Harley-Davidson To Assemble Motorcycles In India.

As expected, Harley-Davidson is launching operations in India to assemble motorcycles for the Indian market from component kits supplied by its U.S. plants. The Company expects the CKD (complete knock-down) assembly facility to be operational in the first half of 2011.
For Harley-Davidson, assembling motorcycles in India is to avoid paying steep tariffs and taxes on the imported motorcycles in the country.
These tariffs and taxes make bikes sold in India double the price of a US assembled Harleys, putting the motorcycles way out of reach of most Indian bikers. In 1999, the company started an assembly plant in Brazil. The India operation will be the second out of the US where motorcycle frames, engines, and other components from the United States are shipped for complete assembly in a foreign market. Can we expect more in the near future? Probably, knowing that 32% of Harley’s motorcycle sales are outside of the United States, mainly in Japan, Canada and Europe. The company’s goal is to increase foreign sales to 40% by 2014. Harley-Davidson India commenced operations in August 2009 and opened its first dealership in July 2010.  To impose its religion in India, the Company currently has 4 places of worship (dealers in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh and Hyderabad) and is offering 12 models in its 2010 line-up. Harley-Davidson India

43 Responses to “Harley-Davidson To Assemble Motorcycles In India.”

  1. 1 Keith Stone Nov 2nd, 2010 at 10:18 am

    In a few years they will start shipping “over produced” India bikes to the US. Some people will call BS. But is going to happen, and this post is just one more step in that happening. The bikes should always be built in the US, if someone in India wants one it’s there responsibility to pay the extra taxes. That’s JMO……

  2. 2 bajerry Nov 2nd, 2010 at 10:51 am

    That’a it for me, I’ll never buy anything from HD agin, Next they will be building them in Commie China, Victory here I come.. If they will give me anything for my bike as a trade in, you can’t get crap for a used HD..

  3. 3 Knucklehead Nov 2nd, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Ba, Thats not the point. We need to apply DEEP tariffs and taxs on ALL imports. Period! That is what the cowards on the Hill must do. Do that and we have our country back. It’s not Harley persay. It’s D.C.

  4. 4 Mike Greenwald Nov 2nd, 2010 at 11:29 am

    If and when HD sources any castings from India, the overall product line produced under the HD name will be degraded at best and nonfunctional at worst.

    HD is risking all in this move to make a third world bike from third rate parts.

  5. 5 ray c wheeler Nov 2nd, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    ………………..IMAGINE THAT…………………….
    Never saw this one coming, did you?
    Turn out the lights at the factory on your way out of town and don’t let the screen door hit you in the ass!

  6. 6 Bill B Nov 2nd, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    I am sure the Japanese felt outrage when Honda came to the US but the move has been good for everyone. Harley will prosper from this smart choice and the nay sayers will need to get an education in global survival.

  7. 7 Paul Nov 2nd, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    Global survival does not start by capitulating to the predatory foreign governments who’s goal it is to steal our industry. Short term fix for a long term problem…

  8. 8 just my opinion Nov 2nd, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    HD is in a tough spot. Their market in the USA is and has been shrinking for years. If they can’t gain market share here in the states they must gain ground somewere else. It is just simple business but the problem they face is losing what is left of their loyal customers here in the states. At no other time in history has a company had such loyal customers, and I believe it is because they are or was the great American bike company. Built in America, by American’s. How can they now claim to be American made if they build bikes in India? I think it will be harder and harder for HD to get the high price for their bikes as news of this grows. Why would anyone want to pay the higher HD price for a bike if it is not American made? I guess the only real American bike company is Victory, I hope Americans will support them as they have supported HD in the past. Americans have lost enough companies, it is time we start supporting those companies that stay in the states and supply jobs to our friends and families. And as far as I am concerned I will not be buying another HD my next puchase will be a Victory. It will be just as easy to customize a Victory as it is an HD in the near future. Sad day for American bikers.

  9. 9 deadwood1783 Nov 2nd, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    I’m not sure why anyone is surprized by this. The Brazilian plant is over 10 years old. The plant in India will in my opinion supply more than just the Indian market, and in a fairly short time. Our political leaders are the root cause of this issue. We DO need to put equal taxes and tarriffs on any country that does this to us. I’m all for free trade as long as its FAIR TRADE. It is a global marketplace like it or not. Triumph produces bikes in Thailand. Do we consider those Thai bikes or British bikes? The lines are becoming more blurred everyday. GET OUT AND VOTE.. And forget about party, vote for people who understand the term FAIR TRADE..if you can find any..

