Harley-Davidson to cut jobs amid weak earnings

U.S. hourly workers, including York, not affected

Harley-Davidson Inc. plans to cut jobs and scale back on motorcycle shipments in the face of weak third-quarter earnings, but a company official said there is no plan to reduce U.S. hourly workers.

The Milwaukee-based motorcycle manufacturer announced Tuesday that third-quarter net income was $140.3 million on consolidated revenue of $1.32 billion, compared with net income of $150.1 million on consolidated revenue of $1.30 billion for the same period last year.

New motorcycle sales at dealerships were down 1.4 percent worldwide for the third quarter compared to the year-ago period, the company announced, with sales down 2.5 percent in the U.S. and up 0.9 percent internationally.

The statement did not indicate how many jobs will be eliminated, nor where those positions would be cut, just that the company is embarking on a “global reduction.”

“Regarding specific locations/areas impacted, adjustments in positions and structure will be made in essentially every part of the business to achieve the right focus and support the increased demand-generating investments,” spokeswoman Kristen Cunningham said.

Asked about the firm’s Central Pennsylvania operations, Cunningham replied: “Specific to York, there is no plan to reduce U.S. hourly workers as part of these actions.”

But Cunningham also added that she couldn’t say for sure yet whether salaried jobs would be affected.

The company did say that Harley “expects to incur one-time expenses of approximately $30 million to $35 million in the fourth quarter of 2015, primarily for employee separation and reorganization costs related to this reallocation.”

Harley said dealers worldwide sold 72,178 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the third quarter of 2015, compared with 73,217 motorcycles in the year-ago quarter. In the U.S., dealers sold 48,918 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the quarter compared to sales of 50,167 motorcycles in the year-ago period.

In international markets, dealers sold 23,260 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles during the third quarter compared to 23,050 motorcycles in the year-ago period, with sales up 5.1 percent in the Asia Pacific region and 2.4 percent in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, but down 11.5 percent in the Latin America region and 1.7 percent in Canada, the company said.

“We expect a heightened competitive environment to continue for the foreseeable future, and now is the time for us to dial things up with significant additional investments in marketing and product development,” president and CEO Matt Levatich said.

Harley trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol HOG.

Roger DuPuis
Roger DuPuis covers Cumberland County, health care, transportation, distribution, energy and environment. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at rdupuis@cpbj.com.

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