Harley shifting some production from York to KC

118 jobs moving, no other layoffs planned

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

Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson Inc. is moving production of its cruiser motorcycles from its facility in York, Pennsylvania to Kansas City, Missouri starting with the 2018 model year.

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

The change will mean the Kansas City plant will produce only cruiser and middleweight models while York will produce all touring and trike models. The move will result in the layoff of 118 people at the York facility and the addition of 118 positions in Kansas City, spokeswoman Katie Whitmore said.

A notice sent to Pennsylvania officials said the layoffs would take place between June 23 and July 21 and only affect those in the Softail platform department.

Whitmore added shifting the production of cruiser models to a single location would reduce capital costs and eliminate redundancy of tooling and equipment

Harley shipped 93,422 cruiser motorcycles last year, an increase of 4.7 percent over 2015. Shipments of touring motorcycles were down 6.4 percent to 107,410.

Whitmore said the shift is part of the company’s manufacturing strategy to manage production capabilities across its operations.

The company implemented its enterprise resource planning system at the Kansas City plant last year, which, along with retooling in Menomonee Falls for the new Milwaukee Eight engine, pushed manufacturing costs higher by $64 million in 2016.

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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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