  10. 10 John Galt Nov 2nd, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    unions and WI high taxes are the 2 biggest culprits

  11. 11 john reed Nov 2nd, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Are the import tariffs for H/D into India the same as the ones here for the imported Indian Royal Enfields

  12. 12 Timecycles Nov 2nd, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Harley is already outsourcing parts for its motorcycles. Its just sad to see jobs go off-shore. In the end it won’t matter where they make their bikes because there will be no money here to buy the bikes!

  13. 13 Tattooed43 Nov 2nd, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Get rid of the Union and tax the hell out of employers who go overseas. That would fix a lot of problems here…

  14. 14 deadwood1783 Nov 2nd, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Now thats my point. Every product from whatever country of origin, should be hit with exactly whatever tarriff they hit our products with. Fair Trade!

  15. 15 Big Nov 2nd, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Where in this story do you see Indian-built HDs being sold in the US? Harleys have been assembled in Brazil for over 10 years. Are there any Brazilian built bikes being sold in the US? No! There is no manufacturing going on in these plants just assembly, so why would HD ship parts to India, assemble them into bikes, and then ship them back to sell in the US? But don’t let the facts get in the way of wild speculations. If you want to rail against import tariffs, that’s another story. And as far as Honda goes, they closed the motorcycle plant in the US, and Victory opened a plant in Mexico. So much for the “other” American made motorcycle brand.

  16. 16 1550tc Nov 2nd, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    तो आप सब अमेरिकियों कुलदीप सिंह द्वारा किए गए Harleys सवारी कर सकते हैं पता है.

  17. 17 fredp Nov 2nd, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    This was the obvious path I emailed on months ago. Also, don’t think for a minute those poor union guys up in Wisconsin won anything (except time to look for a new careers)
    Plus after seeing the new Ducati Diaval, H-D better be thinking about the new generation of riders that won’t buy Dad’s bike anymore. They are growing up in a GLOBAL economy and don’t give a Rat’s A>>> where a product is built as long as its cool, it works, and it will beat the crap out of Dad’s old H-D!!!
    Our generation of bikers have taken a beating in this “New economy” and this luxury of H-D and customs is not on our radar anymore.
    We had a great run though, didn’t we guys?

  18. 18 Sheridan Nov 2nd, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    It will be interesting to see once this has swung into production, if HD will send bikes assembled in India to the rest of its Asian markets because they are closer and it will save them money on shipping? I’m thinking of the bikes sold in Australia and New Zealand specifically. Doc do you have any comments on this?

    Nice idea on the tariffs Knucklehead. If Obama did that, he would very quickly be receiving a phone call from China ordering him to reverse the decision or they won’t lend your country the $1 billion per day they’re currently lending you to keep you from bankruptcy 🙂

  19. 19 Grayhawk Nov 3rd, 2010 at 12:08 am

    Wisconsin has lost what is it 60,000 plus/minus jobs since the stimulus, they have the 9th highest taxes in the country, that has hurt HD and many Wisconsin’s companies ability to do a profitable business and the resultant bottom line big time. HD has been reduced to half its production quantity numbers produced since the 2006 height. What is wrong and not business smart for a US company to look to foreign emerging markets to stabilize there shrinking/aging US demographic customer base that had been seeking/buying their product by looking to sell units/product to an up and coming emerging market ; a potential market that overshadows completely the US market past and potential future just in shear populus numbers and possible substantial percentage gains in market share growth knowing full well that with the tariff issues on both sides there was no way to have an opportunity to sell/obtain a potential near term market gain in say the 10% range or whatever the number is by shipping and trying to sell complete units into India at at least twice the price of shipping US made core unit components to that market and assemblying same in that country to keep the price within a sellable range to up US product quantities produced.

    Look at it as your business would you rather be able to manufacture in the US a substantial increased number of components that would allow you to keep material pricing cogs and subsequently US made/sold units pricing near present retail priced units numbers down to enable you to add to the companies assets and keep component manufacturing intact and maybe a bit of growth that would most definitely not be realized if this move wasn’t made, these are motors, frames, electronic modules, etc., etc. that would never be made, US employees that would never be needed seasonal or not.

    American HD and HD suppliers employee employment would be even lesser in numbers. Brazil as stated above has employed this business path since 99 and has not had a bearing on relocation of manufactoring but has added to production componet quantities produced and subsuquently in-country assembled units sold in an otherwise closed market?

