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Harley Davidson plans smaller bike with eye on India

31 July 2018

The plans are for its India and China markets, media reports said.

Harley-Davidson also said it is developing "more accessible" offerings in the 250cc to 500cc range for the Asian market. Royal Enfield has developed bikes that will help it enter the 650cc category later this year.

The move will also "enable accessible price point for premium small displacement market entry", Harley-Davidson added.

The move comes as part of Harley's 2022-centric "More Roads to Harley-Davidson" plan, which aims at getting more people into the company's fold, especially from global markets.

Following slowing sales, the company has now confirmed to investors that it intends to reach out to a new generation of riders by bringing to production their electric motorcycle, the LiveWire™, with a view to get on the high road of EV technology as early as next year.

With an eye on India, Harley-Davidson has chose to go small at a time when it is caught in a bitter trade war initiated by US President Donald Trump.

First, the company announced that "a new modular 500cc to 1250cc middleweight platform" spanning three different segments and four displacements is on the way.

The company says that its new models are a survival strategy.

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The new streetfighter line will have models ranging from 500 cc, ideal for emerging markets like India.

This "beginner" H-D will be produced through a planned strategic alliance with a manufacturer in Asia.

The uniquely styled adventure bike, which is the first Harley Davidson of its kind, will be named the Pan America, and the company has some big plans for it. The 200-500 cc segment saw sales of 7 lakh units in 2017 growing at 25 percent.

It will also associate with third party e-commerce companies to help leverage its popularity in apparel and merchandise.

On electric bikes, it said Livewire will be the first in a broad, no-clutch "twist and go" portfolio of electric two-wheelers "designed to establish the company as the leader in the electrification of the sport".

"Our plan will redefine existing boundaries of our brand-reaching more customers in a way that reinforces all we stand for as a brand and as a company and we can't wait to kick it into gear", said Levatich.

Harley-Davidson President and Chief Executive Officer Matt Levatich: "We expect this plan will result in an engaged, expanded Harley-Davidson community with a more diverse rider base, along with industry-leading margins and cash flow".

Harley Davidson plans smaller bike with eye on India