India Slowly Replacing China As Manufacturing Hub. Believe it or not, India is quietly becoming a production hub of high end vehicles for export to China. Harley Davidson, Austrian motorcycle manufacturer KTM and Mahindra and Mahindra have preferred to set up manufacturing facilities in India rather than in low cost China, and export the output to the land of the Dragon. Harley Davidson will export to China its new Street platform from its manufacturing facility in Bawal (Haryana). Currently Harley does not have any plant outside the US, except in Brazil and India and it clearly wants to leverage its plant in India for exports to Asia. Both Street 750 and Street 500 will be manufactured in India, the only other production hub for the models apart from Kansas in United States. These bikes will be also be exported to Europe. Production and exports of both the models on the Street platform are expected to commence in mid next year. KTM Motorcycles AG, the European bike company owned at 48% by Bajaj Auto said is also setting up an assembly unit in China to be completed sometime next year. CKD (completely knocked down kits) from both India and Austria are likely to be exported to China. Mahindra & Mahindra group company is also looking to export electrical vehicles for the Chinese market to be manufactured in India.
Harley-Davidson Opens First Showroom In Vietnam. Harley-Davidson opened its first showroom in Vietnam last weekend. Harley-Davidson, was made popular in Sai Gon, now Ho Chi Minh City, during the Vietnam war in the 1960s. Recently, the motorcycle has become a firm favorite on Hanoi streets too. A number of world leading bike makers have set up official dealerships in the country in the past two years, including Ducati, Benelli and KTM. Triumph is expected to join the market soon. The Vietnamese market has seen significant growth with around 3 million bikes purchased annually. Five joint ventures currently dominate 95 percent of local market share, including Honda, Yamaha, SYM, Suzuki and Piaggio.
The NHTSA Issued A Recall Campaign For 2012 Ural Notorcycles With Potential Rim problems. According the the NHTSA, 273 bikes, models 2012 Ural Gear-up, Patrol, Patrol T, Tourist, and Tourist T motorcycles with sidecars produced from June 2, 2012 through October 25, 2012 may have been equipped with incorrectly manufactured rims. These rims have been improperly heat treated and this could result in cracked, split or broken units, which is a serious crash hazard. Dealers will inspect and replace the rims with proper ones, free of charge.