If Harley-Davidson decides to exit the Indian market, it will be the second US automaker to shut operations during US President Donald Trump's tenure. In 2017, carmaker General Motors wound up its operations in the country and sold its plant in Gujarat. Photo: Handout

Zhejiang Qianjiang Motorcycle Co. Ltd., has signed a cooperation agreement with U.S. motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson to launch a small motorcycle in China by the end of 2020, Xinhua reported.

The two firms plan to co-develop a premium 338cc displacement Harley-Davidson motorcycle for sale in China, with additional Asian markets to follow, Qianjiang said in an announcement made on Thursday.

The new motorcycle and its engine will be manufactured at Qianjiang’s factory based in the city of Wenling, east China’s Zhejiang Province, the report said.

“Harley-Davidson has always been about inspiring riders around the world. Our More Roads plan is all about bringing our brand of freedom to more people, in more places, in more ways,” said Matt Levatich, president and CEO, Harley-Davidson. “We’re excited about this opportunity to build more Harley riders in China, one of the world’s largest motorcycle markets, by creating new pathways to our brand.”

Founded in 1985, Zhejiang Qianjiang Motorcycle Co. Ltd., is a subsidiary of Geely Technology Group specializing in the research and development, manufacturing and sales of motorcycles and engines as well as key components. In 2005, the company acquired Benelli, an Italian motorcycle manufacturing company with a 100-year history.

Since Harley-Davidson announced its plan to build more riders globally in July 2018, the group has continued to expand its dealership network in China and invest in marketing, e-commerce and product supply. Last year, the company saw retail sales in China up 27 percent from that in 2017.

“We are pleased to collaborate with Harley-Davidson,” said Dongshao Guo, general manager, Qianjiang. “We have proven manufacturing capability and experience in China, and we are committed to improving the experience of motorcycling for riders in Asia.”

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