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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-25-09 09:28 PM
Original message
Harley executives face questions on job cuts, outsourcing
Source: Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel

Job cuts at Harley-Davidson Inc. caused a stir at the annual shareholders meeting Saturday, with employees and shareholders questioning the cost-reduction measures.

In January, Harley said it was cutting 1,100 factory and office jobs in 2009 and 2010, including hundreds of positions in Milwaukee.

This month, the company said it planned to eliminate 400 more blue-collar jobs as it scales back production.

<snip>

Harley plans to close its Capitol Drive plant in Wauwatosa in 2010. It also is closing its Franklin distribution center this year, outsourcing that work.

<snip>

Truty said he was upset about Harley getting parts, accessories and clothing from overseas companies.

Read more: http://www.jsonline.com/business/43701272.html
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Dinger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-25-09 09:33 PM
Response to Original message
1. That's Fucked Up
:thumbsdown:
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GentryDixon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-25-09 09:47 PM
Response to Original message
2. Until we build our manufacturing base back,
this will continue.

I try to buy "Made in USA" any time I can. It is difficult at times to find products not made in China, Mexico, or Brazil. A simple thing like a dog chewy. I refuse to give my dog products not made here, so I spend an inordinate amount of time hunting for products made on our soil.

Oh for the ease of the 50's. :cry:
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Double T Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-25-09 10:18 PM
Response to Original message
3. Just another great american sellout.
Good thing I don't ride one of their hogs with chinese made parts.
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Ernesto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-25-09 11:15 PM
Response to Original message
4. In the '70's, me & my bros rode $2500 choppers with no helmets
Edited on Sat Apr-25-09 11:17 PM by Ernesto
It has been interesting to watch the huge expansion of the poser, mortgage holding uppies playing the role on their $20K bikes. Now that the baby boomers are aging out of the market, Harley is going right back to where it was in those days: bankruptcy.
If they say they couldn't see it coming, they had to be in denial or just plain ignorant.
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IthinkThereforeIAM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 12:10 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Very true...

... also, the reliability of the Harley-Davidson engines has increased 10x since advancing beyond the shovelhead. No more worrying about what is going to "wear out" or need adjusting when it is seems that something goes out every 450 miles. This info from a buddy of mine whose first Harley was an '82 shovelhead, which was often his only means of transportation in his meager early years.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 06:34 AM
Response to Reply #4
13. poser, mortgage holding uppies playing the role on their $20K bikes
A-fuckin'-men..

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Dappleganger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-25-09 11:37 PM
Response to Original message
5. Victory
That will be my next bike. All US made except for the brakes.

We rode out to the beach tonight and Harleys are everywhere, but IMO they are over-marketed to their detriment.
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tomreedtoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 12:54 AM
Response to Original message
7. Funny how Americans don't make scooters.
Scooters are considered the economical, ecological form of transport. As any idiot knows, they've been popular in Europe for decades, and they've perfected them. Even cheap Chinese scooters (which you can't get parts for or get repaired here) have "licensed" Honda engine designs.

Honda, Yamaha and even the Korean brand Kymco are considered reliable transportation. I don't count Vespa scooters because they're for elitist rich scum and they rust out very quickly.

So why didn't Harley make economical, quality scooters and sell them to Americans? Too busy collecting for their gas-wasting, pretend-macho hogs and stupid branded jackets and clothing? Too busy supporting expensive competing dealerships, like the American Rustmobile manufacturers?

Stupid businessmen deserve to have their businesses fail. Unfortunately, like the Rustmobile CEO's, the guys who run H-D will live to fail another day .
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 01:15 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. And they don't manufacture mid-size or smaller bikes
and one needs English measure tools rather than metric to work on them.

Japanese bikes got Harley beat on quality and engineering.
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safeinOhio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 07:54 AM
Response to Reply #7
15. Bring back the Cushman Scooters
They were a hell of a lot of fun. By all means they should keep the rope pull starters too. So easy to work on a caveman could do it.
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tomreedtoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 09:44 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. I forgot about Cushman. So did the rest of America.
Compare one of those "Yogi Bear" scooters with what Honda or Yamaha are selling. Even the under-50CC engine jobs, that can't go more than about 35 MPH. About the only thing killing them as decent transportation for seniors and low-income people is an inability to carry more than one bag of groceries.

This is my criticism of the American automobile industry as well. Lack of imagination, lack of courage, and an inability to understand their customers.

