US motorbike-maker Harley-Davidson on Monday said it will start assembling three more models in India that will result in slashing of prices by up to Rs 4.55 lakh, close on the heels of the government increasing customs duty on imported superbikes in the Budget.
The company's Indian arm Harley Davidson India will now assemble the Fat Boy, Fat Boy Special and Heritage Softail Classic models at its Bawal facility in Haryana.
The Harley-Davidson Fat Boy will now be available at Rs 14.9 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) as against the previous imported price of Rs 19.45 lakh. Similarly, Fat Boy Special will cost Rs 15.6 Lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) as against the previous imported price of 19.70 lakh.
The Heritage Softail Classic model will be tagged at Rs 16.25 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) as against Rs 20.45 lakh earlier.
Commenting on the development, Harley-Davidson India managing director Anoop Prakash told PTI: "Since we entered India in 2009, we have been consistent with our plans have more local assembly of our products and make them accessible to more enthusiasts and customers across the country. The CKD operations of the three models is another step towards it."
The company now has 9 out of 12 models that it sells in India locally assembled.
When asked if the company planned to assemble all the models that it sells in India, he said: "It is not possible for a long time to come. Our flagship 'Touring Family' has its own heritage, we want to maintain it and moreover the market for it hasn't developed yet here in India."
On the Budget announcement, Mr Prakash said, "Our CKD (completely knocked down) operation allows us to contribute to local investment while also reducing the tariff burden for customers across India."
The impact on pricing will be minimal due to the company's steady focus on developing CKD operations in India since early 2011, he added.
In the Budget 2013-14, Finance Minister P Chidambaram proposed to hike import duty on bikes with engine capacity of 800 cc or more from to 75 per cent from 60 per cent.
On the sales growth, Mr Prakash said the company is expecting "a double digit" increase in 2013. Since 2010, when it started selling its bikes in India, the company has sold over 2,000 motorcycles.