India Motorcycle Market. The New World’s Fancy

Some updates about our 2 US based brands, Harley-Davidson and Victory, and their strategies in India.

Harley-Davidson. Currently about 36% of Harley-Davidson’s sales come from outside the US. Indian is the main focus to increase this percentage to 40% by 2014. So, Harley is ramping up its operation 1- by assembling more models locally (at this day, 5 out of 15 models and more to come) at its facility at Bawal, in Haryana, which is the bike-maker’s second plant outside the US after Brazil. The objective is to avoid paying stiff tariffs on complete imported bikes. 2- by opening very soon 3 new dealerships in Kolkata, Jaipur and Kochi for a total of 10 dealers in this country. 3- by looking for growth  beyond India’s big cities and eyeing new sales in smaller towns where Harley intends to expand its iconic US image and culture. 

Polaris/Victory. After long time rumors about its strategy, Polaris confirmed its foray into the Indian market by unveiling last weekend at the 2012 Dehli Auto Expo its Victory Vision model. Personally, like many, I was a little bit surprised that the 1st Victory model to be shown is a massive touring with full fairing and saddlebags. But maybe I underestimate India’s luxury market and the need for powerful inter-state cruisers in this country. After inquiring about reasons for this choice, I was told that no definitive decision is made regarding the Victory models to be introduced, but it’s probable that Victory will follow Harley-Davidson’s strategy, first importing fully assembled models, then setting up an assembly plant in India to reduce prices of its models

42 Responses to “India Motorcycle Market. The New World’s Fancy”

  1. 1 Matt Jan 12th, 2012 at 9:55 am


    It’s sad that America is losing it’s manufacturing industry to Asia but it’s at least comforting to know that we are still the #1 maker and exporter of “poser”. ^_^

  2. 2 Jason Hallman Jan 12th, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Matt…that is honestly the funniest thing I have heard in awhile.

  3. 3 BobS Jan 12th, 2012 at 10:05 am


  4. 4 Barry Brown Jan 12th, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Will they be reviving the “cow-glide” model?

  5. 5 Kirk Perry Jan 12th, 2012 at 10:31 am

    Freaking cool! 🙂

    There’s just NOT a better vehicle as a goodwill ambassador to the world.

    Pulling “G’s” is a universally shared experience.

    Does India still produce a decent hashish?

  6. 6 Nobody Jan 12th, 2012 at 11:12 am

    @Matt America is A1 Prime at corrupting where ever we go.

  7. 7 Willie Jan 12th, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Matt, you are just an idiot. Go back to bed.

  8. 8 madandy Jan 12th, 2012 at 11:37 am

    If this picture was laying beside a pic of two men having sex, the India pic would be the gayer one.

  9. 9 Kirk Perry Jan 12th, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    Actually, most of us here in the USA are jealous. 🙂

    A “young” motorcycle, but “old scooter” country. Young people with new ideas – at the doorway to all new infrastructure (highways to the Himalaya’s and a long Mediterranean coastline).

    Plus a genetic blanket covering a population of “tinkerer’s” that most of the young people can draw from when working with motorcycles.

    The Indian’s make good use of 3-wheeler’s. This will be an interesting show to watch.

    The last time (3) bike manufacturer’s were building two-wheelers, under one flag, in one country was when?

  10. 10 Eric Maurer (Evobuilder) Jan 12th, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    I am sure Hugh King is already submitting his concept for “Hyderabad Chopper” over to Discovery Channel

  11. 11 Luis Jan 12th, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    I want to see the TV ads. They’d be smart to have product placement in the bollywood movies.

  12. 12 CafeSportTC Jan 12th, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    Nobody, go back to suckling the liberal teet… there is corruption everywhere, we are not the prime supplier of it…. wake up and look around Idiot

  13. 13 Marc Frantz Jan 12th, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    My question would be regarding demographics and income levels.

    Does there exist enough ‘riding demographic’ in India that can afford a new Harley
    or a new Victory??

    With the current glut of non-current new & used motorcycles of every brand and
    denomination available in North America, perhaps the opportunity exists to ship
    some of these bikes to India (or elsewhere) and sell them.

