The country’s largest two-wheeler maker Hero MotoCorp which could soon sign a strategic agreement with cult bike manufacturer Harley-Davidson is believed to be pushing for a technology-sharing pact with the iconic American brand. However, Hero MotoCorp did not comment on the story.
“It would make sense for Hero to seek a deeper collaboration and technology sharing pact with Harley Davidson which could benefit the company in high capacity segments,” said an industry source requesting anonymity.
Harley which entered India a decade ago recently announced its exit from the Indian market. The company said it is discontinuing sales and manufacturing operations in India. “This is not a permanent exit. We are evaluating all options to maintain a presence in the Indian market after December,” said a Harley official.
On Friday, CNBC-TV18 reported that Harley would sign a strategic partnership with Hero which would make Hero a distributor for Harley bikes in India. Modalities of managing Harley’s 33 outlets in India are being worked out.
Speaking to CNBC-TV18 on June 23, Hero chairman Pawan Munjal said, “We are very keen on M&A and we are looking for the right match. It has to be a win-win partnership in line with Hero’s vision for the future of mobility”. At that time, Munjal did not confirm or deny the possibility of a tie-up with Harley.
Sources privy to the developments told CNBC-TV18 that the much talked about the deal between Harley and Hero could be announced in the next 15 days.
Harley is in the process of laying off employees and informing dealers and suppliers about future plans and reimbursements. The company has shut down its rented facility in Bawal, Haryana, which was used for manufacturing and assembly of Harley motorcycles including the popular Street 750.
Industry sources said Hero is not looking to take over the Bawal facility or any assets as the company has enough capacity for contract manufacturing and assembly of Harley motorcycles in India.
For Hero, a ride with Harley would be a ticket to enter the 300cc plus segment where Royal Enfield holds the biggest market share. The company wants to build on the success of the Xpulse 200 and Xtreme 160R platforms and may also launch a high capacity off-roader in the future.