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Benelli JiNan, Shandong, China Opening Chinese firm Group Qianjiang purchased the Benelli motorcycle company in the early part of 2005 from Italian interest Gruppo Merloni. The new owners have so far kept the Pesaro, Italy factory running and producing the exceptionally exotic motorcycles for which Benelli is world-famous as they have promised, and there is no sign of that changing.

However, an important new development has taken place in the homeland of the parent company – they opened their third large-scale location. The new flagship dealer is located in JiNan, which is the capital city of the Shandong province of China. The store was actually opened rather early due to the overwhelming success of the Beijing and Shanghai dealerships – sales have been very brisk at both shops.

This interesting development does make any business-minded creature begin to think that Benelli Q.J. would be smart to build a new factory so as to supply Asia with the same machines built in Italy with less revenue spent on freight. Of course, there will be many Italophiles who are opposed to that very thing; it is possible that some of the special cachet Benelli has always maintained will be lost if they grow too large – or the company starts using lower standards for different markets.

It will be important for the company that the motorcycles built elsewhere retain the same specifications, components and character with which the Italian factory builds them. One should not change the soul of the Benelli motorcycle. Benelli JiNan, Shandong, China Opening

At the ceremony opening the new store, dignitaries from the local and provincial governments joined representatives from the local auto association, Benelli Q.J. and the national press to witness the ribbon-cutting. This new location’s significance was not lost on the attendees.

The potential market for Benelli’s large displacement bikes in the local market is enormous; the top boss at the Chinese division, Pan Yongzhong, addressed this directly at the opening by stating the obvious – new Chinese consumers are (rightly) enamored with Italian products, and high performance Italian motorcycles are akin to street-legal, instant cool. Benelli scooters are also likely to be big hits on the more fashionable streets of China.

Next on the schedule for Benelli Q.J. are the openings of four more such flagship stores in other large markets within greater China. This is expected to take place by the start of 2012, if not earlier.

Written by J.C. Current, Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

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