Harley-Davidson Laying Off 118 York Plant Employees

04/20/2017 @ 4:24 pm, by Jensen Beeler39 COMMENTS

On the heels of Harley-Davdison’s lackluster first quarter results of the year, the American brand has announced that it will be laying off 118 employees at its vehicle operations plant in York County, Pennsylvania.

Harley-Davidson says that the staff reductions are coming as part of a “production realignment” and that the layoffs will begin June 23rd, with a completion date around the end of July 2017.

As such, production of Harley-Davidson’s Softail range of motorcycles will be moved to its Kansas City facility.

However, the York plant will continue to produce Harley-Davidson’s Touring and Trike family motorcycles, with about 800 employees remaining at the factory once the layoffs have been completed.

This isn’t the fist time that the York plant has seen a reduction in staff, with the Pennsylvanian operation boasting over 2,000 employees before the recession.

Harley-Davidson says that reductions in the York Plant were told to employees as far back as 2015, and at this time the company has no plans for further reductions in its workforce there.

Source: FOX 43 & Penn Live via Cyril Huse Blog

  • Elton Alwine

    Signs of a recession in the making?? Our dealership (Ducati, Triumph, Jap 4) is down around 10% this time last year. Strange because we started off very strongly.

  • Jason

    It has been 8 years since the end of our last recession. We are overdue.

  • Jack Meoph

    It’s weird how CEO’s never get laid off.

  • Eric

    I hope not; in some parts of the country, the recession didn’t end until 2015…

  • pidgin

    Its more due to the fact that bikes are way overpriced. Look at India, suzuki posted 75% growth and the bikes there are dirt cheap.

  • Mitchel Durnell

    I think there is a slide of middle class downward, those that would finance a Harley rather safely are disappearing, their money flowing up to the few mega rich that already own a couple Harleys and thus don’t need any more.

  • Barry Rothwell Taylor

    How are sales of the Indian made H-D’s doing ?

  • Barry Rothwell Taylor

    Interesting review of the H-D Street Rod 750 at
    http://www.motorcyclenews.com

  • To state the obvious, here in the USA, as in much of the “first world” motorcycles are luxuries, not transportation. High quality motorcycles have been produced for about decades now, so there are plenty of great condition used bikes out there. The economy has never fully recovered from the dump it took in 2008 and the extra fees that are added to the purchase price of a new bike is just make it harder to justify buying a new toy. This is especially true in Harley’s case, where the appearance of the product changes so little year to year.

  • awwshucks

    You get hacked or something? Stop posting this everywhere.

  • mikstr

    perhaps Indian is beginning to impact Milwaukee’s sales… sad for the workers, but no tears for Harley or the masses who worship it…

  • Jason

    Sometimes CEOs get laid off for not laying off enough employees.

  • Jason

    Some places were in a recession before 2008 and will likely never come out of one. Most economics, like politics, are local.

    However, on the national level the USA economy came out of recession in June 2009 and has been growing moderately since. Those that had the foresight to purchase stocks when they were on a 1/2 off sale in early 2009 are up 300% today.

  • Jason

    Very true. Harley’s bread and butter has been the blue-collar worker – the same people that buy Mustangs and Camaros.

    On a recent visit to one of our plants in North Carolina a noticed something interesting. Almost every motorcycle in the parking lot was a Harley with about 20 big twins lined up in a row. This is a UAW shop where someone with a high-school education can still make very good money assembling vehicles. It is a place were a blue-collar worker can still afford a $20K toy to ride when the weather is nice. The guys at the non-union parts plant down the road certainly can’t afford one on their $12 a hour paycheck.

    However when I look at the motorcycle parking at Corporate headquarters today I only see one Harley. Instead I see BMWs, Triumphs, Ducatis, etc. (Manufacturers that are seeing steady growth in their business)

  • Andrew

    Laying off in one plant, hiring the same in another plant. You move 5 dollars from one pocket to the other – did you lose the 5 dollars? Is that a sign of misspent funds? No.

  • AlaskanLaw

    I’ll theorize a reason for HD’s demise, which has nothing to do with the US economy:

    HD’s core customer base, Baby Boomers, are finally starting to die off and/or are becoming too old to buy a new bike.

    Harley has relied to its peril on a strategy centered exclusively on “tradition” and “heritage.” While older Americans (Boomers) are addicted to these two stupid, meaningless words, the younger generation cares little for phony “heritage.” We’ve been raised in an ad-saturated world. We’re therefore more attuned to when someone is selling us the sizzle, rather than the steak.

