HARLEY-DAVIDSON Inc could be forced to raise prices in Europe due to EU tariffs on US goods, hitting buyers of new motorcycle models when they are shipped to dealers later in the year, the head of the central European business said.

Earlier, this week the European Commission said it would start charging import duties of 25 percent in a range of US products from Friday after Washington imposed tariffs on EU steel and aluminum at the start of June.

''Of course this will have an impact on the price. We will tray and make it as painless as possible but no company can foot this alone,'' Christine Amezeder told Reuters TV in an interview.

A spokeswoman for the company said the group was still evaluating the potential impacts of EU duties, and that no decision on pricing had been made.

Harley says it is getting hot by tariffs twice. Once by the EU import duty and once by a rise in raw-material prices resulting from the US steels tariffs.

For the moment, though, Harley Davidson does not need to raise prices as it used the three months since since Europe first threatened to impose duties on its motorcycles to prepare.

''We tried to get the current model to Europe as quickly as possible, as far as production allowed for it,'' Amezeder said.

He also said the the anticipation of tariffs boosted demand as customers sought to snap up motorcycles before prices rise.

''You could tell on the market, in talking to dealers, that some customers said, I want to fulfill my dream before any tariffs come into effect,'' he said.

Struggling to over come a slump in US demand, Harley has been aiming to boost sizes of its motorcycles overseas to 50 percent of total annual volume from about 43 percent currently.

Europe, the Middle East, and Africa accounted for little over 21 percent of the global retail sales in the last quarter. [Agencies].


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