It is a mean dozen to charm India.
Iconic US motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson unveiled an array of 12 bikes at India’s 10th Auto Expo on Tuesday, aiming to hit the country’s market from April. The bikes, sought after by its cult-like followers who fancy its power, style and image, have been priced in the range of Rs 6.95 lakh to Rs 34.95 lakh.
“The delivery of bikes will commence from June 2010, though we will start the bookings from April 2010,” said Anoop Prakash, managing director Harley-Davidson India.
The models introduced by Harley are from its portfolio of 2010 models and include Sportster, Dyna, VRSC, Softail and Touring. The Touring family that includes three models is the costliest and comes with an ex-showroom price tag of Rs 34,95,000 per bike.
All the bikes will be directly sold and serviced by Harley-Davidson in India. The company would import the bikes as completely built units. “We will pay an import duty of 105 per cent on each bike that is imported into the country,” said Prakash.
Harley-Davidson initially would have one dealer each at Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chandigarh. “We plan to have more than 20 dealers over the next five years,” said Prakash, who declined to reveal the names of other cities where the bikes were expected to be sold. “At the moment it would be too early to comment upon the new cities where we would enter.”
A large chunk of premium Harley-Davidson bikes are still sold in US, where the 170-year company sells more than 70 per cent of the bikes manufactured by it.
However, Prakash refused to divulge any sales target for India. “We entered India with a promise to bring riders the pure Harley-Davidson experience. Leisure riding is slowly picking up in the country and we are here with a long-term commitment,” observed Prakash.
India is the world’s second largest market for two-wheelers after China.
In its recent camps at Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore the company offered test-rides to more than 300 riding enthusiasts.
Prakash added that brand awareness is already there and the company would continue with its “experiential riding opportunities” for riding enthusiasts. The company sees anybody between 18 and 64 among its potential customers.
Harley-Davidson bikes are sold in more than 70 countries across the world.