    None of us knows the long term path of HD, Victory, Ford whomever. Don’t blame HD or Polarius or whichever company they are survivors and look to ways to survive.

    If ya got a problem fix the real problems, too big of power hungry governmental agencies ever growing; increasingly feeding off/burdening the backs of working America, entitlements, increasing taxations to support wasteful spending and poor federal/state governmental management based on over complicated purposely over-written un-readable/un-understandable regulations designed to feed and advance the fatcats elites amongst us . Hope you voted today and start making the reps represent your/our interests. The fastest/biggest growthsector in the US is Washington, DC; what is wrong with that picture.

    FredP you still got a bit of a run in ya, but your are getting amongst the aged, LOL

  20. 20 Fausto Simoes Nov 3rd, 2010 at 6:00 am

    Praise Shiva!

  21. 21 Doc... Nov 3rd, 2010 at 7:14 am

    The Japanese Manufacturers have protected themselves with Dealer Agreements to “Never ship a Finished Product” OverSeas (where their Product draws a much Higher Retail). We constantly have Customers from both Europe and South America come into out shop, and Purchase Bikes, Quads, etc. with a relatives US ID, take the item and ship it home to their country and get thier Motor Sports for far less than they’d ever pay in their home country! I guarantee Harley has done the same with this move…It’s just a shame that so many Americans had to lose their jobs in the process. One day we’ll learn and the Unions will just go away…and then this Country will see some prosperity again!!!

  22. 22 m switzer Nov 3rd, 2010 at 9:40 am

    People talking love for Polaris. Didn’t they just move to Mexico? No mater what you think Mexico is not part of the US -yet

  23. 23 just my opinion Nov 3rd, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Victory is built in the USA their parent company Polaris does build ATV’s in Mexico but all Victory motorcycles are built here in the USA. If HD wanted to build ATV’s , scooter’s or dirt bikes or even crotch rockets in Mexico I would say God Bless HD hope they sell tons of them. But what this deal does is takes a American Iconic bike and devalues it by now making them in a country that could give a shit about us Americans. Harley Davidson is no longer the American made bike. Too bad they had to do this too survive.
    As for those saying that HD moving to India and building a plant there to supply India with bikes does not effect us here. I believe that right now it does not but in the near future do you really believe they will manufacture any part of those bike here and ship it there? And when they get companies over there to make those parts like tanks, frames, fenders, engine components and wiring do you really think HD will say lets not let these Indian companies make all of our Tanks frames fenders and wiring too save more money? Remember no matter what you have made/ manufactured whether here in the U.S. or over seas if the quantity goes up the price comes down. Mark my words, when HD has all the opportunity to save money by using foriegn companies to make all the components they need to build bikes, Americans will lose those jobs. And as another poster has noted it will be better for HD too ship bikes from India to surrounding countries rather than ship those units from the U.S. costing even more jobs for Americans. Victory should gain even more market share do to this deal.

  24. 24 Grayhawk Nov 3rd, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    I for one really believe that America is waking up from an idling just go with the flow ,it will come around and be ok mentality and hopefully are realizing there are no free lunches . There is merit in what you say IMO if America does not stand up both for near and long term viability, be US business friendly across the board across the states, and balance both the trades and technological services we are capable of providing and exporting and assure they are traded/dutied fairly . A big challenge is/will be curbing this Global Governance trend that is on the horizon, not necessarilly a Global market drop dead protectionism stance. We need to be able to export products and technology to maintain a future with merit even if it means producing components that allow market growths outside the US in addition to and not eliminating the US made product but as to the point you stated if it goes fully away over time America loses across the board and so will Harley and its Heritage.

    Harley’s real challenge within our borders is the level of future US capacity needs or hopefully at a minimum sustainment at its now half its peak size as a new US customer base has not materialized and may not without early branding of the youth and providing products that the next generations will hitch their wagons to, not the export emerging markets and yes not catering to us baby boomers as the lone customer base. HD needs to do both, the industry needs to do the same; we as a country must support business to allow/support US manufactured product continuance.

    But I am not supporting the legacy issues and state entitlement burdens that can bring a business to its knees. You can build a vehicle in say Alabama at lower costs and the worker base has a better standard of living because the cost of living, cost of employment and taxations are far less for both the worker and the business, why; its the ever growing costs of established ever consuming bureacacies that once established seem to strangle the life out of all business’s and community viability. Business flight if you will. Don’t know if anyone has all the answers but hard work, common sense, prudent business and less government made us successful and it will take going back to that to move forward or accept a lesser standard of living.

