As part of the restructuring process, the company will close its manufacturing plant in Bawal, while significantly reducing its sales office in Gurgaon. Harley-Davidson also announced that its dealer network in India will continue to serve customers for the duration of the contract.
The American motorcycle brand has already started communicating with its customers in the country and will keep them informed of future assistance. However, it is still unclear how the brand will support customers in terms of spare parts, spare parts and future services for vehicles.
The company faced a massive setback in terms of sales in the Indian market. The decline in demand and sales for Harley-Davidson products, along with the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown that followed, had a major effect on the brand’s operations.
There were reports in August 2020 that Harley-Davidson had started laying off employees in India, as part of its downsizing of operations in the country. Downsizing its employees was part of the same Rewire strategy.
This Rewire strategy is expected to continue until the end of 2020. This will further lead to a new strategic plan for 2021-2025, called “The Hardwire”, which will aim to strengthen the desirability of the brand and products.
This restructuring process also now casts doubt on plans to introduce a new entry-level 338cc offering. With the closure of all manufacturing and sales operations in India, there is no news of Harley-Davidson’s new project. The new 338cc HD was set to take on the Royal Enfield motorcycles in the Indian market.
Thoughts on the closure of Harley-Davidson in India
Harley-Davidson now joins a long list of automakers who have shut down operations in India in the past 4-5 years. The list includes General Motors, UM Motorcycles and Fiat; to name a few. It will be interesting to see how the company now manages services for its current clients in the Indian market.