By Carlos Garcia.
Since the production of the first Harley-Davidson Motor Co. motorcycle in 1903, which six years later developed a distinct motor seal with two cylinders in a 45 degree angle, Harley-Davidson has become the undisputed champion of the American motorcycle. Harley – Davidson is known for its unique and innovative designs which have made their motorcycles stand out brilliantly as some of the sturdiest motorcycles in history. The company reaches nearly every corner in the world, and, Latin America is now part of its latest expansion.
Harley-Davidson has launched its permanent Latin America headquarters in Doral, Florida. Doral is an ideal location due to its proximity to the Port of Miami and the Miami International Airport, as well as the ease of language and quick travel time between Latin America and Florida.
“As part of the corporate change, Harley-Davidson will take one of the most noted brands worldwide to numerous paths in the world,” said Mark Van Gendern, Vice-President and General Director of Harley-Davidson Latin America during the inaugural event. “This new regional headquarter is part of the said transformation, and the confirmation that Harley-Davidson is committed to meet the dreams of its clients in Latin America.”
Harley-Davidson’s strategic growth plan includes opening in new markets and expanding in those where it currently exists. The company projects sales outside the mainland will surpass 40% of the total by 2014; as such, the growth in the Latin America region is a fundamental part of this objective.
“Our new location will help us improve and respond quickly to the needs of our clients in Latin America,” added Van Genderen. “The growth focus of Harley-Davidson in clients outside of the United States makes this moment a very emotional one for us, since many countries in Latin America have created a well established culture of motorcycle and miles of avid followers.”
Karina Jaramillo, Marketing Director and Operations for Latin America, noted that “without being officially open, since the transfer of the offices to Doral, it has received weekly visits of actual concessionaries and other potential clients. This did not occur when we originally resided in Wisconsin.”
Another advantage the move has prompted is an increase in personnel. “From a total of five workers which we had while in Wisconsin, we have increased our personnel to a total of 35,” commented Jaramillo. “Of this increase, more than 30 employees in the regional office were locally sourced. Harley-Davidson, without officially opening, has generated employment opportunities for the City of Doral.”
In addition, Jaramillo said, “Therefore, if we meet our immediate goals, we will have to contemplate the need to add more employees. It all depends on the volume of sales going forward”.
During the opening ceremony, the elegance of the exhibited motorcycles blended well with the appearance of many managers who wore flamboyant shirts bearing the iconic logo of Harley – Davidson. The music from rock bands such as Grand Funk Rail Road served as backdrop to the inaugural event.
Harley-Davidson fans were not disappointed during the inauguration as company officials “cut the chains,” officially kick-starting their new headquarters. Doral Mayor, Juan Carlos Bermudez praised the company as sparks flared during the chain cutting ceremony, and two motorcycles revved their engines.
For more information, please visit Harley-Davidson’s website at www.harley-davidson.com.
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