With its second quarter sales dropping 35%, Harley-Davidson is going to be trimming its ranks in order to stay afloat. The Milwaukee based company will inject 700 hourly-wage workers, and 300 salaried workers into the ranks of the unemployed, with possibly more joining them in the future. These reductions come after Harley-Davidson earlier this year announced it was eliminating 1,400-1,500 hourly production positions in 2009-2010 along with 300 salary positions.
Harley’s CEO, Keith Wandell, commented simply in a press release that, “We are committed to doing what is required to enable Harley-Davidson to operate as a competitive business and employer over the long haul.” Wandell is certainly getting put through his paces as the new CEO of the crusier brand. Harley’s worldwide motorcycle sales fell by 30% compared to Q2 of 2008.
Harley is quick to point out though that the cruiser market is down 48% since last quarter, implying that the American company has faired better than its competitors. Which is a lot like saying not to worry, you’re in the first-class cabin of a plane that’s falling out of the sky, not back in a coach seat.
So far, we have yet to see Wandell capitalize on his crack-in-time as a Harley’s first CEO from outside of the company. Unfortunately, it would appear things are still business as usual in Milwaukee.