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Buell Increases European Sales

U.S. motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson's Buell motorcycle increased European sales by more than 75% in 2004, led by Buell's "streetfighter" XB12S product line, Harley-Davidson Europe Ltd. Managing Director John Russell told Dow Jones Newswires.

Buell's sales were traditionally in the 1,000-1,200 unit range, said Russell, until it launched the faster, stripped-down "streetfighter" line in 2003 that has appealed to European riders who grew up with high performance bikes make by Ducati, BMW, Suzuki or other Japanese producers, he said.

Buell has sold 3,500 bikes in Europe as of the end of July, he said.

Russell said he expects Harley-Davidson's European market share including Buell, which it acquired 10 years ago, to rise to 8%-9% in 2004, compared with 6%-7% last year. Europe accounts for 11% of Harley-Davidson's annual sales volumes.

Buell is Germany's fastest-growing brand, said Buell Chairman and chief designer Eric Buell, who said he got the idea for the "streetfighter" from watching "The Terminator."

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