Harley Closing Kansas City Plant by Summer 2019

by Joy Montgomery February 1, 2018, 0:55
Harley Closing Kansas City Plant by Summer 2019

On Tuesday, during a routine earnings call, Harley-Davidson Inc. announced it will produce an all-electric motorcycle.

To counteract those trends, Harley launched a 10-year plan that included creating 2 million new riders in the US, launching 100 new models and growing worldwide sales to 50 percent of the business.

A switch to electric, even for just one bike in the lineup, is no sure bet to save Harley-Davidson. The company saw sales dip 6.7 percent in 2017, and is projecting a continuation of that decline in 2018. "LiveWire is an exhilarating, no excuses, electric Harley-Davidson".

But that is bad news for Kansas City as the company will close its plant there in mid- to late 2019, eliminating about 800 jobs. A 10-year strategy also involves training 2 million new USA riders, growing global markets to 50 percent of sales and launching 100 new "high-impact" motorcycles. The Kansas City plant has been assembling Harley-Davidson motorcycles since 1997, and our employees will leave a great legacy of quality, pride and manufacturing leadership.

Harley-Davidson executives rode into the White House compound almost one year ago to meet with Donald Trump, who promised a bright future ahead for the motorcycle maker.

The Milwaukee-based company said its net income fell 82% in its fiscal fourth quarter to $8.3 million, compared with a year earlier. It also states that Harley intends to be "the world leader in the electrification of motorcycles".

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Specifically, Harley-Davidson said it is consolidating the Kansas City assembly plant into its York, Pennsylvania facility.

Harley shares plummeted 8% to $50.84 after the fourth-quarter results were released on Tuesday.

Harley and other makers of cruiser and touring motorcycles have seen their sales tumble as the economy has weakened in some areas and interest in motorcycling, overall, hasn't been as strong. This figure was impacted by a one-time write down of net deferred tax assets due to the recent changes in the USA tax laws.

Scott Whitfield rode up from Germantown, Maryland, for the Harley-Davidson open house on Thursday. The markets haven't been kind to HOG; over the past 12 months, shares are down over 12 per cent, lagging the broader exchanges.

"Our actions to address the current environment through disciplined supply and cost management position us well as we drive to achieve our long-term objectives to build the next generation of Harley-Davidson riders globally", Matt Levatich, president and chief executive officer, Harley-Davidson, said.


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