There is a buzz that Harley Davidson might be exiting its India operations in its bid to restructure its business after being severely hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The motorcycle giant has sent out feelers to some other automakers through consultants for a possible outsourcing arrangement using its leased assembly facility at Bawal in Haryana, the Hindu reported citing unnamed sources.
Less than a month earlier, when the company reported a disappointing quarter, it spelt out a restructuring strategy that aims to shift focus back to more profitable motorcycles and core markets such as the United States.
Harley has been struggling for years to grow sales beyond baby boomers. The company has not posted retail sales growth in the United States, its biggest market, in the past 14 quarters.
Chief Executive Jochen Zeitz has tightened supplies and cut production, reducing global dealer inventory and driving up prices for pre-owned bikes, which used to be a drag on new bike sales. The company also plans to reduce the number of models by 30 percent.
“This enables us to invest in the products and platforms that matter the most, while better balancing our investment in new high potential segments,” according to Zeitz.
His strategy will eliminate 700 positions but is estimated to result in ongoing annual savings of about $100 million.
(With inputs from Reuters)