Nearly a month after Harley-Davidson said it is exiting the Indian market, the company has signed a distribution agreement with Hero MotoCorp, marking its return to the Indian market.
According to the distribution agreement, Hero MotoCorp will sell and service Harley-Davidson motorcycles, and sell parts and accessories and general merchandise riding gear and apparel through a network of brand-exclusive Harley-Davidson dealers and Hero’s existing dealership network in India.
As part of a licensing agreement, Hero MotoCorp will develop and sell a range of premium motorcycles under the Harley-Davidson brand name.
“These actions are aligned with Harley-Davidson’s business overhaul, The Rewire, and the company’s announcement in September to change its business model in India,” Hero MotoCorp said in a statement.
This arrangement, the company said, is mutually beneficial for both companies and riders in India, as it brings together the iconic Harley-Davidson brand with the strong distribution network and customer service of Hero MotoCorp.
Over the past decade the Indian market has been among the worst performing markets for US motorcycle maker struggled to gain a significant market share. In the last fiscal it reportedly sold only ,676 bikes, 22% less than the 3,413 units sold in FY18. In the past decade, it reportedly sold less than 30,000 bikes.
Harley-Davidson, which has been registering losses on a global level said in September that it would be exiting the Indian market amid restructuring of operations that also included optimising its global dealer network.
This came after the company, In July, announced an overhaul of its global operating model, making it a leaner, more nimble organization under its ‘Rewire’ strategy.
Harley-Davidson said at the time that the initial Rewire actions are expected to result in restructuring costs of approximately $42 million in Q2 2020 and that the streamlined structure would result in around 500 employees being laid off globally.