American motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson has just made some exciting announcements that will be welcomed by motorcycling enthusiasts in India. The company announced that it has plans to develop small, lightweight motorcycles for emerging markets in Asia. Moreover, the brand is working on a motorcycle that will have an engine displacement between 250cc and 500cc for the Asian markets and it will be developed in alliance with a manufacturer in the region. The name of the company's future partner has not been revealed as of now and the launch timeline is also a mystery but we believe it should head to our shores by the year 2022. The company plans to invest USD 275 million to revive growth and lower displacement bikes will play a key role in this. Harley-Davidson also stated that it would fund its new plans by comprehensively cutting down on costs and reallocating previously planned investments. The sub-500cc motorcycle segment is currently booming and the category has further spiced up with the launch of the highly awaited BMW G 310 R and the Kawasaki Ninja 300 that now sees local assembling in India.
Moreover, the key players in this segment are the KTM 390 Duke and the Royal Enfield 350 twins. Having said that, the competition is surely going to be tough for Harley-Davidson. However, one key area where Harley-Davidson will definitely have an edge over the competition is the aspirational value and the upcoming small capacity motorcycle will cater to people wanting to go for a Harley but have been stepping back due to budget constraints.
Harley-Davidson has also introduced three all-new models and these will launch towards the beginning of 2020. The range includes the company's first ever adventure tourer Pan America 1250, a 1250cc Custom model and a streetfighter that will have an engine displacing 975cc. All three motorcycles will come based on a new 500cc to 1250cc modular middleweight motorcycle platform. More products will spawn off this platform by the year 2022 in order to offer more choice to the customers. Last but definitely not the least, the highly awaited Project Livewire will make its global debut next year and this will be brand's first electric motorcycle. Just like the company's new platform, the Project Livewire will also see the addition of new models by 2022.
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Harley-Davidson will also create high-engagement customer experiences across all its retail channels. These will include enhancing and expanding the company’s global digital capabilities and this will be done by evolving the Harley-Davidson.com experience to integrate with and enhance the dealership retail experience for the customers. The brand will also be establishing strategic alliances with the leading e-commerce providers in order to extend access of Harley-Davidson motorcycles to the potential customers.
With the latest announcements, there is no denying the fact that Harley-Davidson is indeed betting big on the future. The upcoming new models, especially the smaller capacity ones are expected to boost the sales of the company, especially in India and will make the brand more accessible to the masses. First BMW Motorrad and now Harley-Davidson, one can see that big bike brands are ready to venture into the small motorcycle segment that eventually benefits the end buyer at the end of the day.