Harley Davidson Will Build Assembly Plant in India

Harley Davidson building assembly plant in IndiaAs reported in July, Harley Davidson was considering building an assembly plant in India and they have now confirmed that they will be opening a factory there in the first half of 2011.

Harley-Davidson India has been importing completely assembled motorcycles from the Company’s U.S. final assembly plants. Once the Indian CKD assembly facility in the Indian State of Haryana is operational, Harley-Davidson India will import CKD kits for select current models, consisting of components produced by Harley-Davidson’s U.S. plants in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Missouri and by the company’s suppliers. Indian employees at the Haryana facility will then assemble the components into finished motorcycles. Other models will continue to be imported as completely built motorcycles for now.

The announcement is absolutely no surprise due to the very high import tariffs in India, along with a growing market for the big bikes. Harley expects the lower prices resulting from assembling the bikes there will stimulate demand even further. The Indian plant will be Harley's second outside the U.S., Harley Davidson has had an assembly plant in Brazil since 1999.

Press release follows:

Milwaukee, Nov. 2, 2010 – Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE:HOG) is moving forward with the launch of operations in India to assemble motorcycles for the Indian market from component kits supplied by its U.S. plants, the Company announced today. The Company expects the CKD (complete knock-down) assembly facility to be operational in the first half of 2011.

The announcement comes as President Barack Obama prepares to travel to India on a state visit focused on trade and business opportunities between the two countries.

“CKD assembly operations in India are a natural next step for Harley-Davidson as we build our brand presence around the world,” said Harley-Davidson Motor Company President and Chief Operating Officer Matthew S. Levatich. “This investment will allow us to improve our market responsiveness and production flexibility while reducing the tariff burden, which we expect will drive growth over time by making our bikes more accessible to India’s consumers. Given the strong response we have received in the initial months of retail operations, we believe this is the right investment for this important market,” Levatich said.

To date, Harley-Davidson India has been importing completely assembled motorcycles from the Company’s U.S. final assembly plants. Once the Indian CKD assembly facility in the Indian State of Haryana is operational, Harley-Davidson India will import CKD kits for select current models, consisting of components produced by Harley-Davidson’s U.S. plants in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Missouri and by the company’s suppliers. Indian employees at the Haryana facility will then assemble the components into finished motorcycles. Other models will continue to be imported as completely built motorcycles for now.

India will be the second country in which Harley-Davidson has CKD assembly operations outside the U.S., after Brazil where the Company began assembly operations in 1999.

“We are committed to global growth and growth in India for the long term,” said Levatich. “India’s rapidly growing economy, rising middle class and significant investment in construction of new roads and highways are paving the way for leisure motorcycle riding.”

“We are building a strong foundation for our business in India, first by establishing a world-class dealer network, and now by commencing CKD assembly operations” said Anoop Prakash, Managing Director for Harley-Davidson India. “It is important for us to continue to invest in strategies that make our products and experiences accessible to an increasingly broader set of customers across India.”

Harley-Davidson India commenced operations in August 2009 and opened its first dealership in July 2010. The Company currently offers 12 models in its 2010 line-up in India, available through authorized dealerships in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh and Hyderabad.

Comments

  1. B50 Jim says

    The folks at Royal Enfield have demonstrated they can mobilize a skilled, dedicated workforce to build quality, modern motorcycles. You can bet HD is looking long and hard at manufacturing costs vs. shipping costs to determine the feasibility of manufacturing all its bikes in India and sending them back to the U.S., finally handing those pesky unions their walking papers. Would the Faithful buy and ride Harleys stamped “Made in India?” We might have the chance to find out.

