Harley-Davidson says it will consolidate its manufacturing operations by closing its Kansas City, Mo., plant and shifting operations to its plant in York, Pa.
Harley said motorcycle revenue rose 12% to $1.05 billion in the fourth quarter but for the year, it was down 6.8% to $4.92 billion amid slumping retail sales in the USA and worldwide. But starting in 2020, it estimates it will save $65 million to $75 million annually. "Our Kansas City assembly operations will leave a legacy of safety, quality, collaboration and manufacturing leadership", Harley-Davidson President and CEO Matt Levatich said.
Harley's foreign competitors have benefited from a strong USA dollar, as their overseas operations have made it more profitable to sell bikes in the U.S.at lower prices.
Harley-Davidson Inc. will close its Kansas City, Missouri plant as part of a cost-cutting move as it continues to face dwindling shipments. The silver lining to this challenging year was that the company added 32,000 new Harley-Davidson riders in the USA after taking several measures to create a more welcoming and all-inclusive brand.
Harley-Davidson's shares fell more than 8% to $50.59 on Tuesday, due to the disappointing forecast, according to Reuters. The firm operates through two divisions, Motorcycles & Related Products, and Financial Services.
The electric motorcycle market is small but growing.
"Harley Davidson's been a staple in our community for a while and that decision being in our backyard hits closes to home", Hayes said. Harley-Davidson tried to head this potential problem off when it introduced LiveWire back in 2014 by developing an artificial sound that whined as the riders cranked the throttle, but it wasn't exactly enough to thrill the people who rode it.
In the December quarter, Harley's US sales declined 11.1 percent from the year before and overseas sales dipped 7.7 percent. It expects to ship 231,000 to 236,000 motorcycles this year, after selling 241,498 in 2017, the lowest since 2011.
Levatich said the company made progress on its goals previous year, even as sales were down overall.
"Since the election, we have created 2.4 million new jobs, including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone", Trump said. And I think you're going to even expand-I know your business is now doing very well and there's a lot of spirit right now in the country that you weren't having so much in the last number of months that you have right now.
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