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Harley-Davidson 338R spied undisguised

By General Posts

by Pradeep Shah from https://www.financialexpress.com

Harley-Davidson 338R which will be the American bike maker’s most affordable motorcycle has been snapped very recently. However, the same may or may not be launched in India for a number of reasons. Read to know!

Harley-Davidson’s highly-awaited bike that will be its most affordable offering might soon be a reality. A spy image of the said motorcycle has recently emerged on the web, image courtesy Bennetts. According to the picture, the said model will be called the Harley-Davidson 338R. The upcoming Haley-Davidson 338R will be based on the Benelli platform and is being made by Qianjiang (QJ). If you remember the sketches of the most affordable Harley-Davidson that flooded the internet in 2019, well, if you look closely, you will find many similarities with that design. The said Harley-Davidson 338R will share most of its cycle parts including brakes, frame, suspension and wheels with the 302S.

Coming to the powertrain, the engine on the HD 338R will be sourced from Benelli with a larger bore and stroke. The power output and specs of this motorcycle are currently a mystery, however, we believe that the power should be in the region of 40hp. The said model is meant to go on sale in China and some of the Asian markets but India launch remains uncertain for a number of reasons. With the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the American bike maker announced a new strategy called ‘Rewire’ under which job cuts and reducing the number of future products by 30 percent are being implemented.

That said, it is not clear at the moment if the said most affordable Harley-Davidson 338R will be able to see the light of the day or not! Moreover, there have been rumours about Harley-Davidson shutting down its production facility in India and hence, its products will now might arrive through the CBU route. That said, if the 338R comes here via the same route, it might lose its price benefit to a certain extent. If such a situation arises in the future, the company might very well axe the HD 338R launch plans. More details on the upcoming Harley-Davidson 338R expected to reveal soon, so keep watching this space for all the action!

Covid-19 puts low-cost 350cc Harley-Davidson bike plans in danger

By General Posts

by Pradeep Shah from https://www.financialexpress.com

The proposal by Zeitz suggests scrapping 30 percent of the current models in the favour of a more sorted lineup. So far, the models that would be axed have not been revealed but expect a lot of bikes to retire especially from the Softail family that includes as many as 14 models. Here is why the upcoming India-bound 350cc Harley might be in danger.

The year 2020 is no less than a nightmare for multiple sectors and the automotive space is no different! Not only the production of the vehicles is getting affected but the sales have taken a severe hit too. America has been one of the worst affected nations by Covid-19 and hence, for obvious reasons, the industries and companies there are seeing some of the worst days. One such manufacturer is Harley-Davidson that has reported a loss of USD 92 million. Now, in order to offset the losses a bit, the company has came up with a new ‘Hardwire’ plan that includes aborting some of the models that the brand was planning to bring in the coming months. Now the worst piece of news is that the company’s strategy might include a 350cc low-cost motorcycle that was meant for Indian and some of the Asian markets.

Previously, the brand had announced the introduction of as many as 50 new models over the next five years. As a part to rejig strategies, the proposal of Jochen Zeitz, President, CEO and Chairman, Harley-Davidson suggests scrapping 30 percent of the current models in the favour of a more sorted lineup. So far, the models that would be axed have not been revealed but expect a lot of bikes to retire especially from the Softail family that includes as many as 14 models. Now here comes the worrying part. During one of the conversations, Zeitz said that complexity needed to be dramatically reduced and goals set needed to be achievable and realistic. He adds that the company is streamlining its motorcycle models by approximately 30 percent with plans to further refine its product portfolio.

This will enable the brand to invest in the products and platforms that matter the most while better balancing the company’s investment in new, high-potential segments. The reason why we think that India-bound 350cc Harley might not be a part of the plans now is because Zeitz further stated that “the brand is not willing to sacrifice the strength of its legacy in a quest for pure volume growth going forward”.

TVS acquires Britain’s most iconic sporting motorcycle brand ‘Norton’

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by TE Narasimhan from https://www.business-standard.com

Founded by James Lansdowne Norton, in Birmingham, in 1898, Norton Motorcycles is among the most popular British motorcycle brands of all time and is one of the most emotive marques today

TVS Motor Company on Friday announced the acquisition of the United Kingdom’s most iconic sporting motorcycle ‘Norton’ in an all-cash deal, for £16 million, by acquiring certain assets of Norton Motorcycles (UK) (in administration), through one of TVS Motor’s overseas arms. This would be among the most interesting acquisitions of a storied motorcycle maker, and reflects TVS’ and India’s rapidly rising prominence in the global two-wheeler market, said the company.

