Harley-Davidson Closing Production For One Week

After dealer sales fell sharply in August Harley-Davidson reports that it will curb motorcycle production by shutting down production at 3 Wisconsin factories for a week after Thanksgiving. Those plants include the power-train operations in Wauwatosa and Menomonee Falls and another in Tomahawk. Assembly plants in Kansas, Missouri, and York, Pennsylvania, also will shut down the week of November 26th. The company intends to take additional steps to achieve production reductions, but didn’t give details. The company will not pay its employees during the shutdown, said Bob Klein, a spokesman for Harley-Davidson. Workers laid off during the shutdowns will continue to receive health care coverage, company spokeswoman Rebecca Bortner. The manufacturer will recall all laid-off workers after the shutdown. Harley-Davidson believes this solution is the best option for balancing the needs of their stakeholders.

22 Responses to “Harley-Davidson Closing Production For One Week”

  1. 1 goldiron Sep 15th, 2007 at 8:35 pm

    I think that layoffs will be the next move.

  2. 2 James Sep 15th, 2007 at 10:05 pm

    Yes, unfortunately, layoffs is imminent. and it may be big.

  3. 3 Donnie Sep 15th, 2007 at 10:07 pm

    Sad, but anticipated

  4. 4 HWGTHNG Sep 16th, 2007 at 9:50 am

    I agree with Goldiron, James and Donnie. While the press release does paint a picture that HD is taking care of it employees (and they are by keeping the insurance coverage and saying all employees will return)I would be packing away all the x-tra nickles I have to wait out this storm. Another thing I feel HD needs to taka a strong look at is, what the competition is doing (and will continue to do) to compete. I love my 95th Anniversary Ultra Classic but I will be looking at all of the bikes when it comes time to renew. I’ve help my riding buds work on their rice burners and I do see a difference and quality in the type of “stock” part used (and there is a difference). But the fact of the matter is HD is losing market share to its overseas competition, and it is due to cost. A lot of my generation (55 years old)will be selling the bikes they bought because they feel they have grown too old so you can expect to see a mass of good low mileage bikes on the market for the next few years. If Harley Davidson wants to keep the people employed they need to develope a bike to compete in selling price with the rice burners. Look at what Toyota has created with Scion. Most riders opt for many aftermarket goodies. HD knows what these items are. They could consider this when they produce the “lower cost bike” and count on many of the rider wanting to make their bike theirs. The time has come for HD to swallow and “renew” its thought process. Hey Harley how about making a new bike right here in the good ol’e USA with lower cost to produce (mabe some plastic parts that can be changed to make the bike your own)and show the “Ying – Yangs” you’re taking the gloves off. Never change what you already do but offer new products to compete. Here’s a name you can call it

    “Competition Plus” sound familure?

    Good luck

  5. 5 Donald Pretz Sep 16th, 2007 at 1:22 pm

    I heard that a lot of HD dealerships are for sale At a bargain?!? like real estate….

  6. 6 rodent Sep 16th, 2007 at 7:27 pm

    how cum the former smuggler is still buying dealerships?

  7. 7 Donald Pretz Sep 16th, 2007 at 8:19 pm

    Rodent. Never been a better time for him. At a huge discount.

  8. 8 bob Sep 16th, 2007 at 10:58 pm

    smuggler? what??

  9. 9 Nicker Sep 17th, 2007 at 12:51 am

    SRelated posts from the V-rod guys:

    “…I remeber a Thread stating cut backs, dont remember it saying anything about this. Hey HD get some control over Your Dealerships, I know personally of 3 sales you didnt get because of salesman attitude….”

    “…I know and anyone who pays attention at all can see the dreaded “R” word just over the Hill coming (Recession, I predict a few months before Election day). I know a some Members Here are HD workers, hope its not effecting them too badly. But from the outside looking in, I cannot see this Helping to gain New customers…”

    “…yeah thanks Harley for a week of no pay just weeks before christmas…”

    “…it doesnt take a rocket scientist to see the dealers are full of bikes, everybody scene this coming except upper management…”


  10. 10 William Sep 17th, 2007 at 11:19 am

    Motorcycles are products and their value is based on supply and demand. The market is saturated top to bottom; crusiers and sportbikes. The market is heading for a correction. They always do in times like these. Like HWGTHNG said, there will be be many bikes on the used market for numerous reasons, and that will hurt the new bike market as well. The pleasure vechicles (motorcycles, boats, etc) are always the first to take a hit when the economy slows down. My only advice is ‘hold on, it’s going to be a bumpy ride’.