    This would help our market here at home by ‘re-allocating’ the countless thousands
    of unloved 2 wheeled machines sitting around, and free up the pipeline for the new
    & incoming 2012’s.

    Business opportunity? One would have to look into the legalities, tariff structure for
    new non-current motorcycles, used motorcycles and the costs involved to set-up a
    satellite office abroad.

    Just an idea!

  14. 14 nicker Jan 12th, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Hay nobody,

    “…@Matt America is A1 Prime at corrupting where ever we go…”

    Who were the thousands killed on Normandy beaches corrupting…???


  15. 15 DJ Jan 12th, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Evidently trying to look like a poser bad ass is universal.. The losers in that picture look like every street corner at Myrtle Beach Bike week

  16. 16 Luis Jan 12th, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    Marc considering how many people I know in the computer biz that lost thier jobs to india I’m sure there is enough money in that sector alone to support modest sales.

  17. 17 rebel Jan 12th, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    if i were a leader in a country and i saw outside companies manipulating my laws and rules to get around paying fees or tarriffs i would simply change the laws and rules to nip it in the bud, like we should be doing at our own borders, or should i say should have done decades ago!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. 18 ItsmePaul Jan 12th, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    Not all executives & CEO’s are stupid.
    India is at the beginning of a boom. Population is huge and their starting to up grade their infrastructure. It will be one of the top powerhouses of the world when it comes to economies in the next few decades.
    Makes total sense for them to be concentrating their growth there.

  19. 19 Knucklehead Jan 12th, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    It’s the morons we vote for that cause this. Those over seas tariff the crap out of our stuff. But this country does not tariff the lead coated junk they send us. Don’t blame corp. blame the person you voted for.

  20. 20 Henry Jan 12th, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Knucklehead. You are an idiot with no knowledge of politics and of the economy. Have you checked that there was no tariffs on importations during the Bushes presidency? So, why is it the fault of Obama? Did you hear any Republican candidates promising tariffs on importations? Of course not. Why? Because they can’t do this. These countries finance our debt and also because they are emerging markets, they buy our US products and are our future (Apple, Harley, etc..) It’s one world and you can’t put trade barriers without serious economic and fiscal consequences. Re-elect Obama against these has-been old Republicans manipulating brainless blue collars, and ready to do anything to be elected with PAC money from big US corps and from Wall Street. People who made real money through their work vote Obama. You bet that Obama will be reelected? Talk to you in November.

  21. 21 BobS Jan 12th, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    @ Kirk Perry…not sure I understand your question. the USA, Japan, and Italy all currently have three or more motorcycle manufacturers, not sure about China and Korea. Did you want to know the names or just if there was such a thing?

  22. 22 Sollis Jan 12th, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    they look funny in bad ass clothing

  23. 23 Kirk Perry Jan 13th, 2012 at 1:07 am

    “not sure I understand your question. the USA, Japan, and Italy all currently have three or more motorcycle manufacturers, not sure about China and Korea. Did you want to know the names”

    What I meant was three British marques under one flag, in one country, but I left out a few words.

  24. 24 rob Jan 13th, 2012 at 2:05 am

    Henry, this is a mc blog,not a re-elect obama blog….suck it!

  25. 25 Doc Robinson Jan 13th, 2012 at 7:41 am

    Whoa Sollis, saying “they look funny in bad ass clothing” is a pretty racist viewpoint. What are you saying? That they should be in saris and sandals? For better or for worse, American culture with its blue jeans and tee-shirts is a global phenomenon, and people in the developing countries have just as much right to wear them as good ol’ white boys.

  26. 26 Knucklehead Jan 13th, 2012 at 8:15 am

    Henry, HELLO! Did you read what I wrote? And if you want to insult me grow some and do it to my face.

  27. 27 BobS Jan 13th, 2012 at 8:19 am

    I think bikers that dress like pirates or Power Rangers look funny no matter what race they are.

  28. 28 Sportster Mike Jan 13th, 2012 at 8:33 am

    Having been on the roads there in Goa and Kurnikata – with cars driving the WRONG WAY ON PURPOSE on both the single lanes and the new motorways and no lights on at night, all I can say is Sheesh…. and on a full dress Harley looking badass – no chance!!