  2. Sportster Mike says

    Wow! its true then – but I don’t fancy riding one actually in India
    There are NO rules of the road – traffic didn’t stop at the only set of traffic lights in Goa so they turned them off!! and its normally 5 up on a scooter so how many can you get on a full dress Harley and as for left and right side of the road, no its the middle!! Biggest vehicle wins the right to be on that particular bit of road
    Seriously though a question – what happens when one model (say a Sportster) only gets built in India and not in the US? Are you guys going to buy one?
    Being English I thought of getting another Bonneville but when I found that they didn’t have ‘Made in England’ on them anymore and were actually built in Thailand it put me off – so a brought another Sportster instead..
    But I DO like Thailand and India – the food is delicious – but both countries have lots of loonies on the road so do what I do, go there drink lots of beer and eat lots of food and let someone else DRIVE you around (in a big 4×4)

  3. Sportster Mike says

    @ B50 Jim
    yes the (Royal) Enfields are a good example though as lots of people here buy them. mainly cos their Dad had one.. and the War Department ones used to cheap to buy and people used them as winter hacks – but now with fuel injection etc the bikes cost too much

  4. bblix says

    *sigh*

    I don’t see H-D building bikes in India and shipping them to the US, at least not on a large scale. Unless they develop some interesting niche vehicle that people are clamoring for, it’s not likely to happen.

    Folks, all, or nearly all, of the automotive OEMs build vehicles where they sell them. Why should H-D be any different? In the case of India, parts/modules will be shipped to India and they will perform final assembly locally, much as they do in Brazil. It may be the case, as time goes on, that they will also source elements of the product locally (much as the autoOEMs do).

    It’s the way of the world.

  5. HoughMade says

    As stated above, 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.

  6. says

    India has a huge population, and alot of the people there are now upwardly mobile in income. The feeling of growth there is alot like it felt in the US during the 50s.
    People are in the mood to buy things that they couldn’t have before.

    I’m not sure if there is much demand for Harley Davidson there, but there might be.
    Fuel economy is a big factor in India, and more people there will have their bike discussions about “how many miles per liter it gets”, and not “how many miles per hour it can go”.

    I think it Harley was smart, it would have put the Buell Blast 500 out in India first. Or maybe they can make a one-lung Sportster or something.
    But i can tell you that a 500 single will sell better in India, than an 883-1200 twin that gets 40mpg.
    The perfect entry into the India market for Harley would be a Buell Blast, or a cruiser version of the Buell Blast.

    I seriously doubt they will build the big bikes there and ship them back here to the US. But I think they are trying to cultivate the India market if they can. There are 1.2 Billion people there, and alot of them ride bikes.

    .

  7. Jay Allen says

    International began building tractors in India back in the 1970s ( I think ). This factory now makes some of the very similar-looking Mahindra. If it makes them more profitable, more power to them. I do agree in thinking that a single lung sporty would go over better

  8. Will13 says

    It appears that Harley is simply taking advantage of a loop hole in Indian law, much the way British sports car manufacturers did in England in the 1950s and 1960s. Marques like Lotus and Ginetta got their start by selling CKD units to the public.

    Though over time, and with changes in the laws, the loop hole dissappeared and these manufacturers began selling fully constructed factory units. In a matter of time that will be what occurs in India.

    Once again, for now this is good for H-D, let’s just hope that American law makers can assist in keeping the jobs H-D already offers here in the US stable, so that we continue to see the “Made in the USA” on a Harley Davidson motorcycle in America.

    I do agree with Maas and feel strongly that they need to be funding new models more than new factories.

  9. brij says

    Alright, i grew up in India and i know there are people with the $$$ who were willing to pay twice the price of Harley Davidson (that’s what it would cost after the import tariff) 10 years ago! I took a trip down there after 8 years of being in the States and i was amazed to see people riding Hayabusas and GSXR1000s, ninjas and R1s out there! the economy is booming right now in India, lot of youngsters have a fascination for American brands and any thing that is “imported”. So yes, HDs will sell a whole lot more in india right now. For once HD has made a good logical move! Me on the other hand, will never buy a HD product (after they canned Buell) so that wil be one less indian that they will get their money from!

  10. todd says

    I see a growing potential for a local Indian aftermarket industry serving all these new H-D owners. That would also open up new opportunities in the US to import the Indian made components for US buyers. It will be interesting to see how this pans out. Will there be a larger “custom” scene in India now because of this? A re-growth of the “chopper” fad?

