American motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson is mulling over entering the used-bike segment and is currently testing the concept at some of its dealerships. The used-bike concept is being tested for the last few months. Harley-Davidson is now very close to rolling out the full-fledged programme across the country, according to Managing Director, Harley-Davidson India Peter Mackenzie. Harley-Davidson has 27 showrooms across the country currently, the 27th facility being formally unveiled by Mackenzie in Chennai. These dealerships not only deal in motorcycle sales but also offer a wide array of motorcycle gear and apparel.
"We are currently piloting it in a few dealerships. And, we are very close to rolling out the programme, nationally," Mackenzie told PTI, adding: “It (used bike's business) will enable us to attract more
customers. Secondly, to enable people, perhaps who cannot afford a new Harley-Davidson, but at least get the right Harley-Davidson experience through an authorised dealership."
Asked about the company's growth plans for 2018, he said, "2017 had its complexities with demonetisation, GST (Goods and Service Tax implementation) and Euro IV. This year, we are looking at more stability."
The company's strategy was to be more accessible and more relevant to customers, he said adding the "apparel segment" represents an important piece of strategy for growth. "So, we will be opening up more apparel stores in shopping malls so that customers connect and experience the Harley-Davidson brand," he said.
"That is a major piece of strategy in growing this year. We have opened three (apparel) stores already this year," he noted.
The apparel range would be available in these stores that would be more 'youthful' and designed to connect with young adults, he said. To a query whether the company would set up apparel stores globally, he said, "We have them across the globe. But for the Asia-Pacific market, we are going a little bit deeper with this project. Currently, we are launching such stores in China, India," he said.
To another query on India operations, he said, India was an important market for Harley-Davidson. "That is why we continue to invest. We have a manufacturing facility here (Bawal, Haryana).”
Mackenzie and senior company officials were in Chennai to unveil the new dealership, Marina Harley-Davidson in Nungambakkam. "This is our 27th dealership. From 27, we will finish the year, somewhere around 30 dealerships," he said.