And At Least This Time, He’s Right, But For The Wrong Reasons

President Trump tweeted that Harley-Davidson’s decision to move the Kansas City plant operations to Thailand is not the result of his tariffs, and he is correct on that point. The real bottom line is that the operations aren’t moving to Thailand.

Continue reading for more on the Thailand plant and the tariff war.

Harley-Davidson and Thailand

Trump Denies He's To Blame For Harley-Davidson's Decision
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H-D pays a hefty 60% tariff on bikes imported from the U.S. to Asia, so making the bikes there and selling the bikes there is financially sound.

Tariff wars between the European Union and the United States have been heating up over recent weeks as the two economic powers exchange blows over trade. Steel and aluminum coming in from Europe, Mexico, and Canada have been a big sticking point, which directly affects the motorcycle manufacturing industry, but are the tariffs the reason Harley-Davidson is building a plant in Thailand? The answer is, No.

A year ago, Harley-Davidson announced plans to build a manufacturing plant in Thailand to supply motorcycles to the Asian market. No mention was made then or now about sending those bikes to the U.S. to replace manufacturing here. Harley-Davidson already has an international sales office in Singapore and adding a manufacturing facility there just makes sense. They pay a hefty (up to) 60% tariff on bikes imported from the U.S. to Asia, so making the bikes there and selling the bikes there is financially sound.

The Unions Said It; Not The MoCo

Harley Closes One Of Its Main Factories; What Does It Mean?
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Harley-Davidson did announce that they are closing the Kansas City plant, but the operations that were left at the plant were moving back to the York, Pennsylvania, plant.

Where did this information come from that Harley was sending the Kansas City jobs to Thailand? It didn’t come from the home office. That rumor came from union officials trying to stir things up. The labor unions were already butt-hurt that Harley wasn’t consulting them on company decisions and so the United Steelworkers Union and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers ended a collaboration agreement with the MoCo last year and they were mad when Harley shifted some of its operations to the Kansas City plant.

Just to be clear, Harley-Davidson did announce that they are closing the Kansas City plant, but the operations that were left at the plant are moving back to the York, Pennsylvania, plant. The most likely reason for the shift would be to retool the assembly lines in Kansas City to accommodate some of the new models Harley has promised.

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References

Harley-Davidson Plans To Build A Manufacturing Plant In Thailand

Harley-Davidson Relocates 118 Jobs Amid Heavy First-Quarter Loss
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See our article on the proposed plant in Thailand.

Harley-Davidson Relocates 118 Jobs Amid Heavy Third-Quarter Losses

Harley-Davidson Relocates 118 Jobs Amid Heavy First-Quarter Loss
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See our article on the cruiser operation move to KC.

Harley Says Buh-Bye To Labor Unions

Harley-Davidson Relocates 118 Jobs Amid Heavy First-Quarter Loss
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See our article on the end of the collaboration agreement.

Harley-Davidson Closes One Of Its Factories; What Does It Mean?

Harley Closes One Of Its Main Factories; What Does It Mean?
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See our article on the closing of the factory.

50 New Harley-Davidson Models in Five Years?

See our article on the promise of new models.

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: harley-davidson.com, jeremychaurides.blogsport.com, Uwe Schwarzbach @flickr, Gage Skidmore [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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