NEW YORK — Back when the good times rolled, Harley-Davidson Inc. couldn’t keep up with demand for its flashy high-end motorcycles. Now the party’s over, and Harley is feeling the hangover.
The Milwaukee-based company said Thursday it is cutting another 1,000 employees as it posted a steep decline in its second-quarter profit. Strapped consumers continue to put off sales of its premium rides, which can cost more than a new car, forcing it to make deeper production and work force cuts.
“Look at unemployment being at 25-year record highs and you look at the consumer confidence index bouncing around near record lows,” CEO Keith Wandell said in an interview. “It’s made people a little leery about making a big-ticket discretionary purchases.”
But Wandell, who took over as CEO of Harley in May, sounded an optimistic note, saying “we don’t seem to be falling anymore.” He was upbeat that pent-up demand for Harley products would propel a recovery once the economy improves.