By the way, about the rope starters: I recall an old 60 Minutes episode where a British cycle seller pointed out why Japanese cycles were selling better than their domestic product. All the British cycles he had required kick-starting, which he had to do several times. The Japanese had a quick, simple electric starter.
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Norquist Nemesis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 01:12 AM
Response to Original message
8. So with the manufacturing going elsewhere...are the Executives
retaining their salaries (and any bonuses?)?
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 04:27 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. Silly Nemesis.
How can you even ask?
:silly:
:kick:

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pampango Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 05:58 AM
Response to Original message
11. Export sales up, domestic sales down. Maybe foreigners aren't all bad for Harley.
Looks like Harley's exports have been increasing while their domestic sales have been declining. Mr. Truty, the shareholder who was questioning outsourcing, may not like the foreigners' role in production, but he (and the company's workers) are probably not too upset by the increasing role of foreigners in purchasing motorcycles and creating jobs and profits for the company (all of whose factories are in the US as far as I can tell).

"Export sales appeared to be the only good news for Harley-Davidson as the release of its fourth quarter and 2008 year end results were accompanied by a range of cost-cutting announcements that include lay-offs, production cuts and facility closures."

"However, for the full year the Company plans to ship between 264,000 and 273,000 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles, a 10 percent to 13 percent reduction from 2008."

"Fourth quarter retail sales increased 3.4 percent in Europe, with all international market retail sales increasing 10.3 percent for the full year .

Domestic U.S. retail sales of Harley-Davidson motorcycles declined 13.0 percent for the full year , in a U.S. heavyweight market that was only down by 7.0 percent for the year."

http://prostreetblog.com/2009/01/23/harley-davidson-to-close-facilities-lay-off-1100-reduce-shipments/
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angstlessk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 06:21 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. well, exports amount to 5,700,000,000 people whereas domesic accounts
for only 300,000,000 people. the numbers favor exports..of course you have to subtract all children and people who do not drive motorcycles, but just sayn? :shrug:
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pampango Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 06:59 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. I agree that the export market it potentially huge and Harley is apparently doing a good job growing
its exports. There are 20 times as many non-Americans in the world than there are Americans, but selling things to them is not always easy - trade rules, competition, etc. I didn't find figures on Harley's domestic sales versus exports, but it seems that exports are still a small percentage of their total sales. Their exports are increasing, though, so that is a good sign for the future.

My point was that if Harley wants to sell more motorcycles to foreigners (which is a smart strategy given the numbers you gave), it is probably smart not to begrudge them some jobs from clothing and parts supply as a part of the arrangement.
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OhioChick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 10:06 AM
Response to Original message
17. American icon, huh? Screw Harley. n/t
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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 01:31 PM
Response to Original message
18. I bought a '72 Superglide in '79 for $600.
rode it for a couple of years and sold it for $1500. I wonder what it would have been worth if I had kept it.

Harley is just a name. Names come and go. Time for Harley to go.
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The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 01:38 PM
Response to Original message
19. Oh my God. There is going to be an uproar at Steak and Shake this Thursday night.
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Mithreal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-27-09 01:23 AM
Response to Original message
20. Kick nt
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caseymoz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-27-09 01:53 AM
Response to Original message
21. Now, this could be a turning point . . . and I really mean it.

GM going down is one thing. But Harley-Davidson outsourcing is really going to wound many people's pride; it adds insult to a higher unemployment rate, which is destabilizing to begin with.
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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-27-09 02:49 AM
Response to Original message
22. Bye-bye Harley. My next bike won't be one. (nt)
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Born Free Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-27-09 04:11 AM
Response to Original message
23. I read about the planned cuts months ago...
I don't think this is the end for Harley and as long as there are still American companies such as Ultima that continue to make reasonably priced quality replacement V-Twin evo engines and drives for the Harleys, you will continue to see a lot of Harleys on the road. Yes, many parts, mostly electronics and accessories are made overseas but the main parts,frame, engine, body parts are still made in USA.

Harley had a bad 4th quarter last year. In the long run, the biggest problem Harley faces is getting their air-cooled engine to meet EPA requirements and the majority of individuals that prefer to own Harleys also prefer to own air-cooled engines. The Harleys today are much closer to the quality and dependability of the foreign made V-Twin bikes. Personally, we prefer to ride our older Harley, a 1990 FLHTCU (old bagger) with close to 110 thousand miles on it . It has the older "EVO" engine that uses the old obsolete carburetor, not as smooth and dependable as the new computerized, fuel injected, with the new anti-lock brake systems and throttle wires ect. ect. but a lot of fun to ride, and although we could buy a new Harley, we like our old one too much to give it up or just leave it parked in the garage - and there are many Harley owners much like us, they are happy with the older "Evo". Although the stock engine still works, last winter we put in a new Ultima 113" replacement engine for more power.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAFhORcazJk
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