Harley outsources motorcycle production to India

Dailies -



Tacitly acknowledging that the cost of American manufacturing isn’t competitive in the global business environment, Harley-Davidson has announced that it will open a new assembly facility in Haryana, India. Sportsters and other models will be assembled for the Indian market from parts manufactured at Harley’s US and Brazilian facilities and other international suppliers. The move makes a huge amount of sense even before you factor in India’s 60 percent import tariff that this move will help the company avoid, low-cost manufacturing should give Harley easier access to other Asian markets. Even if this is a small glimmer of hope for the long term survival of the troubled manufacturer it remains to be seen if pot-bellied pirates will be screaming “They took our jobs!”

via Biz Journals

  • PCPaul

    Is it April 1st already?!?

  • http://www.twitter.com/beastincarnate Beast Incarnate

    Wisconsin must be outraged. THEY TUK ER JERBS!

    I question whether this is the right move to address the many problems facing the brand or if it’s just a move to allow them to otherwise stay the course.

  • nicktp

    Hold on, people in Asia actually buy Amurrrican motorcycles?

  • http://www.thisblueheaven.com Mark D


  • Deltablues

    The American market for Harleys is aging to the grave fast. Here in Arkansas, I rarely see a Harley rider under 50. Most are closer to 60. They are just not motorcycles for the young anymore. But then again, young people can’t afford to bust out the 401k for a midlife crisis that costs 30-grand either.Perhaps in India they can shift some units and build some units for the Asian/European market. And for India, what could be more useless than a overweight and underpowered cruiser?

  • miles_prower

    Harley Davidson outsourcing production:


    • miles_prower

      Oh, sorry, the link got screwed up. Here’s the link again:

      The sound of a Harley made in India.

      • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

        Ha!, That was special. It’s also what Harleys made in Italy sounded like, too.

        Pure pollution. Pure fucking sex.

  • Penectomy

    The major manufacturing will still be in the U.S. with final assembly done in India. I’m not saying it could never happen, but the current plan is a long way from making the whole bike in India for export to the U.S.

    The current plan is nothing but good news for H-D workers as the market is being expanded. Without this plan, the tariffs would make it prohibitively expensive to sell many H-Ds in India, so its not like the India operation is replacing American workers.. This way, H-D workers in the U.S. have more work to do in manufacturing the parts to be sent to India.

    If the numbers start making it cheaper and advantageous to make bikes in India and ship them here, changes need to be made here.

    Hopefully, this will bring more revenue into HD and the bike tastes of India will require HD to make some variations on the current lineup.

    Adventure Touring HD! You had a nice one with Buell written on it. Make another! You need a long travel suspension on shitty Indian roads not a slammed boulevard cruiser.

  • seanslides

    Reading this makes me feel like I was just awarded a medal for kicking a pirate in the nuts. Awesome.

  • CafeRacer8509001200

    Pot bellied pirates will give Harley a pass for the same reason that they base their politics. You can show them the truth over and over and over but if they don’t want to believe it they won’t.

  • DoctorNine

    I’m going to have to give HD credit for understanding where the cycle market is expanding, and going after it. However, they will need to produce small machines, if they want to sell there. If I were them, I would think about producing a Royal Enfield competitor using old Harley tooling from the thirties. Then they could sell those smaller bikes all over the place. Maybe even the US.

  • LADucSP

    Are you serious? I can’t even believe that this is a debate.

    Fact is, Harley’s are terrible motorcycles, from the perspective of reliability, performance and modern technology. I’m a former owner. Crap welds rust after the first wash.

    The only thing Harley has going for it, is it’s uniquely American brand image. It’s a symbol of our tenacious and treacherous Western expansion. It taps into the mythology of Americana.

    Therefore, the only reason you buy one is to identify with the same, certainly not for the bike’s on-road capabilities, which are zilch, compared to any comparable modern bike from virtually any other manufacturer.

    That said, “Made in India”, or, “Assembled in India”, just ain’t gonna cut it. It devalues the brand and its fundamentally American core precept, without which, you just have archaically styled and designed bikes, that are overpriced, horribly uncomfortable and incompetent.

    Besides, the shipping costs, import/export duties and excessive lead times for delivery, etc, will ultimately offset a lot of the perceived savings.

    But, the cost to the brand, could be enormous.

    Remember the AMF era?

  • Keith

    Just because a bike is “assembled” (or whatever), in another country does not mean it will negatively affect the brand.
    The Honda Gold Wing was built in the US.
    Didn’t seem to hurt that brand any.
    If you can reach other markets this way, good on ya!