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Harley-Davidson Laying Off Hundreds of American Workers, Sending Jobs to Thailand


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#1 OFFLINE   Zephyr One/Zero

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Posted May. 14 2018 - 08:30 PM

http://www.breitbart...bs-to-thailand/




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#2 ONLINE   TomJefferson

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Posted May. 16 2018 - 07:07 AM

The union is FOS.  Their jobs went to PA and the Thailand plant has always been the plan for Harley to sell the 500cc and 750cc in Asia. 

 

Personally and probably will find a post on it somewhere by me, I always thought building the 500cc and 750cc in Kansas was a mistake in the first place.  Americans buy a Harley, they want a big motorcycle and unlike Asia our market is saturated with midsize bikes like the Japanese sports bikes.  I knew they weren't going to sell well here, not when you can get a lot more performance in the same weight class.  Now all the Japanese big bikes we are all accustomed to and fond of are all but non-existent in Asia.  Tell some guy in China you ride a Vulcan, its deer in the headlights looks.  Now Harley they understand and the Harley 500cc-750cc were designed specifically for Asia which restricts motorcycles to smaller sizes. 

 

Anyway the build in Kansas idea was to save that plant and it didn't.  Overall luxury capital items sales are down 14%, that's motorcycles, boats, etc. with motorcycles by dollars barely keeping up with inflation about a 3.7% increase.   Let's face it man, people flipping burgers or working in call centers don't buy new motorcycles or boats.  They're too busy trying to buy a used car. Harley is doing what's needed done to stay profitable

 

Heads up under this get government out of business with Trump, you are going to see much more of this type thing.  Polaris has dropped Victory to concentrate on Indian which btw is the fastest growing branding in the market and even companies like Ford are making rumblings they'll stop making little vehicles to concentrate on big ones. 

 

Yes bad news if you are in an old plant with piss poor sales numbers especially if you were a Democrat catered to special interest.  Its just doesn't apply to Harley.  Their move is a lateral one.

 

Tj




#3 OFFLINE   Casper

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Posted May. 16 2018 - 10:46 PM

Tj, some of the jobs went to York, PA. Not all. So if the company is hiring in Thailand and closing a plant here, then of course jobs are leaving here and going to Thailand.

If that's a smart move for the company as a whole, then so be it. But investing in jobs in Thailand and closing a plant here is definitely hurting American workers.

With sales falling here and growing overseas, it probably makes good business sense, but it still hurts those laid off workers.


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#4 ONLINE   Flesh Wound

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Posted May. 16 2018 - 10:58 PM

Tj, some of the jobs went to York, PA. Not all. So if the company is hiring in Thailand and closing a plant here, then of course jobs are leaving here and going to Thailand.

If that's a smart move for the company as a whole, then so be it. But investing in jobs in Thailand and closing a plant here is definitely hurting American workers.

With sales falling here and growing overseas, it probably makes good business sense, but it still hurts those laid off workers.

 

The thing is if Harley kept that plant there would be a lot more laid off workers. 




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#5 OFFLINE   Retcop

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Posted May. 16 2018 - 11:00 PM

Is is possible for the union members making these smaller bikes at Harley to accept a lower 

compensation package that will still provide decent paying jobs, but just enough decline in wages/benefits to make up the difference 

that it would cost Harley to still make the bikes here and ship them to Asia ? 

 

Also, is this partially an issue that could be helped by fixing unfair trade practices, with the Asian markets currently slapping 

tariffs on American made bikes, while our markets are wide open to their motorcycles.? 

 

I really don't know, but they seem like they would have been appropriate considerations for the Union,Harley and the ,gov before they boost

the Thai economy and close American plants. 


Edited by Retcop, May. 16 2018 - 11:04 PM.



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#6 OFFLINE   Derk_digler24

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Posted May. 16 2018 - 11:11 PM

Tj, some of the jobs went to York, PA. Not all. So if the company is hiring in Thailand and closing a plant here, then of course jobs are leaving here and going to Thailand.
If that's a smart move for the company as a whole, then so be it. But investing in jobs in Thailand and closing a plant here is definitely hurting American workers.
With sales falling here and growing overseas, it probably makes good business sense, but it still hurts those laid off workers.

