Open to Harley Association: Pawan Munjal

JAIPUR Hero MotoCorp is ready to partner with Harley-Davidson in India, as the American cult bike manufacturer observes a bigger game here with low-power and locally-made products, president Pawan Munjal has said. “If they want to (form a society), why not? Of course ... I'm open to the right kind of partner, Munjal told TOI when asked if the company is ready for an alliance with Harley.

In stating that there is no proposal on the table at this time, Munjal said about the possibility of partnering with a premium manufacturer: The sooner it happens, it is good for everyone. It is understood that the US company held talks with Hero Moto-Corp recently while signing a long-term local plan for India, something it did in China a few months ago.

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Munjal refused to confirm this, but said that Hero is very open to associations. This is the era of associations and as we are presented with the right type of association, or we can reach one, we would be willing to do so. There are people looking for certain segments in this market, (and) we want to enter higher segments. If there is a coincidence, why not?

While Indian companies have attained expertise in lowpowered commuter two-wheelers, they lack the skills and refinement of making powerful bikes, which has resulted in associations with global companies. TVS already has a partnership with BMW for mid-powered bikes, while Bajaj has tied up with British Triumph company. Harley-Davidson has said publicly that he is looking for a partner in India with a manufacturing and distribution footprint to manufacture light motorcycles in the less than 500cc category.

Speaking about the slowdown in the two-wheeled market, Munjal said it is worrying since the numbers have been depressed for a very long period. There is concern that the slowdown has lasted for a fairly long period ... I think this seems like a medium to medium term phenomenon.