Founded by James Lansdowne Norton in Birmingham (in 1898), Norton Motorcycles is among the most popular British motorcycle brands of all time.

Since the 20th century, Norton has been renowned for its classic models and eclectic range of luxury motorcycles, ranging from the authentic retro classic reboots of the famous Commando to their contemporary 200 bhp, 1200cc V4 super-bikes.

Sudarshan Venu, joint managing director of TVS Motor, said: “This is a momentous time for us at TVS Motor Company. Norton is an iconic British brand.”

Norton had some management issue, which TVS — with its global supply chain capabilities and financial support — helped overcome. Though there will be some concerns in the short term due to Covid-19, TVS Motor has enhanced its cost-reduction measures, and cut down on capex. Given the nature of Norton, which is not a capex-heavy business, there seems no immediate concern. Manufacturing will continue in the existing facility, and there are many customer orders that will be fulfilled in a profitable manner.

The immediate focus would be on developed markets, in which Norton is already present, before expanding in key developing markets. The company has a strong relationship with BMW, which will continue. Venu said, “TVS Motor will work closely with customers and employees in building the success and pre-eminence of the Norton Motorcycles brand.”

“It is a brand, which gives us a huge opportunity to scale up and create value. The funding has been through internal accruals. It is an asset purchase, since this company had a slightly rough time in the last few years, we have not taken any past liabilities or responsibilities,” he added.

The company has committed to absorb all 55-60 employees.

“We also see synergies across supply chain and distribution, and are looking forward to the products in the pipeline. We have got the IP and the brand rights,” said Venu.

by Dia Rekhi from https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/

Chennai: TVS Motor CompanyNSE 8.96 % on Friday announced that it has acquired Britain’s iconic sporting motorcycle, “Norton”, in an all-cash deal for a consideration of GBP16 million by acquiring certain assets of NortonNSE 11.96 % Motorcycles (U.K.) Limited (in administration) through one of TVS Motor’s overseas subsidiaries.

The brand is renowned for its classic models and eclectic range of luxury motorcycles.

“Norton is an iconic British brand celebrated across the world, and presents us with an immense opportunity to scale globally. This transaction is in line with our effort to cater to the aspirations of discerning motorcycle customers.

We will extend our full support for Norton to regain its full glory in the international motorcycle landscape,” said Sudarshan Venu, Joint Managing Director, TVS Motor Company.

He added that the brand, which was founded by James Lansdowne Norton, in Birmingham, in 1898 will retain its distinctive identity with dedicated and specific business plans.

Sudarshan said TVS Motor Company is excited about the existing and upcoming products at Norton Motorcycles including Commando, Dominator and V4 RR. Confident of the strong synergy between both the brands, he said Norton Motorcycles can leverage TVS Motor Company’s global reach and supply chain capabilities to expand to new markets.

India’s TVS Motor snaps up British brand Norton Motorcycles

by Pamela Barbaglia from https://www.reuters.com

India’s third-largest motorbike manufacturer TVS Motor (TVSM.NS) has sealed a $20 million deal to buy British brand Norton Motorcycles as part of a distressed sale.

The all-cash transaction, which was announced on Friday, will see the Indian firm take control of the 122-year-old Leicestershire brand for 16 million pounds ($19.98 million) through one of its overseas subsidiaries.

It marks the latest swoop by an Asian company on an iconic British brand, after Jaguar Land Rover became part of Tata Motors.

“Norton presents us with an immense opportunity to scale globally,” said TVS’s joint managing director Sudarshan Venu, adding his firm would provide “full support for Norton to regain its full glory”.

Reuters was first to report that an agreement had been reached, with TVS pledging to revive the British brand which is controlled by Chief Executive Stuart Garner.

TVS will invest in some of Norton’s most famous models, including Commando, Dominator and V4 RR.

Discussions between TVS and accountancy firm BDO – which acted as Norton’s administrator – kicked off earlier this year after the British firm, founded by James Lansdowne Norton in 1898, fell into administration in January.

Venu said TVS, which is listed in India with a market value of $1.8 billion, would work closely with Norton’s employees and customers to retain its identity and outline a specific business plan.

Rothschild acted as TVS’s financial adviser on the deal, while law firms Khaitan & Co and Slaughter and May provided legal advice.

Indian Army canteens to sell Harley-Davidson bikes

By General Posts

The Indian armed forces can now buy a Harley-Davidson Street at Army Canteen at special prices.

Harley-Davidson has announced that it will retail its Street range through the Indian Army canteen. Indian armed force personnel, ex-servicemen and their dependents in India will be able to purchase both motorcycles at special prices through the Canteen Store Departments (CSD) across the country. Harley-Davidson India stated that through the Initiative, the brand hopes that it will make their models more accessible to servicemen who have long dreamed of owning a Harley.