    -todd

  11. WRXr says

    About time.

    American companies not paying attention to foreign markets usually proves to be their downfall. Meanwhile, Honda,Toyota etc, all build plants in the US.

    Savvy move.

  12. Mark says

    A good move on HD’s part to enter the emerging Indian market, but don’t think for one minute that HD is not going to try selling those bikes here. Especially if they are cheaper and appeal to the broader entry level market. This will inevitably lead to more job losses in Milwaukee as more of their model lines are built in India.

  13. fast eddie says

    The chance of Harley Davidson making a good marketing move is slim to none . I do wish them a lot of luck. Very pleased to be getting last price first please. FE

  14. Lowrider88 says

    Everybody keeps missing the point. India has high tariffs? What about free and open markets that we are told about from both sides of the political isle? Tariffs hurt everybody! Bulls@#t, it’s not hurting India. Eventually HD will be building motors, trans, sheetmetal, etc… and maybe American workers will be assembling them here. I am sick & tired off giving up manufacturing sectors to these s@#thole countries while our people get unemployment checks and executives get bigger bonuses. There is an economic war raging on out there and our corporate & political leaders are selling us out. Soon we won’t be building tanks or jet fighters or battleships for our own defense. Well, as my son says….the American Empire like every other empire must fall, it lasted over 230 years that’s not bad!

  15. says

    This move make sense. India is the second largest country in the world, with a GDP that ranks 11th in the world.

    With high tariffs, the local plant route makes sense. Since they are only assemblying bikes made in the USA, it will probably increase jobs in US plants.

    While I doubt they will sell the bikes in the USA, one must remember that Harley already has lots of foreign made parts on their bikes, such as suspension among others.

  16. Clawbrant says

    Man, I can see it now. Year 2026: unable to compete with the flood of cheap chinese motorcycles Harley Davidson of America closes it’s doors. Harley Davidson of India continues to build the same 2011 Fat Boy for another 50 years when it finally gives the Fat Boy a unit construction engine!

  17. says

    India has as many middle class people now (about 170 million) as the USA. And they are much younger.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/faber-dont-ignore-india-2010-2

    Harley’s move to assemble bikes there is a smart one and is undoubtedly a precursor to a factory at some point down the road. The Indian people won’t worry a bit about a Harley built in their own country or at least no more than we would worry about one built in ours.

  18. Tinman says

    Read the article, HD will ship knock down kits to India for final assembly, to bypass Indias high tarrifs. This is good for HD and American workers! The real skilled labor will still be done here, final assembly is the easy part. This is the same path that the Asians manufactures used to break into our markets.

  19. steve w says

    so does that mean Harley Davidson will build an Indian? Okey, bad joke. It all makes sense to me. Other maunfactures build motorcycles in more than one country so why should Harley have it’s hands tied?

  20. Wave says

    A long time ago Australia used to have very high tariffs, and almost every type of vehicle was imported CKD and assembled here. Dozens of brands, from Austin to Buick, Chevrolet, Datsun, Ford, Morris, Toyota, they all used to be assembled here. Some of the cars which started out as locally assembled ended up doing complete local manufacturing of some models, including Ford, Chrysler, VW, Nissan, Toyota and Mitsubishi. At the end of the day, local assembly is good for jobs in both the source country where the parts are made and the destination country where the sales are generated. CKD assembly can lead on to full manufacturing capability, but only if the manufacturer decides to do so. If Harley does decide later that they want to fully manufacture bikes in India, this will be a good step, but if they don’t, then this will only increase sales and hence production from the US plants.

