Harley-Davidson Inc. is considering closing its main motorcycle assembly facility in Pennsylvania and moving production elsewhere as it aims to lower costs and cope with a sales downturn, a company spokesman said Wednesday. Spokesman Bob Klein said the Milwaukee-based company is exploring ways to reduce costs at its York location. That could include a move, though he declined to say where. The York facility employs about 2,400 workers and consists of two motorcycle factories that assemble its Touring and Softail motorcycles.
Klein said the York facility is not competitive as it stands. “It relates to excess capacity, it relates to competitive and cost pressures both in the current economy and longer term,” Klein said. Pennsylvania Sens. Arlen Specter and Bob Casey sent a letter on Tuesday to Harley Chief Executive Keith Wandell, saying the facility is important to the local economy and calling on the company to protect the factory’s jobs”.
The company has also seen a wave of turnover among its top leadership in recent months. On May 1, Wandell took over as CEO from Jim Ziemer. The company’s chief financial officer, Tom Bergmann, stepped down at the same time. Harley also got a new interim head of Harley-Davidson Financial Services and a new senior director of financial reporting.