Harley-Davidson exits India as a part of its global restructuring plan

BCCL
  • Harley-Davidson has said it expects additional restructuring costs to be around $75 million for 2020 in the build up to its “Rewire” strategy for 2021-2025.
  • The US bike manufacturer sold less than 2,500 units in the last fiscal year with India as one of its worst-performing markets.
  • In August, Harley-Davidson had indicated its intentions to reduce its product portfolio and exit some of the loss-making international markets.
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The American motorcycle manufacturer known to have survived the 1930s Great Depression couldn’t hold his ground during the coronavirus pandemic.

On Thursday September 24, Harley-Davidson said that it would shut down the manufacturing facility in Bawal and significantly reduce the size of its sales office in Gurgaon in its filing to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). However, the company’s dealer network will continue to serve customers through the contract term, the company said.

Harley-Davidson’s move comes after COVID-19 dented the company’s profit due to poor sales forcing the bike maker to exit the Indian market. The company sold less than 2,500 units in the last fiscal year, making India as one of its worst-performing markets.

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Harley has a new strategy up its sleeve

Harley estimates total restructuring costs to come to around $169 million in 2020. This entails a workforce reduction of about 70 employees in India. India accounts for less than 5% of the company’s total annual sales volumes.

“These actions are aligned with The Rewire which is planned to continue through the end of 2020, leading to The Hardwire, a new strategic plan for 2021-2025 aimed at building desirability for the Harley-Davidson brand and products,” the company said in a statement.

In August, the company had indicated to reduce its product portfolio and exit some of the loss-making international markets to reroute focus on the US business.
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Earlier revealing its "Rewire" strategy, the company said it would streamline its planned product portfolio by about 30% and focus on 50 markets key markets in North America, Europe and parts of Asia Pacific.

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