Harley Davidson roars into Vietnam

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The Harley-Davidson showroom which opened Saturday in Ho Chi Minh City already has several motorbikes with the "sold" label. Photo courtesy of Thoi bao Kinh te Saigon Online

US motorbike maker Harley-Davidson has come to Vietnam, opening its first showroom in Ho Chi Minh City Saturday, a day before the government lifted a ban on riding vehicles of more than 175 cc.

The showroom in Phu My Hung in District 7 has been opened by Al Naboodah International Vietnam, one of the UAE's leading names in construction, commercial, investment, and real estate.

Lawson Dixon, CEO of Harley-Davidson Saigon, was quoted as saying the showroom has 27 models in five generations -- Sportster, Dyna, Softail, VRSC, and Touring -- at prices ranging from VND336 million (US$16,000) for an 883 cc Sportster to VND1.17 billion for a 1,690 cc Touring.

It is no longer illegal to ride vehicles of above 175 cc.

Dixon assured that the showroom's motorbikes are of the same quality as those sold in North America and Europe.

The company can also customize motorbikes, he said.

The showroom will be provided support by Harley-Davidson Asia Pacific based in Singapore for maintenance and customer service.

Vo Ngoc Linh, general secretary of the Association of Harley-Davidson owners in Saigon (Saigon HOG) said members once had to get the bikes abroad.

Harley-Davidson is expected to open a showroom in Hanoi next year.

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