News Industry Strict Regulations Hurting Harley in China

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Strict Regulations Hurting Harley in China Hot

harley_shanghaiDespite the enormous population, Harley-Davidson still sells more motorcycles in its hometown of Milwaukee than it does in all of China. Sure, Harley is an American brand and basically a celebrity in Wisconsin, but that isn't what's holding Harley back abroad. The regulations on motorcycles in China are making it hard for Harley to grow its business overseas.

Business Week reports that there are strict regulations on motorcycles in more than 100 cities in China. In both Beijing and Shanghai motorcycles are banned from elevated highways and major thoroughfares.

Harley sold 268 motorcycles in China last year, but they hope to hike sales by 40% annually by 2016. The only way they'll be able to do that is if they get China to loosen their restrictions.

Harley is currently lobbying the Chinese government to ease up on the regulations so that the motorcycle market can grow.

Sean Jiang, Harley's managing director in China, said:

"Any investment in China without addressing the regulatory requirements will be a castle built on sand."

Harley is also working to change how Chinese people look at motorcycles. Most Chinese people see motorcycles as a simple mode of transportation and they aren't willing to spend $53,000 for a Ultra Classic Electra Glide.

Chief Executive Officer Keith Wandell said:

"The Chinese consumer is unfamiliar with leisure riding. They've always looked at two-wheelers as a form of transportation and getting to work."

But Harley is making a big push in China. They're running TV spots around the country and have been supporting local clubs to encourage people to ride. But even if the motorcycle community catches on in China, it could be a hard sell if major highways still ban motorcycles.

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Comments  

 
0 # PRC Outlaw 2011-10-22 07:19
More Harley's were sold in china than that.. many of the Harley's sold in China are gray market... and many more are sold that way than thorough the stealership...just one gray market shop sells as many as the entire MoCo inventory sold...price is one thing but the availability of different models and years is another as well as the rich-man's personae of the owners and operators of the boutiques while the black Harley shops resemble the HD shops of yesteryear....yes, the laws and restrictions do play a part as does the idea tht only the rich own HDs and neither is good for the product development in China. If they want to up the numbers.. HD has to become an everyman's bike and the numbers have to get up so as to make the government sit up and take notice....help those who have bought black market Harley's and the popularity will go through the rood.
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0 # Bucko 2011-11-01 21:07
I think that the regulation is the single biggest hurdle holding Harley back in China. Otherwise, I think there is a lot of potential in the country, particularly once the Chinese get familiar with the brand. I've written the 3 reasons why I think H-D can find success in China, from my experiences living and riding a motorcycle in Beijing: http://www.rubberonroad.com/2011/10/can-harley-davidson-find-success-in-china/
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