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