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Harley-Davidson to lower shipments, eliminate 1,100 positions

January 23, 2009
Filed under Features

In wake of a 42.5-percent decrease in net income in 2008, Harley-Davidson Inc. will reduce shipments in 2009, close facilities and eliminate 1,100 positions over the next two years, the company announced today.

The workforce reduction will include about 800 hourly production positions and about 300 nonproduction, primarily salaried positions. About 70 percent of the workforce reduction is expected to occur in 2009.

The changes in plant operations will include:

  • Consolidating its two engine and transmission plants in the Milwaukee area into its facility in Menomonee Falls, Wis.;
  • Consolidating paint and frame operations at its assembly facility in York, Pa.;
  • Closing its distribution facility in Franklin, Wis., and consolidating Parts and Accessories and General Merchandise distribution through a third party.
  • Discontinuing its domestic transportation fleet operation.

    Harley also said it will lower new unit shipments to 264,000-273,000 in 2009, a 10-13 percent decrease from the previous year.

    This production cutback comes after Harley’s worldwide retail sales fell 13.1 percent in its fourth quarter, including 19.6 percent in the United States.

    For more on Harley’s year-end results, see an upcoming edition of Powersports Business.

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