Harley-Davidson is looking to slash costs wherever they may be, and that includes its assembly/manufacturing line labor costs. HD and Milwaukee go together like peas and carrots, but Harley-Davidson has warned that if it doesn’t see lowering labor costs, it could walk away from Wisconsin all-together. At issue is nearlt $54 million in what Harley calls “costs gaps”, which the company attributes to the high cost of manufacturing at its Menomonee Falls and Tomahawk facilities.
With over 1,400 employees combined, these plants represent two out of the three plants that Harley-Davidson runs. The other plant in York, Pennsylvania has already had it’s labor force reduced, after the local unions made concessions when Harley threatened to move the York plant elsewhere. The same fate seems to be heading west.
Harley-Davidson reportedly would like to stay in Wisconsin, but is doing its research and exploring other options. Knowing Wandell, dollars and cents will likely fuel this decision and not sentimental attachment. The newly hired CEO has being trimming fat wherever he can find it in the company, and has already proven capable of making hard decisions, despite the PR consequences.