  25. 25 Stev the producer Johann Nov 3rd, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    What’s the big deal?

    GM, Ford, Chrysler have been doing this for decades. Australia has its own factories as does many other countries. They even make different models not sold here in America.

    We live in a global community not just America. We need our American based companies to do well in the world be it India or any other place. 90% of everyone’s clothing is made in offshore factories and you still buy it. Most of all the electronics made in offshore factories and you buy it. Even American based companies have many products created offshore.

    Here is an example: Honda comes to America and sets up a factory and lets Americans work for them building vehicles that are sold in America. They could stay with keeping all their machines made in Japan but they decided long ago it was better business to build them here. They still build them in Japan as well for the Asia market.

    Now When we do this as in H-D everyone cries foul? You can’t have it both ways. What if all the foreign makers were to pull the jobs and ship them back home? So be happy H-D and the rest of the American manufacturers can do the same. In the end it builds a company which will last for another century and everyone should be happy about that.

  26. 26 Jeff Nicklus Nov 3rd, 2010 at 1:23 pm


    I think the “big deal” is that this is yet another “American Born” company that is headed off shore.

    Yes, as you say, many items are manufactured overseas by American owned and operated companies, then imported and sold here in the US by Americans working for the “importing” company (Wal-Mart as an example) and yes those jobs are good for America. I believe that many find it very difficult, and frightening, to wrap their hands around the “idea” of a World Economy. Few people realize that this is a new world economically we live in and it will never go back to the way it was or they way people perceive it to have been, in the “good ol’ days. Fewer people yet realize that there is money to be made in this new world economy. ADAPT AND OVERCOME IS MY MOTTO!

    Just my take on the subject.

    Hope all is well with you guys.

    Over & Out,


  27. 27 Dyno Dave Nov 3rd, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    Sounds like we need to drop Nafta and start the same tariffs here. Equil out the playing field a little.

    Now Harley Davidson is as must Indian made as a Toyota is American made.

  28. 28 just my opinion Nov 3rd, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    Stev the producer Johann;
    I think that the one thing you may have over looked is that HD has sold the dream or image more so than the bikes. ie… buy a harley and be a badass biker….We all know that you can buy a Honda,Yamaha or Suzuki for less money and it will out last, out perform and out handle the HD. I think the problem HD has is now the dream of owning the American made icon and paying more for the pleasure of having the badass American made icon is obsolete. What will the commercials look like now
    Habib rides up to a sand bar and scares the nerd on his camel? It just don’t work. It may be just my opinion and is worth what I charged for it but I believe this is both a good move and a bad move for HD. The good side is it will allow them to survive long term, the bad side is HD as we all know it is a dying lifestyle. Owning a Harley is no longer a prestiges thing. They will be forced to sell bikes for less money or their market share will soon be completely gone in the states. As I said before it is too bad that HD had to do this too survive.

  29. 29 gravey158 Nov 3rd, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    always the unions fault. go ahead and take the union out of h.d. and watch the wages, health and welfare etc slowly disappear. watch out when you piss off the foreman, you’ll no back up. H. D. isn’t the first company to move out side the country and won’t be the last. too much Taxs, how do you feel when tax time comes? big companies don’t like it much either. when they pay too much the first to go is the workers.

  30. 30 Paul Nov 3rd, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    Over priced – Over hyped and now Under made.
    Whaw !
    Where can I get a Harley Davidson sticker to put on my car when not riding to show
    everyone how dedicated and smart I am. ?

  31. 31 Mr. Potts Nov 4th, 2010 at 6:52 am

    I’d say buy Indian but for what they are pricing motorcycles for you would be better off buying Victory!

  32. 32 Grey Beard Nov 4th, 2010 at 11:06 am

    Calling tech support.
    Ring-ring…..ring-ring…….. El-low, hue gawt prah-bleems wid yah new Haw-lee Day-bit-zoon ????

  33. 33 m switzer Nov 4th, 2010 at 11:30 am

    hey Grey beard have you tried contacting HD tech support? The factory has no 800/888 number no e-mail. Harley opinion is; you bought our overpriced under enginered bike now don’t bother us. Saw that during the 85th 90th 100th and 105th Harley had people directing you in but after you spent your money nothing -an exit sign. Remember the 100th? park the bikes at the parking lot shuttle busses to somerfest overpriced food run out of beer (in Milwaukee) the Elton John then NO BUSES BACK TO THE PARKING. HD is out of tune with the public

  34. 34 John White Nov 4th, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    Harley is faced with the same problems all US manufacturers face: Cloning! Cloning shatters the entry barriers that Harley has worked so hard to build. The only way to fight this is to go where the cloning is taking place and set up shop.