Sajeev Rajasekharan, Managing Director – Asia Emerging Markets and India, Harley-Davidson, said, “Harley-Davidson shares a long-term alliance with the armed forces across the globe. With both Street motorcycles being included in the inventory at CSD in India, we look forward to providing more access to members of the armed forces and seeing more members of the forces fulfil their desire to own a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.”

The two Harley-Davidson models that will be retailed through the Indian Army CSD will be the Street 750 and Street Rod models. Both models are powered by BS6 compliant 750cc, liquid-cooled, Revolution X V-Twin engine that develops 60Nm of torque. The Street 750 is offered in five colour options and has a seat height of 720mm with a weight of 223kgs. The Street Rod on the other hand is slightly different. The Street Rod is 6kgs heavier, has a seat height of 765mm and offered in four colour options. The Street 750 has a street value of Rs 5.34 lakh while the Street Rod is priced at Rs 6.55 lakh. Now, the members of the Indian Army will be able to purchase the two models at special prices. These are Rs 4,60,332 for the Street 750 and Rs 5,65,606 for the Street Rod (ex-showroom – applicable as per CSD).

Harley-Davidson completed 10 years of operations in India recently, to become the first premium motorcycle manufacturer to do so. Since 2009, Harley-Davidson has sold more than 25,000 units with the Street 750 being the most popular model for the brand. Harley-Davidson has always had special relationship with the armed forces. In India, the American motorcycle manufacturer launched its special Armed Forces H.O.G. (Harley Owners Group) that is dedicated to the Indian armed forces. this H.O.G. includes serving and veteran members from all departments of the forces.

Reduce duty on Harley Davidson to nil: Report

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The report by the US India Business Council (USIBC) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) said the 0% rate could apply to all motorcycle imports being sold in India over Rs 5 lakh.

NEW DELHI: India should consider bringing down the import duty on high-end motorcycles (that include Harley Davidson motorcycles) to 0% for both complete built up (CBU) units and for completely knocked down (CKD) units, a joint report by two industry lobby groups suggested on Tuesday as part of an overall strategy to boost India-US trade to $500 billion.

The report by the US India Business Council (USIBC) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) said the 0% rate could apply to all motorcycle imports being sold in India over Rs 5 lakh.

The report has listed out interventions in 13 specific areas, which if resolved, will provide a thrust to trade between the two countries. Interventions range from reinstating Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) benefits by US for India, arriving at a consensus on a pricing mechanism for medical devices, modifications in India’s e-commerce policy, removing high tariffs on steel and aluminium imports by US, fostering greater cooperation in strengthening partnership in defence and aerospace.

“In 2017-18, Harley Davidson sold 3,413 units in India – a decline of 7% from the previous year. For CBU units, India had already slashed duties from 75% to 50% in 2018, but given that the duties apply to a minuscule percentage of the overall trade and for a very niche product, eliminating it altogether would provide a symbolic win for the US,” the report said.

It said issue of price controls for medical devices has invited vigorous discussions and was one of the original reasons why US Office of the Trade Representative (USTR) decided to review India’s eligibility for GSP programme

The report said India’s e-commerce policy, however, has engendered a whole host of issues that impact both domestic and foreign players, including definition of private versus community data, prohibition on cross-border data sharing, mandate to establish data centres holding sensitive data of Indians within the boundaries of India, informed consent, following due legal process in data sharing with Indian or foreign authorities, domestic versus Indian – product definitions; requirement for e-commerce app/websites to set up legal entities in India.

“India must also bear in mind that such a policy could prompt reciprocal action by US and other countries which may demand that the data for their citizens stay within the confines of their geographical boundaries. This could have an enormous deleterious impact on Indian IT and business process outsourcing (BPO) companies that have grown over the past several decades essentially by processing, analysing and storing sensitive health, financial, insurance etc. information for customers from other countries within India – the US is a major market for such firms and helps generate thousands of jobs in India.”

Harley has to pay huge duty in India, Trump revives import duty debate

“India is probably the highest tariff nation in the world. The United States has to be treated fairly and I think India understands it. We have a large deficit of $24 billion with India and that it is very high”. Trump Said

NEW DELHI: U.S President Donald Trump calls out India-US tariff a problem mentioning the American motorcycle manufacturer Harley Davidson has to pay high import tariff in India.

While addressing a media conference in Delhi, he said, “India is probably the highest tariff nation in the world. The United States has to be treated fairly and I think India understands it. We have a large deficit of $24 billion with India and that it is very high”.

