August 31, 2009

Harley-Davidson makes India debut

U.S. motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson said it broke into the India market Monday with the arrival of 25 hogs rolling through the streets of New Delhi.

There is now a confluence of factors in India that is favorable for us, said Harley-Davidson's President and Chief Operating Officer Matthew Levatich.

The rise of middle-class consumption, increased government investment in new highways and the recent economic boom have ushered in a perfect time for the market for leisure motorcycle riding, he said in a Washington Post report Monday.

India has a population of 1 billion and is the second largest motorcycle market in the world, the newspaper said.

The market now is dominated by small motorcycles and some say the crowded roads may make the heavy American-made Harleys more of a status symbol than a riding machine in India.

Not so, said Anoop Prakash, India's managing director for Harley-Davidson.

There is a great craving for the authentic Harley-Davidson cruising experience in India, he said.