  11. 11 Dennis Carver Sep 17th, 2007 at 1:22 pm

    I agree that dealership salesmen have killed sales. I know many disatisfied customer or want a be’s. HD has the best motorcycles they have ever produced. For once, a sportster will go any where. And all the twin cams are a pleasure to ride. WHAT WE HAVE HERE..IS A FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE! NOW.. maybe dealerships will hand customers a cup of coffee, not a line of bull! Dennis

  12. 12 Jim Openheimer Sep 17th, 2007 at 5:27 pm

    OMG. I think the motorcycle manufacturers are in trouble for quite a few years

  13. 13 dragon Sep 17th, 2007 at 6:03 pm

    a friend and i went in to a h.d. dealer ship in ga. cash in hand and were going to buy a new bike guess what the bike’s in this store did’nt even have price tag on them so i went to look at the shirts was treated like a king the lady’s were all about selling me something but not a salesman one ask my friend or me if we need help so when the lady’s selling shirts found this out they went and got the mangment and need less to say we walked after giving her a peace of our mind’s and telling her to take the lady’s out of shirts and put them to selling bike’s ,boy were those two smilng when we left

  14. 14 bob Sep 17th, 2007 at 10:44 pm

    so, whats this going to do for someone looking to buy a harley in the next few months?

  15. 15 Jim Openheimer Sep 17th, 2007 at 11:06 pm

    Nothing for a buyer. Lower prices for the seller of a used bike.

  16. 16 goldiron Sep 19th, 2007 at 11:15 am

    A state panel says Harley-Davidson employees who went on strike in February will not receive unemployment checks for that time.

    Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 175 said 2,516 employees sought the benefits for four weeks they were on strike at the Springettsbury Township motorcycle plant. The law does not allow unemployment compensation when workers are on strike, but does when they are locked out.

    The employees argued that the strike began with a lockout, but the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review ruled that Harley-Davidson had been entitled to close for business reasons that did not constitute a lockout. An appeal deadline has passed.

  17. 17 Nicker Sep 21st, 2007 at 12:57 am

    Didn’t the Union strike fund compensate the workers for those 4 weeks they were on strike…???

  18. 18 Mike Sep 22nd, 2007 at 10:32 pm

    Here in Australia we watch with great interest the gathering woes of the American economy as a correction approaches (Recession), our manufacturing and property sectors are just now showing the same symptoms of decline. Do you think that the golden age of the custom industry is also due for a correction, and we will see the ranks thinned as a result. My feelings are with William, we too (Australia) are in for a “Bumpy Ride”

  19. 19 David Nov 26th, 2007 at 9:36 pm

    About three months ago I went into a Harley Davidson/Yamaha Star dealership to look at purchasing a new motorcycle. I asked the salesman about the difference in quality between the Star and the Harley. He looked around to see if the boss was around and then said. “The Star is a much better bike. They are nearly flawless.” I bought the Star and found out he was right. What was funny was while they were doing the paperwork, a Harley rider was looking at the “Genuine Harley Accessories” and threw a fit when he saw that every piece on the wall was made in either Japan or Taiwan. A lot of knowledgable bikers are wising up to the misleading statement that Harley builds the best bikes. That simply isn’t so.

  20. 20 David Nov 26th, 2007 at 10:29 pm

    Hey HWGTHNG.
    Import motorcycles are not rice burners. They are high-end quality motorcycles that actually handle, are reliable, and powerful. The cu. in. to horsepower ratio of Harley Davidson engines is the lowest in the industry. If you want a motorcycle that you can ride instead of work on, buy an import bike. The import manufacturers are teaching Harley a lesson. Their bikes are less expensive and better quality. Harley needs to wake up or they will go down the tubes. Their arrogance will only get them so far.

  21. 21 NewHarleyBabe Apr 21st, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    My husband went into a new Austin Texas dealership to look at purchasing the anniversary edition of the screaming eagle Ultra Glide. He asked about trade in value for his 05 Ultra Glide and the salesman told him, “Man, you need to just keep that bike and buy yourself this new one as well< the Harley’s aren’t worth much after 30,00 miles. Now what kind of motivation is that? I am going to spend $40,000 on a bike that is no good after 30k miles? I went into 3 Texas dealerships without my husband to purchase my Road King custom and could not get a sales rep to even look my way as a buyer….. heck, I am a female after all and could never purchase a motorcycle without my husband’s help” I did buy the bike but not at an official Harley dealership.

  22. 22 Team Driver Mar 21st, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    It is sad that Harley dealers are closing 3 in my genaral area. Harleys are costly but they do hold there value much better than the japanese bikes do,It is true that most of there after market parts are made in tiwane that is to cut production costs to make a higher profit.Love my Heritage but to dress it up it will cost an arm and a leg with japanese parts.

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