There could be a partnership between Hero and Harley Davidson as the cult bike maker from America reorients its strategy in India and is looking for a credible and strong local partner. They are trying to grow the business in a market where high growth is expected. They have found the going tough on weak local component linkages and price-sensitivity of the buyers.
Mahindra & Mahindra also wooed Harley and some discussions also went on with Bajaj Auto.
But any kind of such developments was denied by the two companies.
According to sources, Harley Davidson is very much in the process to scale down its operations in India as well as the local factories, as part of ‘The Rewire’ strategy by Jochen Zeitz who is the new CEO. They might very well join hands with Hero Moto as the developments came moths after Pawan Munjal, the Chairman of Hero told top media outlets that if they are going to go for a partnership, they are ready for the correct match.
There is a lot of time left for the deal to be finalized and it can also take any direction and nobody could rule out new partnerships and last-minute changes.
No responses were evoked from questions sent to Mahindra & Mahindra and Bajaj Auto regarding a possible deal. Rajiv Baja, the MD of Bajaj Auto refused to make any comments while the spokespersons from the Hero Moto and Mahindra Group did not comment about market speculations. The Indian officials of Harley Davidson also kept a mum in this regard.
Hero group has shared a tremendous partnership with Japan’s Honda for 26 years and this is a great example that they can do well in working with other companies. Harley will also be satisfied as Hero is going to develop motorcycles that are midsized and engine premium and can be sold overseas as well as in India.
Hero’s Chairman expected a partnership after they interacted previously and hopes that it happens very soon as it will be great for everyone.
Bajaj already has premium partners like KTM and Triumph while Mahindra has still not matured as a two-wheeler company as well as a long-term partner that has credibility. The deal could also happen soon because of the trouble between India and China. Hero Moto is a stronger local partner than Qianjiang Motorcycle Company of China whom Harley partnered last June for building smaller motorcycles.