Harley shutting down Missouri plant amid sales decline

NEW YORK — Harley-Davidson Inc. will close its Kansas City, Missouri, plant as part of a cost-cutting move as it sells fewer of it iconic motorcycles.

The Milwaukee-based company reported a 7.9 per cent drop to 241,498 motorcycle shipments in 2017 and expects the figure to continue dropping. It forecast 231,000 to 236,000 motorcycle shipments in 2018.

“The decision to consolidate our final assembly plants was made after very careful consideration of our manufacturing footprint and the appropriate capacity given the current business environment,” said President and CEO Matt Levatich.

U.S. motorcycle sales peaked at more than 1.1 million in 2005 but then plummeted during the recession. They’ve had trouble coming out of that trough because of demographic shifts. As baby boomers stop riding, there aren’t enough millennials taking up the slack, analysts say.

Specifically, Harley-Davidson said it is consolidating the Kansas City assembly plant into its York, Pennsylvania, facility. The move will mean 800 layoffs at the Kansas City facility, beginning midyear, and it will close by the third quarter of 2019.

The company said it will add up to 450 new positions at the York facility.

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. The move is expected to lead to ongoing annual savings of $65 million to $75 million after 2020.

The motorcycle maker reported an 82 per cent slide in fourth-quarter profit to $8.3 million, or 5 cents per share, partly on charge related to the new tax code. Earnings, adjusted for pretax expenses and non-recurring costs, were 54 cents per share.

Revenue rose 12 per cent to $1.05 billion, mainly on pricing as retail sales of motorcycles fell 9.6 per cent worldwide.

The results topped Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 11 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 46 cents per share, while nine analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $1.01 billion in revenue.

For the year, the company earned $521.8 million, or $3.02 per share. Revenue was reported as $4.92 billion.

Harley-Davidson shares slid 8.1 per cent, or $4.45, to close Tuesday at $50.84. Shares of the company have declined about 12 per cent in the past year.

Just Posted

Sunny weather improves farmers’ prospects

A harvester kicking up dust. It’s a picture that will bring a… Continue reading

Rural transit pilot project being considered

Penhold, Innisfail and Red Deer County councils to decide whether to go ahead with project

Red Deer fire station up for sale

Home sweet home at Fire Station 4

Most surveyed Innisfail residents give urban chickens the thumbs up

Town of Innisfail will discuss whether to allow backyard chickens on Monday

‘Mom I’m in trouble:’ Canadian, Brit face 10 years in jail for alleged graffiti

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — The mother of a Canadian who was arrested… Continue reading

Coyote on the prowl near Penhold

This coyote was out on the prowl in a field just west… Continue reading

Sky’s the limit as Calgary opens testing area for drones and new technologies

CALGARY — The sky’s the limit as the city of Calgary opens… Continue reading

Hi Mickey, ‘Bye Mickey: 6 Disney parks on 2 coasts in 1 day

ORLANDO, Fla. — Heather and Clark Ensminger breathed sighs of relief when… Continue reading

Court weighs ‘Apprentice’ hopeful’s suit versus Trump

NEW YORK — President Donald Trump’s lawyers hope to persuade an appeals… Continue reading

StarKist admits fixing tuna prices, faces $100 million fine

SAN FRANCISCO — StarKist Co. agreed to plead guilty to a felony… Continue reading

Annual pace of inflation slows to 2.2 per cent in September: Statistics Canada

OTTAWA — The annual pace of inflation slowed more than expected in… Continue reading

Jury finds Calgary couple guilty in 2013 death of toddler son

CALGARY — A jury has convicted a Calgary couple in the death… Continue reading

Most Read