    Unlike our parents, who squandered American economic and natural resources, younger consumers tend to be more forward-looking. HD looks rearward. Younger men want sexy bikes that perform, are reliable, and give the most bang for the buck. Many want an element of rebellion in a motorcycle, of doing something different. The HD name is the opposite: it’s a symbol of the establishment in the same category as Buick or Lincoln cars. It is corporate hubris to think this trend can be simply reversed by marketing. Brands, like musical groups, simply go in and out of relevance. HD isn’t relevant anymore. The more they try to force “heritage” and “tradition” on the microbrew beer and climate change generation, the more outdated they’ll appear to us.

  • Racing Enthusiast

    Ever see a forward looking hipster bike video?

  • AlaskanLaw

    Ok, you got me there. Hipsters also love “tradition” and “heritage.” But then why do you think you’ll almost *never* see a hipster on a Harley Davidson?

  • Racing Enthusiast

    I see hundreds of them, mostly on Sportsters, around here (Denver Metro). LOTS of non-gray beards X regulation flannel, vaguely blowing in the wind. Then again, Denver Metro is where fads go to die…

  • Starmag

    That was a lot of Boomer hate pinned to a 4.2% sales drop for one quarter for Harley. I’m sure our banker overlords love the help you are giving them while they loot the lower classes, turning their class warfare into generational warfare for them, thereby distracting from the crime. Whatever you do don’t look at the federal reserve scam or nafta as the scapegoat for your malaise.

    Millenials LOVE retro, who you tryin to kid?

  • VFRMarc

    A “production realignment”? Yeah, right. Spin me one more time, HD.

  • paulus

    US heritage may be dying in the USofA… but it is in increasing demand abroad. This is where HD will find its growth… if it can get its pricing model right.

  • Shinigami

    Huh-what? That’s ALL I see in the local hipster biker crowd. Sportster, helmet, goggles and flannel.

  • Sayyed Bashir

    The CEO is the first to be fired if things don’t turn around quickly. Middle managers and office workers have more job security because no one knows they are there.

  • Sayyed Bashir

    They are priced the way Harleys should be priced. It is not a Suzuki. And it is never going to be dirt cheap. It is not for everyone to buy.

  • Sayyed Bashir

    Used Harleys are still very expensive. Ten years ago I couldn’t find a used Harley under $10,000. So I bought a new one.

  • Sayyed Bashir

    Perhaps is right. Do you have any numbers to back that up?

  • Sayyed Bashir

    They are not hiring more people in Kansas City. They are using the people that are already there. It is efficient use of manpower and logistics.

  • Barry Rothwell Taylor

    seemed relevant , is this the way forward for H-D ? build abroad , like Fender and Gibson ?

  • Barry Rothwell Taylor

    In Europe there is a section that have a m/c as a toy but most buying a m/c only have that for transport – and it’s going to get worse . This coming generation is going to be the first that is poorer than their parents all their lives , hard times are coming , will premium brands survive alone ?

  • Sayyed Bashir

    AlaskanLaw, how old are you? How do you know so much about what the younger generation likes? And what bikes do you ride? Why are you reading and commenting on a article about Harley Davidson if their bikes do not interest you? Do you know Harley trained 65,000 new riders last year through the Riding Academy? What bike do you think they are riding now?

  • Sayyed Bashir

    Only small bikes for the Indian market. Everyone is doing it including BMW, KTM and the Japanese four.

  • ColonelClaw

    You guys just voted in a president who’s campaign slogan was ‘Make America Great Again’, if that isn’t a sign that tradition, heritage and patriotism are riding high, then I don’t know what is.

    HD should be selling record numbers right now, the conditions are perfect.

  • mikstr

    no, hence the use of the word “perhaps”

  • Barry Rothwell Taylor

    Even today a 69hp 750 isn’t that small , plus this is being sold in Europe .

  • Sayyed Bashir

    750 is small for Harley.

  • Barry Rothwell Taylor

    that’s the point – and how about an Indian built 450cc flat tracker ? with a ” real ” version built in the USA for racing ?
    Most people need transport and a ” hog ” isn’t that good for commuting and unless they can get a sugardaddy H-D need to get bigger to survive – and that could mean smaller , cheaper bikes for the masses – remember the Aermacchi’s rebadged as H-D in the 60’s & 70’s ? The GP bikes ?

  • Sayyed Bashir

    I have been commuting on my 2007 Harley Softail Custom for 10 years and have 155,000 miles on it.

  • Barry Rothwell Taylor

    Yes but most people don’t , my Yamaha Majesty 400 is too big for much of the town I live in but the 125cc it replaced was too small for the open road , a compromise is required sometimes .