Harley-Davidson Riding High In Europe
Renowned for its iconic cruising and touring motorcycles like the Fat Boy and Electra Glide, Harley-Davidson is continuing to achieve a strong upsurge in European sales. In the first quarter of 2006 European Harley-Davidson’s motorcycle retail sales grew by a further 7.1 per cent, on the back of a 20.6 per cent year on year increase achieved in 2005 with sales of key models like the Sportster rising by 21.6 per cent over the prior year.
“The Sportster family’s robust performance is a key part of our ongoing growth” says John Russell, Harley-Davidson Europe Vice President and Managing Director.
“Our heavyweight touring and cruising motorcycles command incredible loyalty and many European enthusiasts make these motorcycles a part of their way of life. However, most Sportster sales are to people new to the Harley-Davidson experience. We have worked hard to underline the affordability of these motorcycles and, encouragingly, a great many Sportster owners go on to explore the rest of our product range.”
Russell believes that the Sportster’s success, as well as the strong performance of more classic Harley-Davidson factory custom motorcycles like the recently launched Dyna Street Bob, is the result of Harley-Davidson’s increasing ability to develop motorcycles in tune with the needs of European riders.
“Harley-Davidson is synonymous with a unique quality, look, sound and feel and that won’t be changing. But what we have achieved during the last few years is a far closer link with our product development colleagues in the United States and this has resulted in motorcycles more geared towards the performance and styling characteristics that European customers have been asking us for.
The multi-award winning VRSCA V-Rod has been a phenomenal success for us in Europe. Other models specifically designed for European customer tastes include the Softail Night Train, the Sportster 883R and the VRSCR Street Rod. Our more European oriented models have contributed significantly to our growth over the last several years and are examples of us responding to customer demand.”
Russell confirmed that Harley-Davidson Europe continues to work in close partnership with the US product development team in Milwaukee and that we can expect to see more European-oriented Harleys being developed in the future.
“Although we are not in a position to discuss or confirm new product until later this summer, we are excited by the progress that has been made and would encourage European riders to watch this space.”
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