  21. Klaus says

    It’s sad to read comments with a descending attitude towards asians. Some rednecks seem to think that Asia is only producing good food. Wake up and smell the curry (or chili)! I live in Thailand and ALL japanese made 100 to 150cc bikes are COMPLETELY assembled here, including the engines, and are the backbone of transportation. I own a Honda Wave 110 which I bought new for about a 1000 bucks 9 years ago and rode it 65,000 km without any mechanical trouble at all! Talk about value for money.
    The only japanese company assembling 250 and 650cc bikes here is Kawasaki, and a comparable bike from another japanese maker imported in one piece costs you almost twice as much after import duties. Honda will assemble the new 2011 CBR250R single here for the same reasons.
    Interestingly Triumphs are assembled here but their price is still high since they market them as an import. Forget “Made In England” because the quality isn’t any better but the price is way higher which leads to less sales and maybe bancruptcy.
    There are lots of products built or assembled in Asia and the quality is high. Also the market is growing and in a few years HD will sell more products here than in the US!

  22. Lowrider88 says

    My question to you guys out there is why does India have imports tariffs and we do not? So we do not have a level playing field. Do these countries have the pollution standards that we have? Do they have the laws protecting workers in the factory? The workers at HD will make out in the beginning but as more manufacturing is transferred and more work is performed in India, they will end up on the losing end. As salaries and quality of life goes up in China and India (which is a good thing), the wages & quality of life in America will go down. This rubbish about Americans learning new higher skills is not going to happen. My mother lost her job in the garment industry because of foreign factories. What higher skills was she to learn? Engineering? Computer programing? Oh yeah, we have exported those jobs, too! The only jobs we haven’t exported are lawyers, politicians, and corporate executives.

  23. Sportster Mike says

    @ Klaus
    I can’t see ‘a descending attitude towards asians’ anywhere rather there is an attitude to US policy of outsourcing (but you are not alone in that – Triumph makes bikes in Thailand and Dyson vacuum cleaners moved the whole of the UK production there (that sucks.. literally)
    Yes, the Thais make good bikes, but aren’t they 2 strokes? nice and light and low maintenance and ideal for the non tarmac roads
    But on talking to the local traffic copper in Goa last year, Enfield make home bikes and export bikes, ie the export ones are better quality paint etc and more chrome but they STILL need looking at and ‘fettling’ in the UK by the importers to get them up to standard in the same way that the Russian cars (Ladas) were imported into Hull in the 80 and 90s stripped apart completely, new trim, sunroof, tyres, brakes etc to get them to UK standard
    Harley will no doubt make sure that the bikes or major parts are assembled correctly, to US and European standards but they won’t be paying US wages, or pensions or medical care to the Indian workers – I think its about $200 a month for a good wage?

  24. Paulinator says

    Klaus,

    Lumping together Asia is like saying you’ve been to the Americas (the Caribbean included). A little too vague to be of any value.

    Based on your figures India’s masses live in squalor. Only a small minority (less than 20%) live in comfort or prosperity. I suspect that the growth of India’s middle-class closely matches its birth-rate. Others would agree that the caste is a disgusting social structure. Unlike India, the US has vertical mobility – just that lately it’s downward – largely because of unfair trade practices with (inclusive) Asia.

  25. iliveforcurves says

    When Harleys are made in India will we be seeing t-shirts that read “Vishnu rides a Harley”?

  26. B50 Jim says

    Lowrider88:
    True, the only jobs we haven’t exported are lawyers, politicians, and corporate executives, but the corporate executives transfer their money safely offshore so they don’t have to pay taxes. At the rate real wages are dropping, in a few years they’ll be the only ones who can afford any kind of Harley.

  27. Yeti B. says

    I think this is a good idea for H-D to globalize. Let them assemble all the bikes over there that they can sell so long as they build components at the factories here. I say let them build cheezy little one lungers over there that the people can afford under the H-D name as long as they sell.

    THEN do like other globalized corporations do that are interested in selling products. Invest in R&D and give the people what they ask for. People are always going to have a demand for big, loud twins so build them where they demand them. That doesn’t mean you can’t also produce a small economical bike in a developing country that the average Joe living there can afford. Somebody’s going to make a profit building them, might as well be an American company.

