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Old 01-30-2018, 11:53 AM   #1
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Harley to close assembly plant in Kansas City

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/comp...cid=spartandhp

For the first time in over 30 years, I'm glad I don't have much Harley stock.
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Old 01-30-2018, 03:04 PM   #2
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Re: Harley to close assembly plant in Kansas City

Now if only they could get a bailout and charge more like the auto makers do...
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Old 01-30-2018, 03:38 PM   #3
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Re: Harley to close assembly plant in Kansas City

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Originally Posted by jsb223 View Post
Now if only they could get a bailout and charge more like the auto makers do...
Or they try selling more of these.

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Old 01-30-2018, 03:39 PM   #4
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Re: Harley to close assembly plant in Kansas City

The HD bailout was in 2010. $2.3 billion. The tariff protection was in 1983 - 1988. GM and Chrysler employ about 440,000. HD about 6200.
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Old 01-30-2018, 08:31 PM   #5
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Re: Harley to close assembly plant in Kansas City

I'll bet the shop floor is covered in oil.

I just hope they don't shut down the chaps & bandana factories.
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Old 01-30-2018, 09:22 PM   #6
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Re: Harley to close assembly plant in Kansas City

I do not like HD motorcycles, but recognize this is a tragedy for many families.
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Old 01-31-2018, 09:31 AM   #7
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Re: Harley to close assembly plant in Kansas City

Somehow, we keep circling back to this conversation. HD is trapped by their legacy and can't map a path to their future.

It has to be doable. Somehow, Cadillac unhitched itself from the blue-haired land yacht crowd, and remade itself as a legitimate sporty sedan maker. Then again, I suppose Cadillac had the advantage of being only one faction of the GM machine, meaning the corporation could withstand the losses while the Caddy division experimented with a few failed products before hitting some winners and getting traction with a younger crowd. Being a one-trick pony, HD may simply not have the flexibility to do so.
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Old 01-31-2018, 09:58 AM   #8
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Re: Harley to close assembly plant in Kansas City

Right on Tim. HD trying to do something a little different with the 750 street which is cool but still too much for what the bike is.

This is the whole issue with the mc industry, 2 much for 2 wheels.
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Old 01-31-2018, 03:14 PM   #9
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Re: Harley to close assembly plant in Kansas City

boy, I wish for a Dual Sport "Sportster"
Maybe next Christmas.
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Old 01-31-2018, 04:08 PM   #10
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Re: Harley to close assembly plant in Kansas City

Quote:
Originally Posted by tshelfer View Post
Somehow, we keep circling back to this conversation. HD is trapped by their legacy and can't map a path to their future.

It has to be doable. Somehow, Cadillac unhitched itself from the blue-haired land yacht crowd, and remade itself as a legitimate sporty sedan maker. Then again, I suppose Cadillac had the advantage of being only one faction of the GM machine, meaning the corporation could withstand the losses while the Caddy division experimented with a few failed products before hitting some winners and getting traction with a younger crowd. Being a one-trick pony, HD may simply not have the flexibility to do so.
Isn't that what Buell was? And we see how well that went.
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Old 01-31-2018, 05:09 PM   #11
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Re: Harley to close assembly plant in Kansas City

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Isn't that what Buell was? And we see how well that went.
I don't know that the goals were the same. But if they were, what you can say is that GM stuck it out, HD didn't. It's not like Caddy didn't build some awful cars in the interim. Anybody remember the Cimmaron, just a rebadged Cavalier. Or the Catera, "the Caddy that zigs." But GM took the hits, rode it out, and learned to build a car can compete with other marques as a Euro-style sporting sedan.
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Old 01-31-2018, 05:24 PM   #12
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Re: Harley to close assembly plant in Kansas City

Read were HD going into the electric motorcycle sector by 2019 go figure
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Old 01-31-2018, 05:29 PM   #13
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Re: Harley to close assembly plant in Kansas City

Well, they did announce that very bold electric design a couple of years back. If they can pull it off, good for them and I wish them well. It still goes back to what I said (or at least tried to say) originally. HD doesn't have GM's deep pockets. So the question is can they afford to take the hit of walking away from their traditional clientele while building a new clientele. I truly hope so.
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Old 01-31-2018, 10:35 PM   #14
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Re: Harley to close assembly plant in Kansas City

Quote:
Originally Posted by viffer07 View Post
boy, I wish for a Dual Sport "Sportster"

Maybe next Christmas.


