American motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson said on Wednesday it is teaming up with China’s Qianjiang Motorcycle to make a new smaller motorcycle than its trademark ‘big hogs’.
The decision is part of Harley’s plan to cut costs and source half of its sales outside the United States by 2027. The company views China as a major growth market, with sales in the country increasing 27 percent last year compared to the previous year.
The new bike will have an engine displacement of 338 cubic centimeters, which is one of the smallest in the company’s 116-year history. It is planned to be sold in China from the end of 2020.
The company’s existing range of motorcycles is generally far larger and comes with engine capacities of more than 601 cubic centimeters.
Harley did not reveal a price range for the new motorbike, while Qianjiang said it would be “affordable.” According to Harley, it will be introduced elsewhere in Asia after the initial launch in China.
The decision is part of a longer-term strategy for dealing with lower sales in the US and higher costs because of trade tariffs. Its announcement to move more production outside the United States has angered President Donald Trump. He called for a boycott after Harley shifted production to Thailand.
Trump, however, made a U-turn to support the manufacturer, after the EU slapped tariffs on Harley-Davidson in retaliation for his tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.