Hero MotoCorp bets big on Harley partnership, plans several new product launches

  • Harley-Davidson X440 will directly challenge the Royal Enfield Classic 350.
Co-developed with Hero MotoCorp, Harley-Davidson X440 will take on rivals like Royal Enfield Classic 350 and Meteor 350, Honda H’ness CB350 and even the Bajaj Triumph 400 twins.
Co-developed with Hero MotoCorp, Harley-Davidson X440 will take on rivals like Royal Enfield Classic 350 and Meteor 350, Honda H’ness CB350 and even the Bajaj Triumph 400 twins.

Harley-Davidson has introduced its much-awaited X440 motorcycle in India at a starting price of 2.29 lakh (ex-showroom), making it the most affordable motorcycle ever from the brand. The motorcycle has been designed, developed and built in India in association with Hero MotoCorp, under the two companies' partnership that formed more than three years ago, in October 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, using the X440 and its partnership with Harley as stepping stones, Hero MotoCorp is aiming to launch a record number of new premium products in India over the next two years, reports PTI.

In an interaction with the news agency, Hero MotoCorp's executive chairman Pawan Munjal said that the homegrown two-wheeler manufacturer is in the process of introducing a record number of new products in the premium segment raging between 150cc-450cc models over the next two years. He also said that this strategy will help Hero MotoCorp to get its rightful place in the vertical. Clearly, India's largest two-wheeler brand is betting big on its partnership with Harley-Davidson, which is a key part of the brand's strategy of premiumisation of products.

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Also Read : All-new X440 is Harley-Davidson's best bet to cross India's tariff hurdles, important for Hero MotoCorp too. Know why

Watch: Harley-Davidson X440 launched in India: First Look

Interestingly, the launch of the X440 comes right ahead of Bajaj Auto and Triumph's 400 cc motorcycle launch in India. When Bajaj has been tying up with global premium motorcycle brands to ramp up its game in the premium segment, Hero MotoCorp is also leaving no stone unturned.

The report also claims that Hero MotoCorp plans to set up some exclusive stores and upgrade 35-40 per cent of the 1,000 major dealerships to house premium models. The premium motorcycle segment in India predominantly ranges between 350cc-1,000 cc. Royal Enfield has a stronghold in that segment with its range of products. The Harley-Davidson X440 will directly compete with the Royal Enfield Classic 350.

Also Read : Harley-Davidson X440 launched: 5 things to know

Speaking about the X440 and its potential to grab a chunk of the Indian premium motorcycle market, Pawan Munjal has acknowledged that currently, the Hero MotoCorp has a very small market share in the premium segment, which currently is dominated by Royal Enfield. "Harley plays a very important role for us in this entire premium strategy. While we have put out some products there, which are very successful, with Harley, there is clearly a large amount of learning for us in the development of large-sized engines," Munjal noted.

He said that initially, the two companies are focusing on the Indian market only for the X440. At a later stage, the motorcycle may be introduced to other global markets. "Once we've proven ourselves with the product and satisfied our customers, there are always possibilities of talking and discussing the future," Munjal said.

First Published Date: 04 Jul 2023, 11:01 AM IST

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