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Harley-Davidson eyes Indian market

Iconic American brand to target the world's second largest two-wheeler market

AMERICAN motorcycle giant Harley-Davidson are in exploratory talks with the Indian government over setting up a manufacturing base in the country - that's the latest rumour surrounding the iconic US brand.

Sources say,  Matt Levatich, president and chief operating officer of the company, is due to speak at a conference next week in the country and is likely to also evaluate the possibility of launching its products in India.

It's believed Harley will launch some of its models in India by 2010-11, starting with Fatboy, as well as the baby 883 Sportster with a view to building bikes in the country if the market's strong enough.

Despite Harley's optimistic plans, the Milwaukee-based manufacturer has been hit hard by the effects of the global economic downturn; the company announced a 91% drop in profits - $19.8m (£12m) for the April to June quarter, from the $223m profit for the same period last year. Harley also announced it is to cut over 1000 jobs.

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