Only a few years ago, Harley-Davidson was surging. Though sales weren’t up to formerly historic levels, they were selling more motorcycles than they had since the Great Recession in 2008. However, those booming sales have slowed down, and Harley seems to be cutting over 100 jobs. Is this a sign of tough times ahead for Harley, or is the company in better shape than it appears?
Is Harley Laying Off Over 100 Workers Over Bad Sales?
In the financial world, the first quarter ended in March. That’s when all the companies that are traded on Wall Street put together reports on how well they are doing, but Harley’s report wasn’t that great. Last year, Harley made $250.49 million in the first quarter. This year, Harley only made $186.37 million during the same time period.
This dip in profits can be explained in many ways. First of all, Harley is having to deal with a lot of new competition. Honda Motorcycles are becoming more popular and Indian Motorcycles are still surging since the company’s revival. The next factor hurting Harley’s sales has to be the deep discounts being offered on Victory Motorcycles, since that manufacturer is shutting down and liquidating bikes. The final factor hurting Harley’s sales is the company’s own doing. New Harley-Davidson models have been delayed as the company tries to clear inventory that didn’t sell as well in 2016.
These factors make 2017 look like a hard year for America’s most iconic motorcycle company. So, when Harley announced the layoff of 118 workers, many analysts weren’t shocked. Some were expecting cuts from the motorcycle manufacturer, but people who have been examining Harley’s situation know that this layoff isn’t really a cut.
What’s Really Happening at Harley-Davidson?
In 2015, Harley notified workers that it would be moving its cruiser production from York, Pennsylvania to Kansas City, Missouri. And how many workers will be hired for the Kansas City production line? You guessed it, 118.
Harley is expecting sales to pick up in this next quarter as the company finally starts shipping delayed models and advertising campaigns start kicking in. But will that be enough to stop the company’s falling profits?
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