If you’re wondering why I’ve tricked out the Harley Davidson logo below in saffron, white and green – it’s because the cool bike is going to India. They’ve set up an office in Delhi, and are planning to sell the bikes there. Vrooom-growl!
Companies undecided about entering India might want to watch the motor-cycle manufacturer.
Two years ago, when I was researching India Business Checklists, Harley Davidson was in an dilemma.
India had changed its emission standards, so now its bikes were legal in India. Earlier, there was no question of selling their bikes in India because they didn’t comply with the standards. But import duties of 60% and other taxes that added another 30% or so priced it out of the market.
Or maybe not. Because the news now is that Harley Davidson has decided not to wait any longer. True, duties might fall, but meanwhile, other automotive companies are establishing market share. They think India’s rapid growth is generating enough of a market for them to gain some traction in the leisure riding market. In a country where the main use for two-wheelers is as family transportation, the leisure-rider is a luxury consumer. This may be among the fastest-growing market segments in India, albeit on a tiny base.