  28. Klaus says

    Sportster Mike, if you tell your girlfriend that she’s only good for cooking, I bet she won’t like it and call you descending. And calling them “these s@#thole countries” is not really a compliment, either.
    Two-strokes are being phased out here, there are hardly any on the road anymore. All new models have been four-strokes for years; Honda is equipping all models with FI to meet the tough emission standards here in Thailand. That may be a surprise to many people.
    Paulinator, the discussion is about asian countries that produce goods for american or european companies; these include India, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia and more. Since I don’t want to list all these countries every time, I wrote Asia.
    I don’t want to discuss the merits of the Indian caste system, or lack thereof, but point out that “Asia” is not just some banana-continent producing good food and “stealing jobs” from the civilized world but a place where quality goods are produced which help foreign companies to widen their market and thus stay competitive.
    If HD would produce only in the US their products may get too expensive for proud Americans to afford, which would lead to lay-offs and closures; people would loose their jobs anyway. Personally I wouldn’t buy a Harley but I’d prefer one with a “Made In India” sticker that is 20% cheaper over an expensive “Made In Aamerica” one.

  29. bblix says

    @Mark

    Well, it’d be pretty silly for H-D to take product from the US, ship it all the way to India, then ship it back. This would be hugely expensive, take forever (maybe as much as 180 days round trip), and would make planning extremely difficult.

    I mean, if Nissan, Honda, Toyota, Hyundai, BMW, Mercedes, VW can all make cars in the US for the domestic market…Why is it that H-D can’t do the same in other markets?

  30. Paulinator says

    Klaus,

    Thank you for the insight. I’m glad to hear that Thailand has adopted strict emissions standards. Years ago I designed and prototyped a simple asymmetrically-ported 2-stroke engine with hopes of bridging the gap in emerging countries…I think I’ll work on a water filter now.

  31. Sportster Mike says

    @ Klasu
    ‘Sportster Mike, if you tell your girlfriend that she’s only good for cooking, I bet she won’t like it and call you descending. And calling them “these s@#thole countries” is not really a compliment, either.’

    My girlfriend can have a ‘condescending’ attitude (is that what you meant?) – and she can’t cook!! Shes a ‘whore in the kitchen and cordon blue in the bedroom’ to mix up some famous dudes quote
    As for ****hole countries – I wish people would read the words wot I wrote and not the invisible ones I didn’t write!! I love going to India – the seafood in Goa is delicious, as is the food in Thailand, and more to the point all the people I’ve met are very friendly, people wave at you as you drive along the road
    Does that mean its a ****hole place??…

  32. Andy says

    Has anybody else actually owned an Indian built vehicle?
    I bought a Mahindra Jeep when they were imported into the UK a few years ago.
    While I realised it was a basic vehicle I assumed that since they’d been making them since WW2 they would have got their act together. WRONG. It was the most poorly assembled pile of grief you can imagine. Its only saving grace was original Willys parts could be used to replace the comedy Indian built parts.
    I have a 15 year old Harley & a 10 year old Victory which have never needed anything but routine care & attention. If Harley build bikes in India let them stay there, because they’ll need to build another facility in the US to rebuild them before the bikes would be acceptable at any level in the US or Europe.

  33. Klaus says

    Sportster Mike, reading my post now I can see that it looks like I quoted you saying “these s@#thole countries” – you didn’t, I didn’t say you did; I apologize for making it look so.
    Andy, there are asian products produced by Asians which are nothing but crap, mainly chinese ones. But a foreign company that has its quality products assembled in Asia by Asians under strict quality control is a very different situation.
    Take Platinum motorcycles – chinese product, crap. But if for example Sachs motorcycles are assembled in China under german supervison, you wouldn’t know the difference if they were made in Germany – if it wasn’t for the low sticker price.

  34. Doug says

    Has anyone here heard about the 2010 Commonwealth Games? They were an Indian “moment”, and done poorly to be diplomatic. I’m a Harley rider now, and I’m not happy to hear this. Plus I do not live in the USA, and have respected Harley for being Harley. I’ll think twice in future. India, not Indiana hhmmmm…..