I'm confused.
So if I open a business and it thrives and I venture into another part, Harley making bigger bikes decides to make 500 or 700cc bikes, I have to keep my new shop open even if sales flop?
It hurts those laid off but what is Harley supposed to do?

Now if you look at it like tj is saying, small bikes sell in Asia, they are opening a shop in asia. That has probably been in the works for awhile.
If you want to help keep Harley from laying off more people, go buy a bike or 3.


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#7 OFFLINE   Derk_digler24

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Posted May. 16 2018 - 11:15 PM

Is is possible for the union members making these smaller bikes at Harley to accept a lower 
compensation package that will still provide decent paying jobs, but just enough decline in wages/benefits to make up the difference 
that it would cost Harley to still make the bikes here and ship them to Asia ? 
 
Also, is this partially an issue that could be helped by fixing unfair trade practices, with the Asian markets currently slapping 
tariffs on American made bikes, while our markets are wide open to their motorcycles.? 
 
I really don't know, but they seem like they would have been appropriate considerations for the Union,Harley and the ,gov before they boost
the Thai economy and close American plants.

This is where UAW unions and unions like mine differ, we will work with the plant owner to come up with an agreement specific to that plant, whether it's working at 90% of wage or adjusting different terms.
I have no idea if the union would go for it but I know the UAW wont budge. I have lots of family in it and some higher up then they need to be.


#8 ONLINE   gmor

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Posted May. 16 2018 - 11:53 PM

I'm confused.
So if I open a business and it thrives and I venture into another part, Harley making bigger bikes decides to make 500 or 700cc bikes, I have to keep my new shop open even if sales flop?
It hurts those laid off but what is Harley supposed to do?

Now if you look at it like tj is saying, small bikes sell in Asia, they are opening a shop in asia. That has probably been in the works for awhile.
If you want to help keep Harley from laying off more people, go buy a bike or 3.

The 500 and 750cc H-D models are typically not the general transportation bikes that are favored in much of Asia. In my opinion Harley is entering a market that they are not likely to succeed in. Didn't H-D already try the small bike market with the Italian built Aermacchi bikes in the 60s and 70s? In my opinion they have lost thier way, mostly driven by the aging demographic of thier traditional buyers.


#9 ONLINE   gmor

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Posted May. 16 2018 - 11:55 PM

I'm confused.
So if I open a business and it thrives and I venture into another part, Harley making bigger bikes decides to make 500 or 700cc bikes, I have to keep my new shop open even if sales flop?
It hurts those laid off but what is Harley supposed to do?

Now if you look at it like tj is saying, small bikes sell in Asia, they are opening a shop in asia. That has probably been in the works for awhile.
If you want to help keep Harley from laying off more people, go buy a bike or 3.

The 500 and 750cc H-D models are typically not the general transportation bikes that are favored in much of Asia. In my opinion Harley is entering a market that they are not likely to succeed in. Didn't H-D already try the small bike market with the Italian built Harley-Davidson branded Aermacchi bikes in the 60s and 70s? In my opinion they have lost thier way, mostly driven by consternation over the aging demographic of thier traditional buyers.

Edited by gmor, May. 16 2018 - 11:56 PM.



#10 OFFLINE   Retcop

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Posted May. 16 2018 - 11:58 PM

Any idea if Harley is getting hammered by Asian tariffs ? 




#11 ONLINE   gmor

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Posted May. 17 2018 - 12:29 AM

Any idea if Harley is getting hammered by Asian tariffs ? 

H-D was surely protected by taiffs against Japanese bikes in the past. In 1983 Reagan increased tariffs tenfold for imported heavyweight motorcycles. Now it is more a case of H-D reaching to expand thier market in the face of aging demographics, and entering a very competitive market for medium sized bikes.

