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  #1  
Old 05-13-2009, 01:32 PM
harley1425 harley1425 is offline
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Default Harley May Move Production out of PA

Harley studying future of Pennsylvania plant
Harley SportsterHarley-Davidson issued a trickle of news this morning that could have some bearing on the company's Kansas City plant. Details are sketchy, but here's what we know.

The motorcycle company said it is considering moving its main cycle manufacturing plant in York, Pa., as it explores ways to lower costs and cope with the rough economy and sales downturn.

Spokesman Bob Klein told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that a study assessing the options for Harley should be completed this fall.

"We know that a major restructuring of the work currently performed is needed," Klein told the Journal Sentinel. "That fits under the overall strategy we have of getting our cost structure right" at all of the company's manufacturing plants.

Closing the plant is one option. Klein did not speculate on where the work would be moved if the York operation were to shut down.

Klein was unavailable this morning to comment specifically about the Kansas City plant.

Harley operates two plants in York, employing 2,650 workers. The company makes Softail motorcycles and touring bikes there.

The Kansas City plant makes the Sportster, Dyna and V-Rod motorcycles. Harley recently announced plans to eliminate 70 jobs locally, after cutting 85 positions earlier in the year.

Prior to this year's layoffs, Harley had about 1,000 Kansas City workers, including about 850 hourly employees.

We'll update this post as we learn more about any impact on the Kansas City plant.

Submitted by Steve Rosen on May 13, 2009 - 11:53am.
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Old 05-13-2009, 02:58 PM
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I saw this last night in the Milwaukee paper. Still not quite sure what to make of it. I do know that H-D was planning to idle the Capitol Drive engine plant next year, which was their major mfg. site between WWII and the AMF days.

I wonder if it makes business sense to bring assembly back to Milwaukee...
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Old 05-13-2009, 03:12 PM
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I saw this last night in the Milwaukee paper. Still not quite sure what to make of it. I do know that H-D was planning to idle the Capitol Drive engine plant next year, which was their major mfg. site between WWII and the AMF days.

I wonder if it makes business sense to bring assembly back to Milwaukee...
Probably not. Their more likely to move production to China or Japan, that way they'll be closer to their parts bins.
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Old 05-13-2009, 03:23 PM
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Probably not. Their more likely to move production to China or Japan, that way they'll be closer to their parts bins.

Good point.

The article here touched on this issue of needing to maintain their "American Made" image. Aside from only labor costs I don't see how setting up a new camp anywhere would ever be cheaper than tweaking an existing one. Plus I think I heard PA was pretty up to date, tech-wise.
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Old 05-13-2009, 03:41 PM
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Here is the Milwaukee article from last night...


Harley considers moving operations from York, Pa.


Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Posted: May. 12, 2009
Harley-Davidson Inc. is planning a major restructuring of its operations in York, Pa., possibly moving them to another U.S. location.
The York operations, where Harley makes Softail motorcycles and touring bikes, are not competitive long term as they are structured, company spokesman Bob Klein said Tuesday.
A study assessing the options for York is expected to be completed this fall. A union contract is due to expire in early 2010.
The number of employee hours it takes to produce a motorcycle at York is too high, according to Harley.
"We know that a major restructuring of the work currently performed is needed," Klein said. "That fits under the overall strategy we have of getting our cost structure right" at all of the manufacturing plants, including Milwaukee.
Klein said the company would work closely with the union to find solutions for the York operations, which employ about 2,650 people at two plants.
Closing the plants is not the only option the company is considering, Klein said, adding that he would not speculate where the work would be moved if the York operations were shut down.
Earlier this year, Harley announced a shake-up of its manufacturing that included hundreds of job cuts. The company is closing its Capitol Drive Plant in Wauwatosa in 2010 and is closing its Franklin distribution center this year.
In April, Harley said further job cuts were needed based on a deeper analysis of production requirements.
The company is in the midst of a restructuring effort announced earlier and now under the direction of Keith Wandell, the company's new chief executive and former Johnson Controls Inc. president and chief operating officer.
Harley's worldwide motorcycle sales declined 12% in its most recent fiscal quarter, and its U.S. sales fell nearly 10% from a year earlier. The company is slashing motorcycle shipments this year to between 264,000 and 273,000 bikes to cope with the down market, a drop of 10% to 13% from last year.
The York employees have been told that closing the operations is a possibility. Earlier, the company announced a consolidation of the paint and frame work in York but now says more restructuring is necessary.
In early 2007, nearly 2,800 employees at York went on strike for two weeks before agreeing to a new labor contract that called for a 12% wage increase over three years. The strike cost Harley 16 production days and disrupted other assembly lines, including parts suppliers in Wisconsin.
Harley probably had a tougher time in the York negotiations because business was strong at the time and employees saw few reasons for contract concessions, according to analysts.
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Old 05-13-2009, 03:42 PM
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My guess... They would move to see if they could get away from being in a union. Face it - that costs the company a ton of money.
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Old 05-13-2009, 04:41 PM
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First option, probably to move south to an anti labor union state. Second option, move off shore.

Screw American workers. They don't deserve to be paid enough to be able to afford a Harley. Hell of an attitude.

If H-D becomes a union buster, I will never buy another product with their name on it, and I don't belong to a union.

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Old 05-13-2009, 04:58 PM
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The last time I was at the York facility they seemed to have every square inch in use. I'm sure there have been modernizations to the facility constantly, but that is an old plant, built originally in the '50s (I think) to manufacture bomb and shell casings for the military. If they can get all their manufacturing under one roof they can save lots by eliminating duplicate efforts. Mostly administration and overhead, but no doubt some production as well.

I didn't see anything in the article (except some yellow journalism in the last paragraph) that would indicate HD is trying to "bust" their unions, or that any closing of the York facility is based on payback rather than current business conditions.
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Old 05-13-2009, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by txfxstrider View Post
First option, probably to move south to an anti labor union state. Second option, move off shore.

Screw American workers. They don't deserve to be paid enough to be able to afford a Harley. Hell of an attitude.

If H-D becomes a union buster, I will never buy another product with their name on it, and I don't belong to a union.

FTW
Yeah.... Because unions don't demand insane salaries and benefits for even the most trivial job....
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Old 05-13-2009, 05:58 PM
Art08fatboy Art08fatboy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txfxstrider View Post
First option, probably to move south to an anti labor union state. Second option, move off shore.

Screw American workers. They don't deserve to be paid enough to be able to afford a Harley. Hell of an attitude.

If H-D becomes a union buster, I will never buy another product with their name on it, and I don't belong to a union.

FTW
Count me in too. The American worker has taken it in the shorts too much already.
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Old 05-13-2009, 05:58 PM
 
 
 
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