Harley-Davidson – made in India?

Not for the first time I see parallels between Harley-Davidson and Apple

Harley-Davidson, as Apple, is positioned in the marketplace as an American product. Completely American, but the saga about whether Harley-Davidson will move production out of Milwaukee has had more sequels than “Rocky”.

I found recently the following brief post at kansascity.com:

Lets wait and see when this gets expanded. I think that for Harley-Davidson to assemble in India for the local market may just be a small first step, the next is not just to assemble but produce, and soon exports of assembled bikes outside of India will become a economically logical step.

In today’s world of intense quality control, the label “made in the U.S.A.“, or “made in Germany” have little impact on the quality itself, but still a great impact on a product’s perception and acceptance.

A Harley-Davidson made in India? A Porsche made in Romania?

We will soon see more big brand products going the Apple route, where the label states clearly Designed in California – Assembled in China?

Will Harley-Davidson go the same way as Apple, and soon we can read:

Designed by Harley-Davidson in Milwaukee
Motorcycle assembled in India

In a global world, where distances became irrelevant, truly “local” products are very rare, and in more complex products like airplanes, car, motorcycles or computers,  a product is never fully local. Components are produced “abroad” and added, parts are shipped around the world, semi-assembled in multiple locations, to be finally wrapped or put into a crate and shipped again for delivery to the customer. Soon labels should read what is reality today:

Produced in USA (48%), France (26%), China (13%), Brazil (7%) and Taiwan (6%)

What do you think?


8 Responses to “Harley-Davidson – made in India?”

  1. Steve Cutler Says:

    I never owned another motorcycle other than Harley. Harley has gotten greedy over the years and forgotten the people who have been supporting them for over fifty years.

    The hell with with their made in the USA lies. My best answer is to buy another brand. This Bombay Bike BS is the final straw!!

  2. I don’t drop a leave a response, but after looking at a few of the responses on this page Harley-Davidson – made in India? | Road King UK. I do have some questions for you if you do not mind. Could it be simply me or do some of these responses look as if they are coming from brain dead folks? 😛 And, if you are writing at additional sites, I’d like
    to follow you. Could you post a list of the complete urls of all your public pages like your Facebook page,
    twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

  3. John in California Says:

    The real concern is build quality. When you buy a HD you are buying into a century of building HD motorcycles under the assumed watchful eyes of HD USA. If Honda made the exact bike in Tokyo, I doubt it would be as iconically successful. Yet, I now own several Apple products made in China and my HD has imported parts assembled onto it at HD USA. There were moments in history when there were quality concerns about Made In Japan and now they build reliable cars. HD had quality battles during the 70s & 80s and since the Evolution engine, has had upward success. The folks in Wisconsin & Pennslyvania assembling HD now, are not MIT or Harvard graduates; they are ordinary people assembly parts that were already engineered before they were hired. For that matter, in the USA, I’d bet some of the assemblers at HD are from all over the world. Listen, 2 years ago, I rebuilt my HD Road King in my garage after a collision totaled it and I did that with instructions from the internet. If you truly love your HD, don’t you want it to succeed and be here for years to come so our decendants can enjoy what we have? All the big auto companies are now globally assembling the products. It’s win-win! If HD is global, parts are global, cheaper and everyone rides a Harley 🙂 Honda is building in Ohio, Mercedes in Alabama, Toyota in South Carolina, Ford in Canada, Dodge trucks in Mexico (yes). So, open your minds and your imagination and you will see we are all on one planet for a short time. Ride safe!

  4. Should have seen this one coming. I’ve owned 6 Harleys in my lifetime. My current bike is a 2005 ultra. There are thousands of people out of work in the USA. This is my last purchase from HD. Now Harley Davidson is no different than any other company. This greedy move will cost Harley in the form of losing a loyal group of bikers. As far as I’m concerned they can move the whole damn company to India. Go To Hell HD.

    • Randall, so now what? Japanese Tupperware? Doesn’t exactly help the US based workforce, nor does it to tell them to go to hell. We live in a global world, if we like it or not, and local production should receive every possible support, not the treat of boycott.

  5. I will never buy another Harley my 2007 is my last one .
    If they can’t make them here and ship them there the hell with Harley .

  6. done with harley Says:

    Im so turned off by harley, i will never buy their curry crusier.

  7. For my current tour of the USA I bought a new laptop. I made the call to order it from the Uk, to a US company and was put through to a call centre in India. The laptop was assembled in the far east (I cannot remember exactly where) and then shipped to the UK. It all took just 4 days!

    I think Harley have to assemble in India. There is such a huge expansion happening there, if they shipped bikes from the US, they would be way too expensive for the Indian economy. It is sort of inevitable.

    Would I buy a bike that was assembled or even made there? Probably.

    BTW, I lkoved what you did with the two logos!

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