Harley-Davidson cutting jobs in Tomahawk and Pennsylvania

Last updated on June 29th, 2020 at 01:50 pm

Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson plans to cut around 140 jobs at two plants in the U.S., a company spokesperson said.

“As a course of normal business, Harley-Davidson regularly adjusts its production plan and appropriately sizes its workforce,” the spokesperson said.

The cuts will include 50 positions in Tomahawk, Wisconsin, where the company produces and paints motorcycle components, and 90 positions in York, Pennsylvania, where the company fabricates, paints and assembles parts.

Harley is among those companies hit by the coronavirus and the economic fallout from the pandemic. Retail sales of its motorcycles were up 6.6% for first 10 weeks of the first quarter, but ended the quarter down 15.5% amid shutdowns and slowing economic activity. More than half of its dealers remained closed into late April.

The company, led by new chairman and chief executive officer Jochen Zeitz, is working on a revamped strategic plan.

Zeitz said in his first earnings call that Harley had become overly complex with somewhat isolated and overly centralized leadership. He also noted that morale within the company had suffered from several rounds of cost cutting and employees had become accustomed to the company not meeting high expectations.

The new strategic plan would set achievable and realistic goals and “reignite our Harley-Davidson soul and culture,” Zeitz said. He is expected to discuss the new plans in greater detail in the company’s second quarter call next month.

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Arthur Thomas
Arthur covers manufacturing for BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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