Harley-Davidson suspending assembly and shipments for two weeks

Harley-Davidson headquarters
Harley-Davidson Inc.'s headquarters in Milwaukee.

Last updated on May 23rd, 2022 at 03:13 pm

Harley-Davidson Inc. is suspending “all vehicle assembly and shipments” for two weeks after discovering issues with one if its suppliers, the Milwaukee-based motorcycle maker announced Thursday.

The suspension, which does not exclude the company’s electric LiveWire models, started on Wednesday. Harley said in a statement that a third-party supplier informed the company late Tuesday about “a regulatory compliance matter relating to the supplier’s component part.”

Harley said the decision to suspend assembly was “taken out of an abundance of caution.”

News of the suspension sent Harley’s stock down more than 11.5% at the start of the day. Harley’s stock closed at $35.78 on Wednesday and fell as low as $31.66 on Thursday before rebounding to around $32.50 as of mid-morning.

The two-week period with no shipments comes at a time when Harley dealers already faced limited inventory. Harley ended the first quarter with 28,000 motorcycles in dealer inventory, down from 37,000 in 2021 and 74,000 at the end of March 2019.

While the company had sought to limit inventories as part of a strategic overhaul of the company’s direction, Edel O’Sullivan, chief commercial officer, acknowledged during the company’s first quarter earnings call that “we are a little bit lighter than we would like to be today in the dealer network.”

Gina Goetter, chief financial officer at Harley, also noted the company had faced production issues and limitations from the global shortage of semiconductors.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at 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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