As Harley-Davidson wraps its standalone business in India, the dealership network has especially been affected drastically. The dealership network has been having a hard time and considered taking H-D to the court for insufficient compensation, however, H-D India has promised a ‘smooth transition’ as the largest American motorcycle manufacturer prepares for its second innings in collaboration with India’s Hero MotoCorp. Meanwhile, the brand’s biggest ambassadors are its very own customers and the Harley Owners Group decided to stand in solidarity with the dealerships. The Group organised rallies across 14 cities in the country, including the national capital to rally support against the American giant’s decision to abruptly close operations in India.
“The move to close Harley Davidson operations would cause huge losses to dealers in India who have invested crores in the business. The common consumers who have brought the bike would lose out to riding experience they bought the bike for,” said, Deepesh Tanwar, Ex HOG director who in support of the dealers resigned from the directorship. The common consumers who have brought the bike would face difficulties in getting spare parts and services, he added.
The Harley Davidson Dealers Association along with Harley Owners Group (HOG) supported by the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations of India (FADA) took out multi-city ‘Dark Rides’ in Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Lucknow, Delhi, Gurgaon, Jaipur, Indore, Bhopal, Raipur, Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, Mumbai and Guwahati.
The HOG riders took to the streets to highlight their support and appeal to the company that the true Brotherhood of Harley Davidson, be protected and the dealers be given their due respect. In addition, the Harley Dealers were protesting against unjust compensation structure and tie-up with Hero MotoCorp.
The ‘Dark Rides’ received tremendous support in Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Lucknow, Delhi, Gurgaon, Jaipur, Indore, Bhopal, Raipur, Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, Mumbai, Guwahati where bikers rode in their Harley’s on a Sunday morning. Hundreds of riders from across cities gathered in large numbers and drove within the city to support the Harley Dealers Association.
In Chandigarh and Ludhiana, riders assembled at the Harley Davidson showrooms at 7.30 a.m. before ridding their Harleys to Sarai Bharatgarh on the Ropar-Manali Road. In Delhi, the riders rode from Red Fort Harley-Davidson to Manesar. In Bhopal and Indore, rider groups took the route to Crescent Waterpark and Pithampur Lake, respectively.
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