Harley-Davidson Inc. will open its first dealership in China next month, marking its entry into the burgeoning economy.
Beijing Harley-Davidson, partnered with dealer Beijing Feng Huo Lun, will open in early April, the Milwaukee-based motorcycle manufacturer said Thursday.
"The quality of the Beijing Harley-Davidson dealership experience will be first-class in every respect," said David Foley, the company's managing director in China. "Customers will get a real understanding and appreciation of the Harley-Davidson lifestyle."
This will mark the motorcycle maker's first retail outlet in the country since at least World War II.
The new dealership will be in Beijing's Fourth Ring Road, just outside the downtown area, and just within limits of motorcycle operation. Motorcycles may not be operated within the city's Third Ring Road, a 30-mile highway that encircles the center of the city.
The dealership will have 14 staff members initially and be headed by Feng Huo Lun's founder, owner and executive director Wan Jidong. Foley said Wan and his management team are passionate about riding motorcycles and understand the market in China.
The dealership will sell several makes of Harley-Davidson motorcycles, parts, accessories, merchandise and collectibles. Sales and service will be offered, as will rider training and events including organized rides.
Entry into the Chinese market is expected to be gradual because the market is limited by ownership and riding restrictions in most large cities and on highways, Harley-Davidson said. A population with a limited, but growing, disposable income will also prove a challenge, it said.
Harley-Davidson said it planned to develop the market for heavyweight motorcycles and work on addressing riding restrictions.