Harley-Davidson plans to launch Harley-Davidson de Mexico, a wholly-owned subsidiary, Aug. 1.
H-D says creation of Monterey-based Harley-Davidson de Mexico was necessitated by the need for a more direct connection to the distribution network and customer base in a market that has been growing for the past several years.
The Martin del Campo family, which has represented the Harley-Davidson brand in Mexico for more than 75 years, will continue a relationship with H-D as dealers in the area.
Leading brands in Mexico include Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Loncin, Lifan, Carabela, BMW and Harley-Davidson.
Motorcycle sales in Mexico totaled 43,172 units in 2003, 76,018 units in 2004, 84,986 units in 2005 and 101,345 units in 2006, according to figures compiled by the Mexican Association of the Automotive Industry (AMIA).
Mexico?s motorcycle imports have climbed 114.7 percent between 2002 and 2006. However, while imports have risen dramatically, up 68.4 percent from 2005 to 2006, the production of motorcycles in Mexico has declined, falling 11.1 percent during the same period.
Although Harley-Davidson officials say the company is enjoying growing sales in Mexico, 70 percent of all motorcycles sold there in 2006 were models powered by engines between 51cc and 125cc, while only 2 percent of the purchases represented bikes in excess of 900cc.
Motorcycle sales in Mexico are concentrated in the Federal District, Jalisco, Guanajuato, Quintana Roo and Michoac