False And Misleading Claim Again. Harley-Davidson Pays 10% Tax In India. Not 100% As Alleged.

The scope of false and misleading facts and statements incite many politicians to continue to push :Alternative Facts” for their own benefitts. And this on all sides of the spectrum…. My job being to inform and entertain you around our motorcycling passion, from time to time it requires my intervention to push away the dubious claims, In this case, as most know, US President Trump indicated Harley-Davidson pays 100% duty on its importations in India. That these import duties must be cut…With authorization, I publish below the tax liability and sources of info for tax liability facing all motorcycle manufacturers with no exception. I think you will find this very informative and more…

“Harley-Davidson pays as little as 10% duty in India on much of its supplies. As a commerce ministry note suggests, Harley — which has a plant in this country since 2011 —imports a lot of its components like engines, gear box, transmission mechanism etc in a pre-assembled form that are liable for just a 10% duty. So, the argument that India has been imposing a 100% duty on Harley is “incorrect”, it stresses.

Harley sold 4,080 units in India in 2014 and 4,445 units in 2015, much higher than its imports of 1,445 and 2,742 units in 2014 and 2015, respectively. This means a large number of Harley bikes are manufactured in India at its plant in Haryana where imposing a 100% tax “doesn’t come into picture”, according to the note. In fact, Harley has an over 50% share of the Indian market in the bike segments ranging from 800cc to over 1,600cc. FE was the first to report on March 10 that India was providing its embassy in Washington DC with these facts on the Harley issue to clear any ‘misconceptions’ there, if required.

Explaining the duty structure in India, the note says bikes imported in completely knocked-down (CKD) conditions attract just 10%, while for imports in semi-knocked-down (SKD) condition, the duty is 30%. Imports of new bikes under 800cc attract a 60% duty and those of over 800cc are taxed at 75%. Only purchase of used bikes from overseas attract 100%, as the government doesn’t want India to be a dumping ground of second-hand motorcycles. Importantly, India has the mandate under the World Trade Organization (WTO) to impose up to a 100% import duty on luxury bikes. In a meeting with the US assistant trade representative here earlier this week, the Indian side, without naming Harley, is learnt to have conveyed that the imposition of tariffs on products is guided by the country’s commitment to the WTO and its own domestic interests. This shouldn’t be a sore point in any bilateral ties, especially when it’s not country-specific.

Also, the average price at which these Harley bikes were imported from the US was $6,026 in 2016, much lower than those of bikes from competing countries — $8,129 of Japanese bikes (mainly Suzuki and Kawasaki brands), $9,065 of Italian bikes (dominant brand is Ducati) and $15,592 of the German motorcycles (key brand is BMW). In his speech to Congress, Trump had said: “They (executives from Harley-Davidson) told me — without even complaining because they have been mistreated for so long that they have become used to it — that it is very hard to do business with other countries because they tax our goods at such a high rate.”

Zipper's

38 Responses to “False And Misleading Claim Again. Harley-Davidson Pays 10% Tax In India. Not 100% As Alleged.”


  1. 1 HistoryFirst Apr 26th, 2017 at 8:38 am

    Two thumbs up Cyril for being one of the few willing to uphold and publish the truth ( online or otherwise ) in a world addicted to distortion reality , alt facts , conspiracy theories and outright lies coming from our ‘ so called ‘ president and his sycophant minions !

  2. 2 chopmonster66 Apr 26th, 2017 at 8:46 am

    Great to see the truth told, at least one media outlet can still do so

  3. 3 supertone Apr 26th, 2017 at 9:12 am

    So the truth is that imported Harleys, built in the USA and imported to India would be taxed at 80% (except for the street models) and those bikes labeled as luxury motorcycles would be taxed at 100% (maybe those are the Ultras? CVO’s? ) The whole reason Harley has a plant there is so they can ship bikes to India as CKD’s or SKD’s and assemble them there to beat the import tariff. Not exactly to far from the truth. India wants manufacturing for its people thats how you build a middle class. Taxing imports at 80-100% makes those imports unobtainable, so build a factory and import the parts.