However, he indicated that a trade deal with India could happen at the end of the year. “Working it out with India on tariffs,” President Trump said.

India reduced the customs duty on complete built-up units (CBUs) from 100 percent to 50 percent in 2019. Even then Trump criticized the import duty and called out “too high” and “not acceptable”.

On the other hand, India increased tariffs on completely knocked down (CKDs) units from 10 per cent to 15 percent. Harley Davidson’s majority of sales come from the CKDs which are assembled in India.

In FY2019, Harley Davidson sold 2676 motorcycles. It sells 17 Models in India which ranges from ₹5.33 lakh to ₹50.3 lakh.

Before Trump India Visit, India proposed a new tariff classification for motorcycles with a cylinder capacity exceeding 1,600 ccs, imports of which will be taxed in single digits.

Harley Davidson sells over 25,000 motorcycles in India

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Harley Davidson Street 750 was the first large-capacity motorcycle in India to become BS-VI compliant in the 750cc and above category.

Premium motorcycle manufacturer Harley Davidson reported on Tuesday that it has sold more than 25,000 motorcycles since its inception in 2009.

The company also informed that with this development, it completed a decade of operations in India.

Commenting on this, Sajeev Rajasekharan, Managing Director, Harley-Davidson India, said, “When we first made inroads into India, our goal was to create a market for premium motorcycles, and we are proud to be the preferred choice for enthusiasts.”

He also said, “Harley-Davidson has been successful in securing its market share over the last decade, despite an unpredictable market. With 33 dealers across the country, we have the largest dealer network amongst premium motorcycle brands in India and will continue to go onward and upward.”

Rajasekharan further said, “We are thrilled about our journey over the last 10 years and are sure that the next decade will see more community building, innovations and launches from the H-D stable.”.

Harley-Davidson Street 750 became the first large-capacity motorcycle in India to be BS-VI compliant in the 750cc and above category, claimed the company.

Facing financial crunch, UK based Norton Motorcycle goes into administration; India roll out hit

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by Ketan Thakkar from https://economictimes.indiatimes.com

Norton had set up an equally owned joint venture with Pune-based Kinetic Motoroyale in 2017 to start making mid-size motorcycles for India and Southeast Asian Markets by 2018. The project got delayed due to financial crunch at the UK-based entity.

UK-based premium bike maker Norton Motorcycle’s India roll out may be hit, as the company has gone into administration after failing to pay outstanding dues to the UK authorities.

According to a news report, the company is struggling to pay a tax bill and faces a winding-up order under the UK’s insolvency law.

Norton had set up an equally owned joint venture with Pune-based Kinetic Motoroyale in 2017 to start making mid-size motorcycles for India and Southeast Asian Markets by 2018. The project got delayed due to financial crunch at the UK-based entity.

When contacted, Kinetic Motoroyale managing director Ajinkya Firodia told ET that Norton was looking to raise funds. Firodia said he would be travelling shortly to the UK to understand the situation better and seek clarity.

“Norton Motoroyale (the joint venture) is a separate company and continues to exist and hold its rights in its territories of India and Asean countries. After our visit, we shall understand the extent of impact, if any. The India-side development of all parts is nearly complete for the 650 Atlas. For some parts developed in the UK or Europe for Norton, I shall seek clarity from the administrator,” Firodia added.

When queried if the 650cc bike would get further delayed, he said it was “difficult to predict” now.

Kinetic Motoroyale had set up a 30,000-unit capacity plant in Ahmednagar in Maharashtra. A range of Norton bikes were expected to be made at this plant for Indian and Southeast Asian markets.

According to media reports, Norton, which was rescued by property developer Stuart Garner in 2008, said the company owed tax authorities 300,000 pounds and could be liquidated if it was not given more time to pay.

The report added that two of Garner’s other companies were also in administration.

Founded in Birmingham, Norton began making motorbikes in 1902 and soon became associated with races such as the Isle of Man TT.

Models like the Dominator and the Commando are well renowned and some of the bikes have even been featured in films including the Bond movies. The Norton Interpol was used by the UK Police in the 1980s for patrolling.

Bajaj Triumph motorcycle launch in 2022

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Bajaj and Triumph will introduce new affordable motorcycles in India and abroad under a new partnership.

Bajaj Auto and Triumph Motorcycles have formally announced their new partnership to produce a range of mid-size motorcycles and platforms for the Indian and global markets. The decision was initially announced back in 2017, but the formal agreement was signed only now. The partnership will see a positive impact in either brand’s future business in India as well as abroad.

