Harley-Davidson set to ride into India

Harley-Davidson superbikes set to finally ride into India. Specific details on which models the company plans to launch are not available. Harley-Davidson was first granted permission to start operations in India by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board in April 2007. In exchange, the US government allowed the import of mangoes from India after a gap of 18 years.

But Harley was forced to abandon plans to enter the Indian bike market as the duty structure made importing unviable. Import of completely built up, or CBU, units of automobiles are taxed at the rate of 104% in India. The company had then said that this would put its products out of reach for Indian consumers.

Before 2007, the country’s ministry of shipping, road transport and highways had blocked the entry of Harley-Davidson’s bikes saying that the country lacked emission norms for bikes with an engine capacity exceeding 500cc. The government then agreed to recognize Euro III emission norms for bikes with an engine capacity of 800cc and above.

Duty rates at present would likely result in Harley-Davidson pricing its bikes at between Rs. 4 lakh and Rs. 14 lakh. But that is unlikely to deter prospective customers as the market for superbikes has been doing well in India. Superbikes, which have a large engine displacement of around 1,000cc, are priced anywhere between Rs. 9 lakh and Rs. 12 lakh in India.

Harley Davidson currently sells models like Sportster (883, Iron 883, Nightster, 1200, XR 1200), Dyna (super Glide, Street Bob, Low Rider, Fat Bob) Softail (Rocker), VRSC (V-Rod, V-rod Muscle, Night rod special edition).

Apart from Harley Davidson bikes Harley Davidson also owns Buell, MV Agusta and Cagiva.

Source: Livemint