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Last Updated: Friday, 24 March 2006, 17:26 GMT
Harley-Davidson roars into China
Harley-Davidson motorbike
Harley-Davidson in Beijing will offer rider training
Motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson is to open a dealership in Beijing, its first outlet in China in more than 50 years.

Beijing Harley-Davidson, which has teamed up with dealer Beijing Feng Hou Lun, is set to open in April.

The retail outlet, which is to be located in Beijing's Fourth Ring Road, will employ 14 people and be run by Feng Hou Lun's founder, Wan Jidong.

The dealership is to sell several models of Harley-Davidson bikes, parts, accessories and collectible goods.

Harley-Davidson lifestyle

"Customers will get a real understanding and appreciation of the Harley-Davidson lifestyle," said David Foley, the company's managing director in China.

The outlet will also provide services, rider training and events such as organised rides.

The Chinese motorcycle market has been constrained by ownership restrictions and limitations on where motorcycles can be ridden, said Harley-Davidson.

The bikes are banned within the city's Third Ring Road, a 30-mile (48km) highway which encircles Beijing's centre.

A population with a restricted but expanding disposable income will be a challenge, said the motorcycle company.

Harley-Davidson is not alone in seeing strong potential in China.

Car companies have been attracted to China by its expanding middle-class with disposable income.

Volvo is the latest company to decide to move production to China, following Volkswagen and BMW, which already have plants there.

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