Hero MotoCorp is “very open” to a partnership with Harley-Davidson, as per a new report from TOI. The report suggests that the company held talks with the US-based motorcycle maker recently about the same. In June 2019, Harley-Davidson had signed a deal with China's Zhejiang Qianjiang Motorcycle to manufacture an upcoming middleweight, accessible motorcycle for the masses.
Harley-Davidson has previously publicly announced that it is looking for a partner in India which has a manufacturing and distribution setup capable of making lightweight, sub-500 cc motorcycles.
Previously, Hero MotoCorp had a long-standing joint venture with the Japanese two-wheeler maker Honda which was inked in 1984. The Munjals ended this partnership in 2011.
Speaking about the possible partnership, Mr Pawan Munjal, “This is the era of partnerships and as and when the right kind of partnership comes our way, or we are able to get around to one, we would be willing to do that. There are people who are looking at this market for certain segments and we are wanting to get into higher segments. If there is a match, then why not?” Pawan added, “the sooner it happens, it’s good for everyone.”
Hero MotoCorp yesterday confirmed its re-entry to the 150-160 cc motorcycle segment with the new Xtreme 160R. The company (then called Hero Honda) kickstarted the segment when it launched the Hero Honda CBZ in 1999. Based in Gurugram, Hero MotoCorp has also planned to invest around INR 10,000 crores in the next 5 to 7 years in developing alternate mobility solutions.
The Indian market comprises primarily commuter oriented small capacity motorcycles. It has seen several tie-ups from homebred makers with global bigwigs, including the likes of TVS-Suzuki, Bajaj-Kawasaki, Bajaj-KTM, TVS-BMW, and the recent Bajaj-Triumph.