November 3, 2010 01:43 PM
What cruel irony if the last model built in York PA was designated FLTCKD.
B Dunk -HaHa  November 3, 2010 01:37 PM
Step one in selling the company to an Indian conglomerate. I predicted this a year ago. The Indain bikers are going to look awesome dressed like a pirate with a big confederate flag across their back.