The occasional closure of Harley Davidson’s Casablanca showroom was soon noticed, to the point of raising questions and rumours about the departure of the American brand from Moroccan soil. Since the beginning of the month, some publications have been quick to announce the “news” that “Harley Davidson is leaving Morocco”.
Contacted by us, a manager from Legendco (Moroccan importer of the brand) reacted to the recently published articles announcing the end of the Harley Davidson adventure in Morocco.
“There is no end or closure” argues our source, who wishes to remain anonymous, stating that “these are unfounded rumours”. Then to add “we are an importer and distributor of the brand and we are independent (…) We are going to open in Rabat unchanged, Marrakech is there and Casablanca has never stopped its activity, besides, a truck will stop in 30 minutes to unload the 2021 models”.
Last June, the American firm unveiled its new strategic plan, the first since the arrival of its new president, Jochen Zeitz. Called “Rewire”, this plan notably foresees: a repositioning of the brand, a return to the roots for products such as cruisers and touring motorbikes, but also the withdrawal of Harley from the Indian market, as well as an electrification of the motorbike and bicycle ranges.
With the Covid-19 crisis having passed through, the Milwaukee based firm had to review its entire roadmap and plan to disengage in some 40 countries. What about Morocco? Nothing is official and according to our source, the kingdom would not be part of the list of countries that Harley is going to leave.
“You know,” says our interviewee, “a brand like Harley doesn’t close down overnight”. Then to explain: “the manufacturer was indeed impacted by the crisis linked to the Covid pandemic and decided to reduce the number of its representatives in the world. These representatives are in France, Italy and other MENA countries, but as far as we are concerned, it is not the case, since we have just signed a maintenance contract for two years (Editor’s note: until 2022)”.
“Whether it’s motorbikes, parts or accessories, we continue to stock up as usual,” he continues. These words can only reassure the brand’s Moroccan customers.
Long owned by the Sekkat family, the Harley Davidson “card” now belongs to an investment fund made up of businessmen, most of whom wish to remain anonymous.