Edited by gmor, May. 17 2018 - 12:35 AM.



#12 OFFLINE   Retcop

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Posted May. 17 2018 - 02:34 AM

I'm confused.

Let me make sure I've got this straight...

 

Since the Reagan Era, the USA has given Harley a huge unfair advantage by placing huge tariffs on large motorcycles imported from Asian countries.

With tariffs that large, I don't see these foreign motorcycle companies having the incentive to even design a large motorcycle for the American marketplace....

 

Once again, does anyone know if Harley's foreign markets for motorcycles were/are significantly impacted by tariffs imposed by any Asian countries ? 

 

In other words, did/do  Asian imposed tariffs, affecting Harley Davidson motorcycles, have anything to do with Harley's current financial problems and remedial actions ?

 

Thank you.




#13 ONLINE   TomJefferson

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Posted May. 17 2018 - 07:00 AM

I'm confused.

Let me make sure I've got this straight...

 

Since the Reagan Era, the USA has given Harley a huge unfair advantage by placing huge tariffs on large motorcycles imported from Asian countries.

With tariffs that large, I don't see these foreign motorcycle companies having the incentive to even design a large motorcycle for the American marketplace....

 

Once again, does anyone know if Harley's foreign markets for motorcycles were/are significantly impacted by tariffs imposed by any Asian countries ? 

 

In other words, did/do  Asian imposed tariffs, affecting Harley Davidson motorcycles, have anything to do with Harley's current financial problems and remedial actions ?

 

Thank you.

In my opinion, not really.  A $21K Harley here can be as high as $60K there, average price in China from having actually been there is about $10K more than here but then a Harley there is considered more like a Lamborgini here.  For example, in China, you have to get a special government permit even to buy one.  Its a real status symbol.  Now the 500 and 750 were specifically designed for the Asian Market and not like Mr. Just sold my Sportster I never rode thinks.  They have no intention of competing in the moped market.  There's countless suppliers in that market most Aisan brands and they're dirt cheap.  The 500 and 750 is intended to be a lower cost high end motorcycle in Aisa competing against bikes like the Triumph Bonneville made in Thailand or the Royal Enfield made in India.  They should do quite well in that segment.  Harley branding in Asia is as famous there as Levi Jeans use to be years ago. 

 

Is it good to cut back on expenses while investing?  Of course it is, but Harley's mistake was in thinking a 500 or 750 Harley would sell here which they aren't.  They're sticking to their guns though and going to still make American versions.  If it was me, I'd never made a one here in the first place, all in Asia, and imported what demand they needed here.  For a short while at least, they would have gained a major cost advantage over American made Aisan bikes of the same size but they were concerned about the American made image and still are.

 

The problem still comes down to we've been in a hell of a recession and capital luxury item sells are down.  That's everyone too not just Harley but Harley will feel the effects longer.  Their market is indeed older riders but its more a maturity of giving up speed for comfort and styling than a Baby Boomer thing.  Younger people just starting life aren't buying as many motorcycles.  They don't have the money and a 30+ year old's first bike probably won't be a 800lb 1700 cc monster.  It'll take awhile for them to mature into a tour machine. 

 

We can talk branding, biker culture, till the cows come in, however the real market for motorcycles is riders, the ride, and quite frankly those that don't, don't know.  They think everyone is in it for the image while the image is just a plus.  Harley's number one selling model is the Street Glide their entry level tour bike.  Saw a joke on the Thailand plant a 500cc Harley decked out like an Electraglide tour bike.  Man it was funny as hell but it is summing up what they are doing in Asia.  A 500 or 750 there are big bikes and are their tour bikes.  With the emerging middle class in Asia, they could do quite well.

 

This isn't Harley's abandonment of the US made motorcycle but their entry into the Asian market which was planned way way before this plant closing. 

 

Tj




#14 ONLINE   TomJefferson

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Posted May. 17 2018 - 07:21 AM

Tj, some of the jobs went to York, PA. Not all. So if the company is hiring in Thailand and closing a plant here, then of course jobs are leaving here and going to Thailand.