  29. 29 frank Jan 13th, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    it’s the royal enfield story repeating

  30. 30 Red Jan 13th, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    How do you know the guys in the photo are not real bad asses?

  31. 31 Whenu Jan 13th, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    @ Kirk Perry, “a long Mediterranean coastline” is along way from India, glad you’re not navigating

  32. 32 Chop Jan 13th, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    I find it funny to read all your comments. If this helps save an American Icon to live, may just be best to let it happen and live with it whatever happens. You cant all be blind to this changing world eg: your beloved FATBOY named and badged in honour to your past heros of WW2 in Japan, had and still has a Japanese front end ( ironic not iconic ), wheels made in Australia until Harley closed up the plant and moved there plant to China, electrical parts from Italy and a host of other nations including heaps of stuff from Taiwan / China……What you are buying is an Iconic Name Brand ONLY the great AMERICAN MOTORCYCLE and DREAM has slipped away already many, many years ago ( fact not fiction ) and most have NOT EVEN NOTICED IT HAPPENING DAY by DAY. Check out the brand tag labels on your H-D and other designer BLUE JEANS, T-SHIRTS & LEATHER RIDING GEAR we have all noticed them as not being Made in the USA for many decades.

  33. 33 Kirk Perry Jan 13th, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    “a long Mediterranean coastline” is along way from India, glad you’re not navigating”.
    What I meant of course, was that India had a long “Mediterranean-type” coastline, you sea, just that I left out one key word is what happened here – and not being addled by vapors.

  34. 34 DJ Jan 13th, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Henry.. poor, dear, confused, Henry.. It’s ok little buddy. I am sure someone out there doesn’t think you are a scmuck, I am sure your mom still loves you

  35. 35 Captain John T. Awesome Jan 13th, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    I don’t care what race, color or creed you are, if you dress like that, you’re a douche.

  36. 36 golfish Jan 13th, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    Capt, so I’m a douche for wearing a Tee shirt, jeans and work boots?

  37. 37 Luis Jan 13th, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    If you’ve ever had to actually go there you’d know the humidity is anything but Mediterranean.

  38. 38 BobS Jan 13th, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    golfish, the level of doucheness is a direct relation to the number of logos displayed. One single H-D logo on a t-shirt and your fine. But the more logos beyond one, the bigger douche one is. If you have H-D on your t-shirt, on your belt buckle, on your boots, tatto’d to your arm, and you wear an H-D bandanna and fingerless gloves…even when your not riding the bike…..HUGE douche. BUT, India like the USA is a free country so if dudes want to dress like that by all means they have every right. Just like the rest of us have a right to laugh at them.

  39. 39 Kirk Perry Jan 13th, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    “If you’ve ever had to actually go there you’d know the humidity is anything but Mediterranean.”
    I see. The Bay of Bengal is actually a basin. Okay. And as such, probably has an extending-shelf of shallow water off the entire coastline for miles – many rivers emptying and no tidal flushing.

    So, it’s a “daytime-only-driving-country then, and the attractions of India obviously lie north, towards “Katmandu!” ☺ Impassable by all but oxen you say?
    Then find a road to Manali. from a dealership. Escorted tours up to the home of Shiva.Visited by Westerners since 1962 and 1963. By 1969 the route was well trodden.
    Read here then, the reference to “local high-jinks”. The chamber of commerce is not referring to loud alcohol, my friends, ☺ and “Mello-tone” factory mufflers are always welcome. High altitude burns calories fast. By the time you’ve motored up to Manali, you’d gladly eat a spoon of bacon-grease while sitting by a roaring fire pit. Staring at it…. gooning on a groove of good memories, where the air is clear and sweet.
    Looking at a this map, find a road to get there from here:

  40. 40 Luis Jan 13th, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    Thats a nice travelogue. You should take up writing. still has nothing to do w/ the average humidity. Having been to Chennai, Mumbai, and Hyperbad for work, I’ve experienced otherwise

  41. 41 Kirk Perry Jan 14th, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Welcome to the streets of L.A. This is grit-real. Concrete river valleys & all. Back for a season and long awaited.

  42. 42 Geno Jan 16th, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Excuse me mr salesman sir How many rupees for that chutney-glide in candy coconut and ginger?

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Cyril Huze