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Harley Davidson motorcycles in India

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Having relaxed emission norms for import of Harley Davidson motorcycles, India has informed the US that it cannot cut duties but will allow the American cult bike to be sold through dealers’ network. The US Trade Department raised the demand for a duty cut on the Harley Davidson bikes at the meeting of the India-US Trade Policy Forum here early this week, but the Indian side did not agree to it, a high level official said. "After all, the bike is going to be imported by rich people. Let them pay duty," the official said. India imposes 60 per cent duty on import of motorcycles. However, Davidson Inc, the biggest motorcycle maker in the US, facing slackening growth in the home market, will now be able to stock and sell its bikes in India. "This means, instead of delivering its bikes to individual buyer, the company can appoint dealers in India," the official said. The India-US Trade Policy Forum is co-chaired by Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath and US Trade Representative Susan Schwab. India had liberalised the emission norms for Harley Davidson last year but the high end motorcycle could not really take off its sales operations in the country, since the rules allowed it to sell only to individual buyers. Harley Davidson was hoping to get a breakthrough in the Indian market on low duties at a time when the market expansion in the US is slackening in the face of worsening consumer confidence.

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