If that's a smart move for the company as a whole, then so be it. But investing in jobs in Thailand and closing a plant here is definitely hurting American workers.

With sales falling here and growing overseas, it probably makes good business sense, but it still hurts those laid off workers.

Though I disagree its a wise move,, as far as I have  heard and I both do business in WI and in the number 1 Harley dealer in the US every week, Harley still has no intention of importing motorcycles and making them, the 500&750 here expecting to sell them there makes zero sense. 

 

What we are talking about in Asia really is the rich and the middle class market segments and the rich, they'll pay the price for the big machines but the middle class won't pay double for what they can get a Triumph or Royal Enfield for. 

 

Harley's 500&750 is their attempt to make them a world player.  Just as the Japanese bike manufacturers make here, they will make there.  BTW interesting note, tell someone in Asia you ride a Vulcan, they have no friggen idea what you are talking about and if you tell them Kawasaki their first thought is under 250 ccs.  I've never seen even a Honda Goldwing in China but many Harley's.  They create a real market segment there, it could mean in the long run more jobs in the US as those riders mature and move up to ever larger machines.  Avoiding much of the tarriffs and restrictions makes a lot of sense. 

 

Trying to sell a 500 cc Harley in the US didn't.  Harley's going to make a lot of mistakes but its good to see them start thinking long term instead of how do I keep my doors open.  I just see this as correcting mistake. 

 

Tj




#15 OFFLINE   Casper

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Posted May. 19 2018 - 09:43 PM

I'm confused.
So if I open a business and it thrives and I venture into another part, Harley making bigger bikes decides to make 500 or 700cc bikes, I have to keep my new shop open even if sales flop?
It hurts those laid off but what is Harley supposed to do?

Now if you look at it like tj is saying, small bikes sell in Asia, they are opening a shop in asia. That has probably been in the works for awhile.
If you want to help keep Harley from laying off more people, go buy a bike or 3.


Of course they don't have to keep a plant open if it's no longer profitable. But they are definitely using profits from the U.S. market to invest in a foreign market. They could have found something on our soil to invest in, but they chose not to. Again, it's their choice. But you can't deny they're pulling money from here and using it overseas which results in American jobs disappearing.

Maybe they could have opened the first Harley snowmobile plant. How about a sweet "potato-potato-potato" sounding ATV line? :laugh:

I think plenty of people would buy a Harley ATV. Maybe now's the time to branch into something other than motorcycles.

But more money going overseas means less money to invest here. So of course those workers will be upset.


#16 ONLINE   gmor

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Posted May. 20 2018 - 12:52 AM

Of course they don't have to keep a plant open if it's no longer profitable. But they are definitely using profits from the U.S. market to invest in a foreign market. They could have found something on our soil to invest in, but they chose not to. Again, it's their choice. But you can't deny they're pulling money from here and using it overseas which results in American jobs disappearing.

Maybe they could have opened the first Harley snowmobile plant. How about a sweet "potato-potato-potato" sounding ATV line? :laugh:

I think plenty of people would buy a Harley ATV. Maybe now's the time to branch into something other than motorcycles.

But more money going overseas means less money to invest here. So of course those workers will be upset.

When Harley was owned by AMF they certainly were into other non M/C markets. The current ownership has had good success in sticking with thier primary focus of large American made motorcycles, and now they are entering uncertain and risky ventures in my opinion.

Edited by gmor, May. 20 2018 - 12:54 AM.



#17 OFFLINE   Pepper

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Posted May. 20 2018 - 01:57 AM

When Harley was owned by AMF they certainly were into other non M/C markets. The current ownership has had good success in sticking with thier primary focus of large American made motorcycles, and now they are entering uncertain and risky ventures in my opinion.