    “Imports of new bikes under 800cc attract a 60% duty and those of over 800cc are taxed at 75%. Only purchase of used bikes from overseas attract 100%, as the government doesn’t want India to be a dumping ground of second-hand motorcycles. Importantly, India has the mandate under the World Trade Organization (WTO) to impose up to a 100% import duty on luxury bikes.”

  4. 4 SIGFREED Apr 26th, 2017 at 9:21 am

    Yaaaawwwwnnn – politics again…

  5. 5 JohnnySpeed Apr 26th, 2017 at 9:25 am

    Awesome journalism Cyril. Thank you for this report. I bitch alot, but this is great work.

  6. 6 BobS Apr 26th, 2017 at 10:06 am

    Politics maybe, lying definitely, motorcycle specific news absolutely.

  7. 7 bigjimslade Apr 26th, 2017 at 10:22 am

    Supertone, don’t distort an alt-left article with facts it makes
    snowflakes melt their brains

  8. 8 BobS Apr 26th, 2017 at 10:31 am

    Supertone you missed what was said. Harley’s built in the USA and imported to India as CKDs are taxed at 10%. Imported as SKDs get taxed at 30%. If Harley chose to import their non Street models without using either the CKD or SKD process the tax would become 75%. They have a mandate from WTO to go as high as 100%, but they don’t.

  9. 9 calif phil Apr 26th, 2017 at 10:39 am

    Supertone is spot on. I doubt bringing in used Harley’s would make India a dumping ground. I bet they would be glad to be able to buy a used Harley without a 100% tax. Even 75% is ridiculous. Let start taxing Indian imports and see how they like it.
    I am so glad we have a president that will stand up for America. Make America first! Make America safe, Make America Great Again.

  10. 10 Roberto Apr 26th, 2017 at 10:52 am

    So most Harley’s( big twins) are taxed at 80 %, not 100%. What a great deal!

  11. 11 GeezerRider Apr 26th, 2017 at 10:54 am

    Harley builds motorcycles in both India and Brazil. In both cases, I was told years ago by MOCO employees it was because the super high tariffs on fully assembled US built motorcycles would increase retail pricing to an obscene level. It shouldn’t be a political issue if you’re an American to want fair trade with all countries. India and Brazil are working deals to protect their citizens. So should the US. We need more manufacturing jobs n the US.

  12. 12 calif phil Apr 26th, 2017 at 11:04 am

    This story is an example of fake news. Very misleading headline. Why doesn’t it say 75% in the headline?

  13. 13 P. Hamilton Apr 26th, 2017 at 11:16 am

    Cal Phil. Doesn’t see 75% in Cyril’s headline? I would trust him for mc news more than anybody else.

  14. 14 BobS Apr 26th, 2017 at 11:50 am

    Calif Phil and others you guys should read more. It doesn’t say 75% in the headline because Harley doesn’t pay 75%. And no Roberto they’re not taxed at 80% either. They’re taxed at 10%. If you need help with that just count all your fingers and toes. America will never be great as long as the populace is so easily misled.

  15. 15 bigjimslade Apr 26th, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    The title of the article is misleading and it was done on purpose in order to disparage Trumps statements, and to elicit many responses, pro or con, not because it’s factual but to drive traffic to the blog. It’s a perfect example of fake news where the information doesn’t have to be incorrect just presented in a manner that misrepresents or disparages someone especially on a controversial topic. However the facts remain, India requires non Indian companies to build plants in India, assemble in India using Indian labor, or face large tariffs. The tariff exists regardless if HD builds in India or not and the same result happens, US labor is eliminated because the bikes must be built in India or be heavily taxed, making them unsalable.

