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Harley seeks to cut production costs in Wisconsin

May 3, 2010
Filed under Features

Harley-Davidson Inc. warned its employees last week it could move its Wisconsin manufacturing operations to another U.S. state if it can’t cut millions of dollars in costs, according to a report from the Associated Press.

The company said it has identified significant “cost gaps” that must be filled for it to remain competitive. The largest gaps involved labor costs and scheduling flexibility, Harley spokesman Bob Klein told the AP.

The Wisconsin plants at risk include powertrain operations in Milwaukee. Those operations, with about 1,320 employees, are already being consolidated. The other Wisconsin plant makes components ,including windshields. It has about 375 workers.

While holding discussions with union leaders, the company plans to look at sites in other states but it has not said which states, or how many sites, are under consideration.

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