Yeah, but let's compare your opinion to that of someone else. Let's see, you've owned one or two HD motorcycles, ever. You get your information from other people who've formed an opinion and regurgitated it to you, and you've modified it to fit your preconceived ideas. Now let's take Tj, someone who works in the automotive/motorcycle industry, and has traveled all over Asia in general, and China specifically. He's already explained how he knows that there's a market for HD products, and the premium already charged in places like China. Yet you somehow think that your not only uninformed, but uneducated opinion is somehow relevant? So relevant that you have to repeat it? 

 

Great googly moogly. It's not enough that a multi-million dollar company is making a huge decision, based upon market research, probably bunches of focus groups, and all sorts of profit/loss models, you, some guy who once owned a Sportster and installed windows for a living, not only thinks that they're making a mistake, but is so strident about his opinions that he has to restate them to be sure we all know he's taken a stand? You have access to that market research? Those focus groups? All of the people who're involved in making such a major change? When were you briefed in on their information? With all the people who own stock in HD, and elect a board to run the company, you're somehow ahead of the curve on this, and have some inside information? Enough so that you're able to argue with people who, I don't know, have actually been to freaking Asia? 

 

Jesus H. Christ dude, you don't know why people call you a troll? Really? 




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#18 ONLINE   gmor

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Posted May. 20 2018 - 10:12 AM

Yeah, but let's compare your opinion to that of someone else. Let's see, you've owned one or two HD motorcycles, ever. You get your information from other people who've formed an opinion and regurgitated it to you, and you've modified it to fit your preconceived ideas. Now let's take Tj, someone who works in the automotive/motorcycle industry, and has traveled all over Asia in general, and China specifically. He's already explained how he knows that there's a market for HD products, and the premium already charged in places like China. Yet you somehow think that your not only uninformed, but uneducated opinion is somehow relevant? So relevant that you have to repeat it? 

 

Great googly moogly. It's not enough that a multi-million dollar company is making a huge decision, based upon market research, probably bunches of focus groups, and all sorts of profit/loss models, you, some guy who once owned a Sportster and installed windows for a living, not only thinks that they're making a mistake, but is so strident about his opinions that he has to restate them to be sure we all know he's taken a stand? You have access to that market research? Those focus groups? All of the people who're involved in making such a major change? When were you briefed in on their information? With all the people who own stock in HD, and elect a board to run the company, you're somehow ahead of the curve on this, and have some inside information? Enough so that you're able to argue with people who, I don't know, have actually been to freaking Asia? 

 

Jesus H. Christ dude, you don't know why people call you a troll? Really? 

This June marks the 48th year that I have owned a motorcycle, and have followed the industry for even longer. I have owned a Harley for the last 22 years and have been a Harley-Davidson stockholder since 8/18/1998, currently owning 250 shares. As such I receive their annual report and study it, because when your money is on the line it is more than just fodder for casual conversation. Currently H-D is closing American factories and straying from their core business model. Their stock price is at $42.50 down from $73.94 just 4 years ago, so apparently other stockholders share my concerns on the future of the company.  I see no reason why traveling to Asia is a prerequisite for having a valid opinion on the future of H-Ds business?


Edited by gmor, May. 20 2018 - 10:31 AM.



#19 OFFLINE   Pepper

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Posted May. 20 2018 - 10:49 AM

This June marks the 48th year that I have owned a motorcycle, and have followed the industry for even longer. I have owned a Harley for the last 22 years and have been a Harley-Davidson stockholder since 8/18/1998, currently owning 250 shares. As such I receive their annual report and study it, because when your money is on the line it is more than just fodder for casual conversation. Currently H-D is closing American factories and straying from their core business model. Their stock price is at $42.50 down from $73.94 just 4 years ago, so apparently other stockholders share my concerns on the future of the company.  I see no reason why traveling to Asia is a prerequisite for having a valid opinion on the future of H-Ds business?

Oh, maybe because you're debating the market of motorcycles in Asia? 

 

Reread the last line of my prior post. Either you're being deliberately obtuse, or you've ignored my past advice. If you continue down this path, I'm done trying to help you, you can feed yourself to the wolves. The collective patience of the board has run out with you.







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