    There are other factors that would take a short book to explain. Harvard’s study on “Nucor Steel at the Crossroads” is a good example. Foster Business School’s case study on “Toyota” is another. Unions and high taxes and our politician’s desire to help China and India are major factors.

    Harley does not need to go to India to make motorcycles. They need to go there to stop the clones from coming to America. This is why you see Harley when you go to Shanghai and now India.

    The innovation starts with the folks that ride Harley (as Toyota discovered long ago) and therefore Harley will be around a long time because they have figured out what they need to do to make it in this global world we now live in. Harley could have moved to the Southern part of the United States to rid themselves of taxes and high labor costs but they would still face the copy cats from China and India. Harley is smarter than most give them credit for. Many American companies should take notice because failing to do so may mean the end of them.

    Honda and Toyota have moved here. Why? BMW and Mercedes too. Why?

    We have something they want. Our buying power.

    I wish Harley good luck. Innovation comes from those that ride.

    John L. White, Student
    Foster Business School
    Executive Masters of Business Administration
    University of Washington

  35. 35 Grey Beard Nov 4th, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    m switzer, no need for tech support, I have old iron, and do my own wrenching. The only time I’ve contacted HD, was to their customer service to get the actual build dates for my scooters.

  36. 36 alan Nov 5th, 2010 at 6:52 am

    they need to put o dot and a dipper on the headlight
    like that we will know they are made in india

  37. 37 m switzer Nov 5th, 2010 at 7:16 am

    Had prolems with my 1997 springer since new -new engine at 283 miles 4 different starter drives. The drives will last around 3 years, Harleys response: they would pay for a diagnose to make sure it was installed correctly, the starter is held in by 2 allen head bolts it can’t be installed incorrectly. First starter installed by shop, second one I had to pull the oiltank due to stripped bolts I now do all of my own work, first thing a HD owner need is a shop manual and a set of ball end allen wreches-nothing is acessable

  38. 38 Wiz Nov 6th, 2010 at 6:11 am

    I wonder if the India Harleys will have cowhide leather seats an’ saddlebags, or if they will have Nagahyde? Wiz

  39. 39 Ted Nov 8th, 2010 at 11:07 am

    Have you guys ridden a Victory? It is a nice bike, comfortable and good power curve. But it is an overhead cam bike and the weight of the cams on top changes the center of gravity. Lean it into a corner and it wants to lay down.
    The reason I ride a Harley is that stock and custom parts are easy to find. Drive train components are easy to get to and work on.
    Ever seen someone split the engine case to get to the transmission gears? 8 hours labor and you are lucky if it goes back together correctly.
    I’ll keep my Harley and by my parts from S&S, JIMS or Baker. No matter where HD builds their parts we can find American built replacements.

  40. 40 geno Nov 8th, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    this is stage one

    stage two is moving all operations over there-save money and make money for shareholders

    stage 3 is selling out to Tata motors

  41. 41 Bigwoody Nov 8th, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Free trade?
    My g.M. job was outsourced to Mexico. Retirement is about a Third of weekly take home pay.
    My President is now in India working out more trade deals.
    Our political system no longer represents workers.

  42. 42 jsdiamond Nov 8th, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    I like it. For the average Indian joe shmo (who doesn’t give a hoot about politics) it’s a good thing. Indian joe shmo just loves HD motorcycles, so good for him. Meanwhile HD saves some bucks, saves it own skin and a U.S. company lives to fight another day. It isn’t perfect, but it helps.

  43. 43 Wallydog Nov 12th, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    Everybody blames it on taxes! It’s import tariffs, WE need to TAX the crap out of ANY CORPORATION that outsources its manufacturing ,assembly, and or banking out of the U.S.A. Also levy large tariffs against ANYTHING not manufactured and or assembled inside the U.S.A. Bring the jobs home, bring the economy back!!!!! SCREW anyone that doesn’t want to keep their business in the U.S.A. You want tax breaks? Give them to the Corp. that KEEPS their business, employees, and manufacturing state side. NOT OVERSEAS!!!!!!!!!! Anything less is unacceptable! HUNGRY OUT OF WORK? EAT YOUR RICE BURNER!!! BUY AMERICAN! BE AMERICAN! I drive a Chevy and ride a REAL American Made motorcycle!! Ironically it is a1946 Indian…

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Cyril Huze