  16. 16 Pat h Apr 26th, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    Supertone right on, USA USA USA USA USA

  17. 17 calif phil Apr 26th, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    BigJimSlade I couldn’t agree more

  18. 18 BobS Apr 26th, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    Big Jim doesn’t understand CKD or SKD. I’ll beak this down for those who don’t understand: India no tax Harley 100%, India tax Harley 10%. If guy says India tax it 100% he be liar liar pants on fire bad hombre guy.

  19. 19 BadMonkeyMW Apr 26th, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    You mean Trumpy said something that was a total bullshit lie? Business as usual for the Clown-In-Chief.

    Thanks to Cyril for publishing actual facts and educating the motorcycling public in the process.

  20. 20 richards Apr 26th, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    “Fake news”? Cyril has reported this accurately. If you can’t read or comprehend that’s not Cyrils problem. If you believe this is fake news, tell us SPECIFICALLY what’s fake about it.

  21. 21 LightSpeed Apr 26th, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    Richards. You got it right, Some Trump supporters can’t stand the truth.

  22. 22 NoH2oh Apr 27th, 2017 at 7:36 am

    Okay, so HD imports a knocked down kit, gets taxed 10%. In turn, HD has to build an assembly facility to put said kits together to only pay said 10% instead of 75% if they were to import bikes of 800cc already assembled. Yet, the WTO mandate allows a 100% tax on so called luxury bikes. Seems legit.

    How much does the US tax fully assembled Indian made bikes sold here?

  23. 23 BobS Apr 27th, 2017 at 9:36 am

    NoH2oh, as with most things in life it’s not as simple as cable “news” commentary would have us believe. While Royal Enfield is importing some bikes here none of them are over 800 cc’s and beyond that most of the cars and motorcycles produced in India are flat out barred from being imported to the U.S. because they don’t meet safety or emissions standards. So while strait up reciprocity makes for good slogans and sound bites, it doesn’t work in the real world. So instead of bikes the U.S. imposes tariffs on Indian textiles. Our government collects over a billion dollars a year in taxes placed on Indian imports. Of course this country has had a lot more practice at free market capitalism than most of the rest of the world and one thing we’ve learned over and over is that cumbersome regulations and taxes don’t work. Tariffs are taxes paid by consumers, when you raise taxes on consumers the economy suffers. Jobs are lost not protected. True there might be a dozen or so Indians getting paid to reassemble 4500 Harley’s a year in that country. There would be a lot more getting paid to transport, warehouse, sell, repair etc. If lower prices allowed a lot more than 4500 bikes a year to be sold there.

  24. 24 John D Apr 27th, 2017 at 10:00 am

    Goodbye Cyril. Your slanted article & little digs thrown in expose you for a lefty. No surprise….

  25. 25 bigjimslade Apr 27th, 2017 at 10:38 am

    It’s simple, folks are missing it, the title is click bait, fake news. Fake news doesn’t mean there are not facts that are correct in the story, it means that the title and content of the story, which this is, a story, are being presented in an disingenuous manner in order to elicit responses, from either side to obtain the elusive clicks for $$. Fact: India charges foreign motorcycle manufacturing companies a 100% tax on imported complete motorcycles. Fact: India charges 10% on parts imported for the purpose of assembling a motorcycle in India, by India labor, in a plant built in India. So the statement that HD pays a 100% tax/tariff on imported motorcycles is true, its also true that they pay 10% on unassembled parts imported to India. What the message from POTUS is that the high tax rate HD would pay on imported USA assembled products of 100% is keeping HD from hiring more people here, building a plant here, hiring more workers, paying more USA taxes, helping more USA families has been exported to India in order to avoid the 100% tax. Pay it or not, the 100% tax on USA built products kills USA jobs, I know that message has flown over some heads, but thats because folks are so entrenched in political warfare they don’t care what reality is, they just want to take shots at Trump, and will buy any fake news. So yes as much as I like CH, and come here daily, this was a political piece, misleading title, exposes CH’s views, and was click bait.. And there is a 100% tax on HD, it just chose to avoid it by removing jobs from the USA to India…. And that’s the fact

  26. 26 BobS Apr 27th, 2017 at 10:52 am

    Big Jim you are wrong. Completely wrong. You apparently do not understand what CKD means because Harley has to hire more US workers to perform that task. India’s tariff system isn’t killing a single US job, it actually creates some. This article is truth and truth is not fake news.

