H-D opens new Latin America headquarters

Harley-Davidson opened its new permanent Latin America headquarters in Miami Thursday.

Harleys have been sold in Mexico for more than 80 years, and in 1998, the company established complete knockdown assembly operations in Manaus, Brazil, however, the Latin America regional offices were based out of the company’s Milwaukee, Wis., global headquarters before this week.

"As part of its business transformation, Harley-Davidson is taking one of the world's most iconic brands to the many roads of the world," said Mark Van Genderen, vice president and managing director, Harley-Davidson Latin America, during the grand opening event. "This new regional headquarters is part of that transformation, and confirmation that Harley-Davidson is committed to fulfilling the dreams of customers in Latin America from Tierra del Fuego to the Rio Grande.”

Harley-Davidson expects that sales outside of the United States will exceed 40 percent of its total sales by 2014, and the Latin America market is important to that growth, the company said. The Miami facility will support subsidiary operations in Brazil and Mexico, as well as other countries in the region’s Latin America Direct Markets group. Sales, marketing, dealer development and other departments in the Latin America regional group will be housed in Miami.

"Our new location will help us better and more quickly respond to our Latin American customer's needs," Van Genderen added. "Harley-Davidson's increased focus on customers outside of the U.S. is an exciting time for us, since many Latin American countries have well-established motorcycle cultures and thousands of avid enthusiasts.”

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