News out of Milwaukee is that Harley-Davidson will be laying off roughly 200 workers, as the company adjusts its workforce to reflect expected motorcycle production volumes for the coming year. This news is directly associated with the current slowdown in Harley-Davidson sales, and as such, the layoffs will affect primarily production line workers. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the layoffs will occur at multiple Harley-Davidson production facilities: 117 employees at the York plant, 35 at the Tomahawk plant, and a handful at the the engine plant in Menomonee Falls. This isn’t the first time that Harley-Davidson adjusted its workforce volume to match its production needs, though the layoffs do suggest that Harley-Davidson feels that its projected reduction in production numbers is likely to be a long-term situation.
The minds at French builder Lazareth are truly mad as a hatter, and Asphalt & Rubber has published several of their more eccentric designs here on our pages. Lazareth’s latest build takes the cake though. The Lazareth LM 847, which debuted today in Geneva, features the 4.7-liter, 470hp, V8 engine out of a Maserati automobile, with a leaning quad chassis built around it. We generally loath making comparisons of a manufacturer’s design to another’s, but here Lazareth does seem to be stealing from the best. The 880 lbs vehicle is conceptually like the Dodge Tomahawk, which featured the V10 engine from the Dodge Viper sports car. The leaning quad setup looks very similar to the Yamaha Tesseract concept, both visually and technically.
Workers at Harley-Davidson’s Menomonee Falls plants have caved to Harley-Davidson’s labor restructuring ultimatum today, voting to approve a seven-year labor contract that would see 275 jobs cut and a two-tiered workforce implemented in the company’s Wisconsin-based production plants. The vote comes after Harley-Davidson threatened to move its Wisconsin production outside of the state (Kansas City being one of the alternatives), which would see the unions losing its entire 1,350 member workforce.
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.