Harley-Davidson and & Polaris Halt Shipments to Russia

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In the mainstream news, we have seen no shortage of companies pulling out of business operations in Russia and with Russian-aligned firms, as a reaction to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

That growing economic and financial influence is also coming from the motorcycle industry, as we can count Harley-Davidson and Polaris as joining that list of brands who have made a stand against Russia’s hostilities.

From Minnesota, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal is reporting that Polaris has halted shipments of its products to Russia.

Russia isn’t a critical market for Polaris, with 85% of the company’s total sales happening inside North America, but Russia is a key target for snowmobiles made by Polaris factories.

That being said, it is not clear how many snowmobiles Polaris has left to ship to Russia at this point in the season, as one would expect that the American company has already shipped the majority of units it was going to send to Russia for this year.

In Wisconsin, the Bar & Shield brand has announced that it will cease motorcycle shipments to Russia – one of the high potential markets the company listed in its 2020 business plan.

“In light of the crisis in Ukraine, Harley-Davidson has suspended its business in Russia and all shipments of its bikes to the country,” the short press release stated.

“Our thoughts continue for the safety of the people of Ukraine and those impacted by the crisis.”

Again, it’s not clear how  many units this actually means Harley-Davidson will withhold from the Russian market, likely a trivial amount, with both the actions from Harley-Davidson and Polaris being more symbolic protests than material withholdings.

However, like the open letter sent yesterday by MV Agusta CEO Timur Sardarov, these actions show a growing resolution in the business world not to endorse and aid the invasions of Ukraine by Russia.

The actions of these companies, taken in culmination with the actions of other brands, is creating a substantial economic influence on the Russian people to denounce the actions of their leaders.

Make no mistake, this is an unprecedented movement from the business world in taking an active role in global political affairs, and the motorcycle industry is very much apart of it.

Source: Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal & Harley-Davidson