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Tagger born again as bike outlet

Harley-Davidson is to open a new flagship dealership at the end of the year on the site of a former Mercedes-Benz outlet axed under the DaimlerChrysler retailer network revisions.

The JR Tagger Harley-Davidson showroom will be the motorcyle company's largest in Europe, covering more than 30,000 sq ft and combining bike sales with a boutique retailing clothes and accessories.

Tagger's former Mercedes-Benz franchise territory is now operated by DaimlerChrysler UK under its London market area. Managing director John Tagger believes there is enormous potential for growth in the London and Hertfordshire regions for both Harley-Davidson and sister motorcycle brand Buell.

“The timing is just right because Harley-Davidson is 100 years old next year which will create a lot of publicity for the bikes and the Harley lifestyle,” he says. “We're planning to use our local expertise to make the brand irresistible to the people of Hertfordshire and north-west London.”

Harley's top UK dealers retail around 200 new motorcycles a year and the new Tagger centre is likely to exceed this figure. The size of the business will enable it to focus on the clothes and accessories operation, which accounts for around five per cent of Harley-Davidson's worldwide income.

JR Tagger dealer principal Paul Lamar hopes to tap into the growing trend for born-again bikers. “Motorcycling is growing at a rapid pace in the UK because people are beginning to realise that being on two-wheels is a far more efficient way to travel than on four, and what's more - it's fun,” he says.

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