Harley-Davidson is moving into the Indian market, but it is doing it on India’s terms. You see, due to different price sensitivity, road conditions, and consumer tastes Harley-Davidson’s current line-up can not currently make any inroads into India’s enormous motorcycle market. To combat this, HD is opening their second non-US factory and producing a bike that will be smaller and less expensive than any Harley for sale in the US. Coming in at only 400-500 cubic inches (at least half their normal engine size), the India-only bike will be aimed at the entry-level premium market.
While localizing content is nothing new, it will be interesting to see if HD takes this opportunity to try out some “reverse innovation.” Could Harley bring this smaller and cheaper bike back to our shores? That could be a major game changer in the North American market. Currently, the least expensive Harley is $8,099, and the thought of a $5,000-$6,000 bike from the storied manufacturer would have many a motorbike fan (myself included) foaming at the mouth. It is still early days to see how this will play out, but custom making a cheaper and feature-stripped version of a core product is the first step of creating a reverse innovation. If it comes true all I want for this prediction is a set of keys.