American motorcycle giant Harley Davidson has regained leadership in the premium motorcycle segment in India which has been propelled by its partnership with Hero MotoCorp. This comes as a truly remarkable feat considering the iconic brand quit independent operation in India back in September 2020.
According to data shared by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), Hero MotoCorp managed to sell 601 motorcycles from the Harley Davidson brand in FY2022. The American manufacturer has nearly tripled its sales as compared to FY2021 when it managed to retail only 206 units.
Harley Davidson Takes Top Spot - 1000cc+ Motorcycle Segment
Out of the 601 units sold last financial year, 531 units were above the 1,000cc mark, making Harley Davidson an overwhelming market leader in the 1,000cc and above segment. The iconic brand took control of 37 percent of market share in the last financial year for motorcycles in the 1000cc and above space. In comparison, Harley recorded a market share of 27 percent in FY21.
The company's sales were mostly driven by its latest flagship models Pan America 1250 Special and Sportster S. In process of gaining back the throne, Harley Davidson went past other premium motorcycle brands like Triumph and Kawasaki with respective yearly volumes of 336 units and 283 units recorded in FY2022.
Other prominent Japanese brands like Suzuki and Kawasaki registered a volume of 233 units and 71 units respectively. Most of the company's current success has been attributed to Hero MotoCorp which took over retail operations from Harley Davidson in October 2020, after the latter quit independent operations in the country. The Milwaukee brand's Indian operation seemed to be in a state of disarray even after 11 years of existence in the market.
Possible Reasons for Sales Growth
Since Hero MotoCorp took charge of operations for Harley Davidson in India, the latter has benefitted from the former's wide distribution network across the country. Since then, Hero has also expanded Harley's in India network to comprise 13 showrooms and 10 service centres. Further, Hero also restarted customer interaction events like HOG rallies across the nation.
The last such HOG event was conducted in Mahabaleshwar between April 9-10 this year, after a two-year hiatus that saw participation from more than 540 Harley-Davidson owners across the country. The next H.O.G Rally has been scheduled to take place in Hyderabad between August 26-27. Harley Davidson has now set up a separate vertical to drive its new business of products and merchandise distribution in the country.
Previously, some Harley Davidson models were locally assembled at its rented facility in Bawal, Haryana. The American brand currently retails fully imported models brought to the country via the CBU route which includes models like Sportster S, Iron 883, Forty-Eight, Fat Bob and Pan America 1250.