  35. Sportster Mike says

    @ Klaus
    Thanks for apology
    @ Andy
    I nearly brought a Mahindra cos I like the Willys jeep look, then I saw the build quality – someone pointed out that it might be cheaper in the long run to actually buy a real Willys jeep as they were going for about £4500 at the time in a rough condition, not as expensive as you might think
    @ Doug
    The British atheletes were not too impressed with Indian toilets – Goa is nice as I said but you don’t always get power and water on at the same time

  36. Doug says

    The evisceration of the American middle class continues. Maybe a kid with a begging bowl in India can bolt your future Harley together. The new management of Harley would like to get the same pay scale in the ole’ USA. The new Republic. The Commonwealth Games in India was a fiasco at best. The levels of sanctioned corruption in India is a common theme in most news reportage. If the identity of a motorcycle’s character is superfluous, then the whole Harley image of a big twin built by Americans for Americans is a hollow joke! The tradition of American character in what THEY/Americans built was a big part of the identity. For the record I’m not American. Just someone who would like to see America get back on it’s feet.

  37. joe says

    India is so overpopulated and over run with vehicles its just about standing room only in the city’s and towns.A big bike like a Harley would be near on impossible to fit through the small gaps in traffic.I never came across a place that would be suitable for a big sports bike or big cruiser.Avoiding all the potholes,crowds,trucks and stray cattle was horendous on a tiny 125cc. On a Harley it would be almost impossible ! They have to be building them with the intension of shipping them back to the US eventualy.

  38. Paulinator says

    And rampant theft? If they can’t keep items on store shelves how are they going to keep Harleys in the congested back streets and ally-ways? The hungry kid with the begging bowl and burned-out eye socket can still see all that shining chrome with his good eye.

  39. Shaswata Panja says

    This is very good news…Indian superbike market is at 1000 units per year and will be showing 20 percent growth for the nex 10 years..Maybe India can grab this oppurtunity and start building heavyweight bikes for the export market…This is nothing but good news for the heavyweight biking community in general the world over

  40. David says

    Will HD sell the Indian assembled bikes to countries other than the U.S? If so, they had better say so. I know car owners in Australia who were furious when they found their BMW’s came from Africa, their VW came from China, their Porsche came from Finland and their Triumph came from asia. The salesmen certainly didnt offer this information when they were in the showroom and they usually found out when it came time to trade it in.

  41. Kuyt says

    Royal enfield’s bullet 500 costs about 2500$ in india but it costs about 7000$ in UK.
    Price of H-D will also go down steeply when it will be made in india.

  42. luxlamf says

    I like all the Posts stating ” I cannot ever see HD moving….” why can you Not see this? 8-10 years ago you would have said the same thing about the “Move” all together, 5 years from now you will make More excuses for when they start to just Produce Little things at this “Assembly Only Plant” and import them just as you do when you put on your HD Gear with the “An American Legend” tags in them, Not American Co because odds are that 9 out of 10 items you wear with HD logos (and USA Flags on them) are made in other countries. But you still wear them dont you? Of Course, no one will Stand up and say anything to this Corp because you want to “Belong” to it, you want your trinkets and your litte Fake Club patches that you BUY and all the stickers and stuff around your house that says Harley On it. This Company KNows it has Brainwashed the Majority of its Customer base that will accept whatever they decide to do. Go take off every HD part thats on your bike now that was made in China Etc… you will have a Very Bare and Non Working Bike.

  43. danny hartley says

    harley davidson is america if they want it let them come get one this belongs to american workers i wont buy inda sheetmetal i get a bad feeling about thisl

  44. BuBBa says

    WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO GETTING THE WORK FORCE/ECONOMY HERE IN THE U S A GOING AGAIN!!!=== WOPS I FORGOT THE GOVERMENT HAS ITS HEAD UP ITS ASS!!!!!!!!

  45. Bob says

    I’m all for free enterprise and don’t blame harley for sending CKD kits overseas to be assembled there , but if it came to harley building completely overseas and shipping them home for sale I wouldn’t buy one. If you won’t buy anything but american made and you go into a Harley shop and buy justabout any harley brand accessory you will find that those parts are made in China , or somewhere else , Most aftermarket parts are made here , check the packaging if you’re only buying US made parts , keep OUR citizens working , keep the money here !

