HD looking for a manufacturing partner in India

The past few years have really been tough for Harley-Davidson (HD). Besides changes in the senior positions, the Milwaukee-based manufacturer has also shelved some of its planned future motorcycle models.

Now beginning to feel the full weight of the global pandemic, there are reports suggesting that HD will soon close its Haryana, India assembly plant after nearly 10 years of operations. This is to cut on costs and run leaner, financially.

Rather than running manufacturing themselves, Harley-Davidson plans to partner with an Indian motorcycle company to share the costs.

In a report by CNBC TV18 India, the American company revealed that it is now in discussions with new possible manufacturing partners in India, much like how KTM works with Bajaj and BMW with TVS.

“The company also plans to shift resources and marketing investments into regions for maximum impact,” said HD during its new ReWire corporate strategy announcement.

Harley did not say with whom they are partnering. Although Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) – the mother company of Classic Legends which resurrected the BSA, JAWA, and Yezdi brands – did not confirm nor deny the news. Industry insiders have suggested that talks between the two companies have already begun.

Other sources suggest HD has also reached out to Bajaj Auto for a possible partnership, but the latter avoided to comment on the matter.

If this pushes through, we might see another sub-500cc Harley-Davidson motorcycle, wholly manufactured in India similar to the 350cc made in China, but coming to global markets real soon.