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Harley-Davidson has announced that the company will be shutting down its sales and manufacturing operations in India. The company is said to be changing its business model in India and is undergoing a major market restructuring process as part of its 'The Rewire' strategy.
As part of the restructuring process, the company will close its manufacturing facility in Bawal, while significantly reducing its sales office in Gurgaon. Harley-Davidson also announced that their dealer network in India will continue to serve customers through the contract term.
The American motorcycle brand has already started communicating with its customers in the country and will keep them updated on future support. However, it is still unclear how the brand will support customers in terms of spares, replacement parts and future vehicle services.
The company has faced a massive setback in terms of sales in the Indian market. The reduced demand and sales for Harley-Davidson products, along with the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown, has had a major effect on the brand's operations.
There were reports back in August 2020 of Harley-Davidson having started laying off employees in India, as part of the reduction of its operations in the country. The downsizing of its employee numbers was part of the same Rewire strategy.
This Rewire strategy is planned to continue through until the end of 2020. This will further lead to a new strategic plan for 2021 - 2025, called ‘The Hardwire', which will aim at building desirability for the brand and products.
This restructuring process also now puts the plans of introducing a new 338cc entry-level offering under doubt. With all manufacturing and sales operations in India being shut down, there is no news about the new project from Harley-Davidson. The new 338cc H-D was expected to take on the Royal Enfield motorcycles in the Indian market.
Thoughts On Harley-Davidson Shutting Down India Operations
Harley-Davidson now joins a long list of vehicle manufacturers which have shut down operations in India in the past 4 to 5 years. The list includes the likes of General Motors, UM Motorcycles and Fiat; to name a few. It will be interesting to see how the company now handles services for its current customers in the Indian market.