On Sunday, the Harley-Davidson owners’ group conducted protest rallies called ‘Dark Rides’ in as many as 14 cities in the nation against the American motorcycle company’s decision to withdraw from India, and in an attempt to demonstrate solidarity for Harley-Davidson dealers who say they have been left in the lurch by the decision to leave India.
In September, Harley-Davidson declared that it would end sales and development activities in India as part of its ‘Rewire’ strategy. The American motorcycle corporation has been struggling around the world, but since its first arrival here in 2009, it has struggled to find a firm foothold in India. The decision to leave the country has come as a shock to both dealers and current clients, many of whom say that they are unable to fix or even service their luxury motorcycles.
Unsatisfied Vendors & Dealers
In Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Lucknow, Delhi, Gurgaon, Jaipur, Indore, Bhopal, Raipur, Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, Mumbai, and Guwahati, protest rides were held on Sunday. Many of the participants in these rides clarified that it is the ‘unfair care’ for vendors that often bothers them because it has been impossible to get replacement parts for their bikes over the past few months.
Dealers of the famous brand have also alleged that they were taken unawares and that the ‘compensation given is insufficient. “The move to close Harley Davidson operations would cause huge losses to dealers in India who have invested crores in the business,” said Deepesh Tanwar, Ex HOG director who in support of the dealers, resigned from the directorship. “The common consumers who have brought the bike would lose out to riding experience they bought the bike for.”
Harley Davidson Collaborated With Hero MotoCorp
Although Harley-Davidson has entered into a collaboration with Hero MotoCorp that will allow the Indian business under the Harley-Davidson brand name to produce and sell a range of luxury motorcycles, the angst is only gaining momentum.
For its side, Harley-Davidson has guaranteed that it has and will continue to reach consumers. “As we change our business model in India, we are pleased to be continuing our journey in the country together with Hero MotoCorp. We are working closely with Hero to ensure a smooth transition for our riders,” said Sajeev Rajasekharan, Managing Director, Harley-Davidson, Asia Emerging Markets & India. Sajeev Rajasekharan, Managing Director, Harley-Davidson.