And it looks like the densely-populated Asia region is its new target as the bike making manufacturer announced its plans for opening up a new factory there.
Harley-Davidson Inc. said this week it will build a new plant in Thailand, which is a major Asian automotive hub and will allow the company to be “more responsive and competitive in the Asean region and China,” according to relations manager Katie Whitmore.
The new facility is supposed to allow H-D avoid Thailand’s big tariff on imported motorcycles and help it get tax breaks when exporting to neighboring countries thanks to a trade arrangement among the ASEAN members.
The new factory will build new Harley-Davidson motorcycles from completely knock-down kits (CKD) that will be imported from manufacturers and suppliers in the United States. The new bikes promise to look, sound, and feel as authentic as the ones made in its other factories.
Harley has two more overseas facilities, one in Brazil and the most recent one opened in India. The bikes that will be made in Thailand will support sales in China and southeastern Asia, adding up to the company’s plans of growing international business to half of annual sales by 2027.
The Milwaukee-based company also plans to launch 100 new motorcycles by 2027 as well as grow its business without enlarging its environmental impact.
Back in the country, people are saying that building Harley bikes outside the US will put in jeopardy the success that propelled the company so far over the years. However, the iconic brand said the move will not impact the business in its homeland, and it doesn’t intend to decrease production in America.
The Thailand assembly plant is expected to be operational in late 2018.
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