Harley-Davidson Dealership Opens in China

Harley-Davidson Inc. (HDI) opened its first dealership in China on Saturday, with promises to bring its trademark easy-riding attitude to bikers in the world's most sought-after market.

"China's development and long-term market potential was the deciding factor," the Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based company said in a statement. "Harley-Davidson has taken the first step toward bringing the Harley-Davidson lifestyle to Chinese motorcycle enthusiasts."

The store will sell several Harley models, parts, accessories, merchandise and collectibles. After-sale service will be offered along with rider training and events including organized rides.

The company said entry into the Chinese market is expected to be gradual, mainly because of riding restrictions in most large cities and on highways. Another challenge is the price of the bikes, which can exceed $20,000. Urban incomes average about $2,200 a year in Beijing.

"But the purchasing ability of Chinese consumers keeps growing so the important part of Harley-Davidson China strategy is to continuously seek the possibility of loosening the limitations," the company said.