Harley-Davidson launches highly anticipated X440 motorcycle in India, price starts at $Rs 2.29 lakh (ex-showroom), making it the brand’s most affordable motorcycle ever. The motorcycle was designed, developed and manufactured in India jointly with Hero MotoCorp, a partnership that the two companies entered into more than three years ago, during the Covid-19 pandemic in October 2020. Now, Hero MotoCorp plans to use the X440 and its collaboration with Harley as a cornerstone to launch a record number of new premium products in India over the next two years, reports PTI.
Hero MotoCorp executive chairman Pawan Munjal told the news agency that the local two-wheeler maker will launch a record number of new products in the premium segment of 150cc to 450cc models over the next two years. He also said the strategy would help Hero MotoCorp gain its rightful place in the vertical. Clearly, India’s largest two-wheeler brand is betting big on its partnership with Harley-Davidson, a key part of the brand’s strategy to premiumize its offerings.
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Interestingly, the launch of the X440 coincides with the launch of the 400 cc motorcycles in India by Bajaj Auto and Triumph. While Bajaj is partnering with global premium motorcycle brands to enhance its competitiveness in the premium segment, Hero MotoCorp is also looking out for anything.
The report also said Hero MotoCorp plans to set up some specialty stores and upgrade 35-40% of its 1,000 major dealerships to sell high-end models. India’s high-end motorcycle market mainly has a displacement between 350cc-1,000cc. Royal Enfield has a strong presence in this segment with its range of products. The Harley-Davidson X440 will compete directly with the Royal Enfield Classic 350.
Also read: Harley-Davidson X440 launched: 5 things to know
Talking about the X440 and its potential to grab share of India’s premium motorcycle market, Pawan Munjal admitted that Hero MotoCorp currently has a very small market share in the premium segment, which is currently dominated by Royal Enfield. “Harley plays a very important role for us in the whole premium strategy. While we have had some very successful products there, for Harley there is obviously a lot to learn when it comes to the development of large engines”, Monjar pointed out.
Initially, the two companies will only focus on the Indian market for the X440, he said. Later, the motorcycle may be introduced to other global markets. “Once we’ve proven ourselves with the product and satisfied the customer, there’s always an opportunity to talk and discuss the future,” says Munjal.
First published date: Jul 4, 2023 at 11:01 AM CST