  46. todd says

    Bob, just consider there are often more Americans involved in getting an imported part into your hands than a Made In The USA part does. The actual manufacturing of a component is a relatively small piece of the whole pie. It’s really a moot point.

    -todd

  47. Jack says

    The guy is correct who said that when Asians make products for their own locals the products are of poorer quality but under supervision of a global makers like Sachs the quality improves to western standards. Suzuki and Yamaha initially assembled in India because of prohibitive import tariffs but now India has become a global export hub for Suzuki and Yamaha. Suzuki and Yamaha are primarily exporting from India to the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe and Latin America. The same is the case for cars. India last year exported more cars than China thanks to makers like Hyundai, Suzuki and Ford. At the end of day these global makers can NOT set up plants in all 190 nations of the earth because setting up a plant is very expensive. Therefore a handful of nations are going to get the plants. China and India will certainly be among them because of their prohibitive import tariffs and massive markets growing at 8-10% per year while the west is growing at 1-2%. Plus Asia is where the demand is at. You have billions of people who have never owned a car or motorcycle. And btw this not purely about cheap labor otherwise they would set up plants in Haiti or Bangladesh whose per capita income is much lower than India’s. Nations like Haiti and Bangladesh lacks steel/iron ore. India, by contrast, has large amounts of iron ore and is a low-cost producer of steel. Thats why global steel giants like Arcelor Mittal, Posco, Kobe Steel, Sumitomo and Tata are in a frenzy setting up massive steel plants in India. Steel is a vital ingredient in Harley bikes and so HD might be tempted to produce in India where steel and labor is cheap and demand is high just like Yamaha did. Keep in mind 20 years ago India exported NOTHING and was closed off from the world economically. India was absorbed in its own Fabian Socialist model. It was the United States that pressured India tremendously to open up to the world and engage in globalization. So now India is listening to America and globalizing. So no need for anti-India comments. Anyway Globalization is a two way street. India in the past 5 years has placed orders for $15 Billion dollars worth of military aircraft from America. That will provide very high paying jobs to America and it pumps money into the R & D coffers of Boeing and Lockheed Martin. It also reduces the unit cost of military aircraft to the American tax payer. So you see its a win-win situation. India is trying to provide to its 1.2 billion people all the amenities that Americans enjoy. In order to provide each Indian with 2 cars, a house and a picket fence they are going to burn collosal amounts of coal just like America did in the 20th century. And America IS THE SAUDI ARABIA OF COAL. China and India are buying American coal assets at a frenzied pace. This is pumping tens of billions of dollars into the American economy and providing high paying mining jobs to economically distressed areas like the Appalchian region of America. Remember the most important ingredient in producing steel is coking coal. The U.S is the Saudi Arabia of coal. American coal is also high quality high calorific coal. India may grow economically but its blood supply is coal. And America is the Saudi Arabia of that stuff. And so this insures America a steady supply of Coal dollars and prospeiry from the likes of India. And coal miners are unionized and highly paid. This insures trade with India will always be a two way street. They need our coal. We have them by the balls.

  48. Richard says

    The sad fact is that HD is NOT an American made motorcycle, and has not been for decades. Honda, Kawasaki and Yamaha have more American made parts and labor in them. In the last two Harley shops I was in there was one, only one small rack of American made parts and they had a big red, white and blue sign over as if it were something to be proud of. After a little research I was shocked to find that less than 40% of Harleys are now American, and by law, they cannot claim or advertise that it is an American made machine.

    I brought it up to the owner of the local shop along the price of the parts I was there to get and he said it the cost of owning an icon. That’s when the lights came on for me. You know, I don’t buy double, double lattee’s with whipped foam and cinnamon on top from Starbucks and I don’t wear pastel polo shirts with little lizards on them. I don’t need to buy a foreign made product to have a logo to impress people that I don’t know.

    Willy Davidson needs to admit that Harley Davidson is now every bit as american as the Ural and the Yugo.