Harley-Davidson to open India plant

Fred Prouser/Reuters

Harley-Davidson is breaking into the luxury motor market in India, opening in 2011 a motorcycle assembly plant in Haryana, northern India.  The iconic American motorcycle manufacturer opened its first dealership in India last July. Industry figures show that India's overall motorcycle sales for 2009 went up 26 per cent.


"Given the strong response we have received in the initial months of retail operations, we believe this is the right investment for this important market," said Harley President Matthew Levatich in a statement.

This is Harley's second operation outside the US; its first overseas manufacturing plant opened in Brazil.

Other companies are jumping on board to grab a piece of India, where two-wheeled vehicles are the most popular mode of transportation for the country's 1.2 billion people.

German car maker BMW announced in October it would begin selling motorcycles in India.

"India's rapidly growing economy, rising middle class and significant investment for construction of new roads and highways are paving the way for leisure motorcycle riding," said Levatich.

Harley currently offers Indian clients 12 different models, with engine capacities up to 1500cc.

The Indian plant will assemble US component kits, which would greatly lower the price of the luxury bikes, currently priced 11,000 to 56,000 euros.

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning