HARLEY-DAVIDSON'S latest set of end-of-year figures make grim reading, with sales down 6.7% in 2017 and perhaps more worryingly dropping by 8.5% in its core U.S. market.
It expects to book restructuring and other costs of $170 million to $200 million and capital investment costs of about $75 million over two years. After 2020, Harley Davidson expects the move to result in annual savings of $65.0 million to $75.0 million.
The Kansas City plant is home to Harley's vehicle and powertrain operations, assembling all Dyna, Sportster and VRSC motorcycles, and manufacturing powertrains for V-Rod bikes.
Despite generally higher USA consumer spending, Harley is grappling with an ageing customer base and younger, more price-sensitive buyers hesitant to embrace the iconic brand as previous generations have done.
The Milwaukee-based motorcycle manufacturer announced it will close its manufacturing plant in Kansas City, Missouri, eliminating around 800 jobs. The silver lining to this challenging year was that the company added 32,000 new Harley-Davidson riders in the US after taking several measures to create a more welcoming and all-inclusive brand.
Delinquencies 30 days or more past due dipped to 4.21% in the quarter, as compared to 4.25% the same time a year prior. "As we expand our EV capabilities and commitment, we get even more excited about the role electric motorcycles will play in growing our business", Levatich added. The goal is to be the world leader in the electric motorcycle market. The Kansas City plant has been assembling Harley-Davidson motorcycles since 1997, and our employees will leave a great legacy of quality, pride and manufacturing leadership. Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE:PII), a one-time rival of Harley-Davidson, started winding down its "Victory" motorcycle operations in early 2017. The company's USA sales fell 8.5% and worldwide sales were down 3.9%. The final assembly work done there will instead take place at the company's York, Pennsylvania plant.
"We actually feel more strongly about our objectives", Levatich said when asked if the company's performance had caused executives to question their plans. Worldwide retail sales declined by almost 7% compared to the previous year - with an 8.5% decline in the US and a almost 4% decline in global markets.