Almost two years after the famous "mangoes for Harley" barter between India and the US, the iconic bike manufacturer is finally ready to hit the Indian roads.
The company is reported to have finalised plans to import its bikes into India by the end of the year. While some of the bikes would be imported as complete built units (CBU) that attract a 60 per cent import duty, its low end Sportster 883 would later be imported as a complete knocked down (CKD) unit. With this, India would only be the third country in the world after Singapore and Brazil to have an assembly line for the company.
"The company has got clearances from the government and is now scouting around for an office in Gurgaon," said a dealer close to the company. "Initially two bikes including the Fatboy would be imported as a CBU at over Rs 20 lakh but subsequently the lower end Sportster would be imported as CKD and then assembled here."
The Milwaukee based auto maker had received a major reprieve two years back when emission norms were relaxed and its bikes were allowed to be imported. In return US had to allow import of Indian mangoes. However, high import duties for completely built units (CBU) led to the company deferring its plans.
When contacted Bob Klein, director, corporate communications, Harley-Davidson Motor Company said the company is exploring all options for a possible entry into India. "Harley-Davidson continues to lay the groundwork for possible entry into the India market and is exploring options for doing so," he said. "We will have more details at such time as there is information to announce."