In another two months, you could ride through the city roads on the legendary American cruiser Harley Davidson. The company on Wednesday announced that bookings would begin on April 20, and that it had appointed dealers across five cities in India, including Mumbai. The delivery of the bikes will begin in June.
The other four cities are Bangalore, Chandigarh, Hyderabad and New Delhi.
“We have huge expectations from this market. In the next few years, India could well turn out as one of the biggest market for Harleys outside the US,” said Anoop Prakash, managing director of Harley-Davidson India. The company announced its plan to enter the Indian market in August 2009.
To start with, it will import 12 of its existing models. The price starts at Rs 6.95 lakh for a Sportster and goes up to nearly Rs 35 lakh, depending on the model. The company has tied up with ICICI Bank to facilitate loans.
Though the Harley cult may have followers around the world, Royal Enfield fans in India may not be easy converts. “A Bullet will always be a Bullet. There’s nothing to challenge this bike when it comes to manoeuvering Indian roads,” says Alap Desai, a management graduate, who has inherited his silver-grey Bullet from his dad.
The Royal Enfield, which has been in India since 1932, is already looking at doubling its capacity in its Chennai plant from 50,000 to one lakh units by 2013.