Cruise biking is all set to ride a new excitement, with the iconic U.S. cult bike maker Harley Davidson preparing to bring in its exclusive Harley Owners Group (HOG) club to India by the end of this year.
HOG is one of the largest owners groups in the world with about 1.4 million members. Its arrival in India would mean that the extended family of Harley owners experiencing cruising.
The company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Harley Davidson India, which recently started selling its marques in India for Rs. 6.95 lakh to Rs. 34.95 lakh, is also planning to kick start “some” exclusive brand building and marketing initiatives this year”.
“We are expanding and shaping the cruise biking in India. We will develop experience biking through many events. We are already organising boot camps and test rides,” Harley Davidson India Managing Director Anoop Prakash told reporters here.
He said the bikes are generating interest in all sections of the society and people in the age group of 25 to 65 are taking rides.
“We will bring in HOG by this year and it will add a completely new innings in cruise biking,” Mr. Prakash said.
Harley Davidson India Director (Marketing) Sanjay Tripathi said each dealer will have a HOG account, which will have direct coordination with a national HOG chapter.
At present, about 150 Harleys run on Indian roads, which were imported directly by individuals.
Some of the other global two-wheeler majors, including Ducati, Suzuki, Honda and Yamaha, are also offering high-end motorcycles, which are mostly into sports superbikes category.
The company on Wednesday inaugurated its third dealership in the national capital and plans to add two more in Mumbai and Bangalore by this year end. The other two outlets are in Hyderabad and Chandigarh. Along with the bikes, it has also launched various merchandise, like t-shirts, jackets and caps.
Currently it is offering 12 models in India from its five families of cult bikes. The bikes will be imported from the US. .facilities as completely built units (CBU).
Globally it has over 40 models. The engine capacities of Harleys start from 883cc and goes up to 1550 cc.
The iconic bike maker has its manufacturing facilities in the U.S., while it has set up assembly lines in Malaysia, Brazil, Indonesia and Singapore.
Harley Davidson was first granted permission to start its operations in India in 2007, but it had to hold back on its plans because of a crushing import duty of over 100 per cent.