  27. 27 Gerry Apr 27th, 2017 at 11:14 am

    There are many import taxes never used in all countries. Each country has its own interest in mind. Indian has its rules. It’s up to HD or Indian or… to decide what is the most profitable for them. But to say that India is obliging HD to remove US jobs to build bikes in India is absolutely ridiculous . CH statement is factual. HD doesn’t pay 100 % in India. You are very dishonnest. Not him.

  28. 28 Donnie13 Apr 27th, 2017 at 11:17 am

    BiJomBlade. You sound like the fakiest guy i have heard of.

  29. 29 Mark hill Apr 27th, 2017 at 11:48 am

    Bottom line, tariffs on imported goods create jobs in the country that imposed the tariffs
    The lesson here is that the tariffs need to be big enough to move the manufacturing to the country imposing the tariffs.
    To avoid tariffs in India, HD invested in India.
    HD still makes about the same amount of money.
    India gains jobs and infrastructure.
    Tariffs on motorcycles made in India and sold in the US are low
    So Royal Enfield can manufacture in India and sell in the USA
    This works great for India, it improves Indias manufacturing base and infrastructure. It improves Indias economy and creates jobs in India.
    Smart strategy for India

  30. 30 Xenu Apr 27th, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    Tariffs are bad?
    HD was circling the drain when Reagan imposed large tariffs on imported large motorcycles, allowing them to retool using Japanese methods and machinery to make the EVO and save the day.

  31. 31 USEast Apr 27th, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    bigjimslade. Trump hates real news about himself, so he calls them fake news. And low IQ people believe him. What did he do in 100 days? NOTHING. Just executive orders without legislative and executive power, and repeating his campaign lies.

  32. 32 Chris Apr 27th, 2017 at 5:58 pm

    HD streets assembled in India are then sold to the rest of the world.
    Anyone buying a HD Street in Australia, is buying one assembled in India.

  33. 33 1550tc Apr 27th, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    You guys start building that wall yet??

    I heard their out of orange snow fences in the no states

  34. 34 Wayne Apr 27th, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    Now we need to check into how much Harley pays in Thailand
    and why a new Road Glide Ultra (non CVO) would cost $61,000 for a vivid black machine. No more importing used bike which means my almost brand new bikes get sold if I decide I want to move here. Wonder what the duty tax is on items made in Thailand and sold in the US. Thinking Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon.

  35. 35 USEast Apr 27th, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    Trump flip flopping on everything, taking illegal measures with travel ban, failed with health insurance, no wall paid ny Mexico, no more against NATO, no trade war, with tariffs, no more insults against China the currency manipulator (WE NEED china to control N. KOREA), , etc. WHO IS FAKE NEWS?

  36. 36 Drake Brady Apr 28th, 2017 at 6:05 am

    A president can’t stop U.S. jobs from leaving…

  37. 37 calif phil Apr 28th, 2017 at 7:48 am

    No a president can’t stop jobs moving over seas, but his policy can make them not want to go.

  38. 38 Bill D. May 1st, 2017 at 10:26 am

    So Trump’s 100% claim is fundamentally correct. Frankly that came as a surprise to me, given his usual Pinocchio tendencies.
    This subject raises the larger matter of tariff reciprocity. H-D built their plant in India because of India’s high tariffs and the large and growing market there.
    Although I don’t think the existence of Indian-made Royal Enfields significantly hurt any American motorcycle manufacturer, it would seem fair to have tariff reciprocity.
    Side note to CH: I find it refreshing to see a left of center commentator inside the motorcycle industry which tends to be dominated in the other direction.

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