While the pandemic has highlighted a failure of the State, it’s also revealed the incredible human spirit, the generosity of strangers & the incredible dedication of medical workers.
And, once again, it’s demonstrated that the auto industry is a responsible corporate citizen! Last year, during the onset of the pandemic, the industry turned its industrial might towards countering COVID-19 by manufacturing everything from components for ventilators to PPE kits. This time, it's put its money where its mouth is and set up oxygen plants and medical facilities – with market leader Maruti Suzuki leading the way. And, frankly, that’s what you’d expect from an industry that contributes over 7% to India’s GDP. Nevertheless, it’s heartening to see.
For us, it’s a challenge to produce fresh content in a lockdown, but we realise that it’s important to do everything that we can to keep the news cycle positive and forward-looking. And what better way to do that than by featuring audacious machines like the Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 that you see on the cover.
Recently, Harley-Davidson stopped manufacturing the Street 750 in India, but it also teamed up with Hero MotoCorp to ensure that it retains a presence in the world’s largest two-wheeler market. The Pan America is Harley’s first ADV, and it’s a quizzical mix of retro and futuristic. And it’s nothing if not incredibly striking – just imagine how much more menacing (if that’s at all possible) the Terminator would look if he swapped his Fat Boy for a Pan America...
The ADV segment is an important step for the (presently ailing) iconic American bikemaker. In fact, on both two and four wheels, it’s the adventure and lifestyle end of the market that’s caught the fancy of consumers from around the world. Even in India, SUVs now make up over 30% of the market. So, it’s no surprise that Mahindra is developing a five-door version of the Thar, and Maruti is doing the same for the Jimny.
So, it seems, transportation isn’t merely about getting from A to B, but looking good while doing it – and knowing that you have a machine that can cross the Sahara should it be en route doesn’t hurt either.
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