Itís call Buell Ulysses X. Harley decided it wasnít worth pursuing
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Old 02-01-2018, 07:21 AM   #15
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Re: Harley to close assembly plant in Kansas City

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Itís call Buell Ulysses X. Harley decided it wasnít worth pursuing
Harley was wrong.

They can only sell so many chrome-encrusted rolling couches. 1 major reason (IMO) that HD sales are down, is limited offerings. They might make 12 different bikes, but they are all pretty much the same. & they have to compete with other brands of cruisers (who all offer certain advantages over HD, namely performance, price, & reliability).

If a customer doesn't want a cruiser that's chromed out, usually with ridiculously loud exhaust, poor ergos & handling, then they ain't gonna buy a Harley. They have limited themselves & their market, & have no one to blame but themselves.

I personally will enjoy seeing the demise of HD. They had Buell & a great chance at expanding their market share with a good, reliable bike, & they treated them like a red headed stepchild.
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Old 02-01-2018, 07:41 AM   #16
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Re: Harley to close assembly plant in Kansas City

Don't forget their foray into the sport bike category when they bought and quickly sold MV Agusta.
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Old 02-01-2018, 07:43 AM   #17
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Re: Harley to close assembly plant in Kansas City

Quote:
I personally will enjoy seeing the demise of HD.
A loss of a moto company, I believe, hurt us all. I don't think Harley is dead, not by a long shot. They're adapting, and that means moving or closing factories. I think that NOT closing a factory in tight times would be a worse sign then doing the hard thing, putting some employees out of work to (hopefully) save the business. The 'adaptation' might be slow, maybe too slow, but I think we as riders (even purely Japanese riders like me) need to root for them, not with them to collapse.
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Old 02-01-2018, 07:54 AM   #18
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Re: Harley to close assembly plant in Kansas City

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Originally Posted by tshelfer View Post
Somehow, Cadillac unhitched itself from the blue-haired land yacht crowd, and remade itself as a legitimate sporty sedan maker
Caddy had Corvette R&D and infrastructure to create the CTS-V
Harley has no such plan B.

For several years, I drove a 1st Gen CTS-V. It was basically a 4-door Corvette
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Old 02-01-2018, 09:40 AM   #19
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Re: Harley to close assembly plant in Kansas City

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff S View Post
A loss of a moto company, I believe, hurt us all. I don't think Harley is dead, not by a long shot. They're adapting, and that means moving or closing factories. I think that NOT closing a factory in tight times would be a worse sign then doing the hard thing, putting some employees out of work to (hopefully) save the business. The 'adaptation' might be slow, maybe too slow, but I think we as riders (even purely Japanese riders like me) need to root for them, not with them to collapse.
I completely agree. Don't forget, it's not just the factory, but the dealers and all of their employees will be effected as well.
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Old 02-01-2018, 12:41 PM   #20
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Re: Harley to close assembly plant in Kansas City

Times are changing, period. The business professionals from accountants to graphic designers that used to support the commercial arts and stationary industry have all moved on to computers. One of the typewriter manufacturer famously said "Personal computers are great, but we make typewriters." They are out of business.

The point is that if HD's or any manufacturer's product is being made obsolete by technology or the fickle whims of the buying public needs to see the handwriting on the wall and morph into something that will be profitable in the future. One might suggest HD is doing that by introducing an electric motorcycle.

To Tim's point, HD is at the whims of it's stockholders and analysts. The R&D that BMW put into the S1000RR and any number of other non-boxter based models hardly showed up on the balance sheet as Buell and MV must have for HD stock holders.

I don't mean to sound callus, but any skilled machinist that is working for HD needs to look around and ask how much longer he's going to have a job, and if working for Lockheed might be a better deal.
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