The long-term partnership agreement follows a non-equity approach under which both brands retain their intellectual property rights. Beyond the operational side of the business, motorcycle enthusiasts have been eagerly looking forward to seeing what the partnership would introduce in our market in due course.

Apparently, Triumph will introduce ‘big bike experience’ while Bajaj continues its expertise at making smaller-capacity motorcycles. Both brands will collaborate on the R&D of each motorcycle and platform, but manufacturing will be done solely at Bajaj’s Chakan facility for all global markets. Eventually, Bajaj will take over Triumph India and introduce the iconic British motorcycle brand to newer markets.

This move will also make Triumph motorcycles much more accessible in the country and have an edge over other premium two-wheeler brands. The first-of-the-line products under the partnership will debut in the Indian market sometime in 2022. There is no news of a bigger-capacity multi-cylinder Bajaj motorcycle yet, but there’s no harm in expecting something of that sort.

With the help of Bajaj, Triumph aims to penetrate further into major Asian markets that are currently dominated by the likes of Japanese motorcycles. In markets where Bajaj does not operate, Triumph Motorcycles will sell the upcoming mid-size products alongside its regular portfolio.

Hence, Bajaj will open doors to a new market in major European nations where Triumph Motorcycles leads. On the other hand, the British motorcycle maker will reap an untapped potential present in the lower, affordable, mass-volume segment. More information regarding the upcoming Bajaj-Triumph products will be shared in the coming months and as the launch timelines close in. The products’ naming will be borrowed from the roots of Triumph’s strong heritage.

While it is too early to confirm the exact specifications and output of the upcoming Triumph-Bajaj motorcycles, the partnership aims to make them “aspirational and affordable” with a targeted ex-showroom price tag starting from under Rs 2 lakh. Currently, the Royal Enfield 650 Twins are the most desirable mid-size motorcycles available in foreign markets that offer superior value for money.

With the introduction of the new range of products under the alliance, major rival brands such as Royal Enfield, Harley-Davidson, etc., might have to worry a bit. Harley-Davidson has already anticipated such a scenario and is working on a 338cc motorcycle for the affordable segments in the Asian market.

Aprilia 250 to 350cc motorcycles planned – To take on Royal Enfield

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by Abhinand Venugopal from https://www.rushlane.com/

Seeing the success of Royal Enfield in the 250-350cc segment, many motorcycle brands are planning entry with new products.

Royal Enfield is arguably one of the most demanded names in the 350cc category in the Indian motorcycle market. For the same reason, many brands have come forward with their own range of compelling products to take on the Chennai-based motorcycle manufacturer. Now, the Italian automotive brand, Piaggio has revealed its plans to enter the same segment through its Aprilia sub-brand.

Diego Graffi, MD of Piaggio, shares that the company has a lot of interesting in the Indian motorcycle market and sees untapped potential in the 250-350cc market. With Aprilia — the winner of multiple racing championships in the world — under its belt, Piaggio is confident that it can make a strong presence in the market, especially against the likes of Royal Enfield products.

As per data, Indian two-wheeler sales have dropped by 15.74% to 1,28,64,936 units between April to November of the current fiscal year. In turn, Piaggio sales (predominantly, Aprilia and Vespa range of scooters) declined by 16.86% to 48,471 units.

Out of the 7,73,855 motorcycles sold in the 250-350cc segment in the country within the same period, Royal Enfield contributed to almost 99% of the sales, at 7,64,012 units. For the same reason, it makes sense for Piaggio to introduce something that would be much more desirable than the market leader. Mr Graffi commented that this would take time, but is definitely in the plans.

Royal Enfield products have a cult following in the country and some folks even see it as ‘the motorcycle’ over anything else on the market. The charm of a Royal Enfield is its classic styling that can simply overshadow its relatively poor output characteristics and chassis dynamics.

The new Jawa motorcycles and Benelli Imperiale 400 are the only other products that have made an impact on Royal Enfield’s market. Hence, Piaggio’s upcoming 250-350cc products should have an edge over these motorcycles as well — if it is a cruiser or classic.

If it is any other type of motorcycle, the competition will be even tougher due to the presence of main players such as KTM, Yamaha, Bajaj, TVS and even the upcoming Husqvarna.

Aprilia currently sells only the SR and Storm range of 125-150cc scooters in the country. About two years back, the company thrilled motorcycle enthusiasts across the country with the showcase of the Aprilia RS 150 and Tuono 150 motorcycles at Auto Expo 2018. Many awaited for its launch for quite a long time, but only to be disappointed in the end. We hope this won’t be the case with the newly-proposed Aprilia motorcycles.