Harley-Davidson: Up to 250 Layoffs

Motorcycle Industry News

The final decision has yet to be made, but Harley-Davidson is expecting to layoff up to 250 union workers from Milwaukee-area facilities.

This layoffs would be part of The Motor Company’s plan to reduce the working staff by 26 percent, and substitute the workflow with seasonal workers, local reports say.

In the meanwhile, Harley has asked employees to take voluntary layoffs, which the company hopes will prevent mandatory layoffs.

This is all part of Harley’s restructuring plan, which went into effect following the hiring of CEO Keith Wandell in 2009.

At the closing of the third quarter, in which Harley reported a 5.4-percent increase in sales over the previous year, The Motor Company expects annual savings of $305 million to $325 million when this restructuring is complete.

During this third quarter, Harley-Davidson completed the consolidation of final assembly operations at York, Pa. Final assembly of all Touring, Softail, Trike and Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO) motorcycles now occurs on a single assembly line.

Also, as part of Harley-Davidson’s overall restructuring plan, The Motor Company recently reported that it will cease operations at the New Castalloy facility in Australia, which produces cast motorcycle wheels and wheel hubs.

Harley-Davidson says the New Castalloy facility will close by mid 2013, and the wheels and hubs will be sourced through other existing suppliers.