Harley to assemble bikes in India

Cult bikemaker of US Harley Davidson will assemble some of its models in India from 2011, a move that is set to drive down the price of aspirational vehicles in the market. The company, which currently sells as many as 12 models (now imported) in India priced between Rs 7.79 lakh and Rs 38.66 lakh, will start its assembly operation at Bawal in Haryana. The Bawal unit is the second such facility for the company outside the US after Brazil. The announcement comes days before US President Barack Obama’s visit to India and highlights the growing appetite of the Indian market for luxury products. “India’s rapidly growing economy, rising middle class and significant investment in construction of new roads and highways are paving the way for leisure motorcycle riding,” Harley-Davidson President and COO Matthew S Levatich said. While India is the world’s second-biggest bike market after China, the majority of the units sold are lowerpriced vehicles, which are used primarily for commuting. However, the increasing number of millionaires are creating a market for super luxury products.

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