Harley Temporarily Suspending Production

SINCE late January, Harley-Davidson has been assessing the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and taking proactive measures in the interest of health and safety of its employees, dealers and consumers. Its most recent measures include temporarily suspending the majority of production at its USA manufacturing facilities beginning this evening, March 18, through March 29 to help support employee health and further bolster coronavirus containment efforts. Facilities temporarily suspending production are York Vehicle Operations in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin facilities Tomahawk Operations and Pilgrim Road Powertrain Operations.

 “We recognise the unprecedented nature of this global crisis. In order to best support our employees and following the social distancing guidance issued by public health authorities, we are temporarily suspending the majority of production at our U.S. manufacturing facilities,” said Jochen Zeitz, acting CEO and President, Harley-Davidson. “We will continue to monitor the situation and take necessary steps to prioritise employee health and safety.”

Harley-Davidson will continue monitoring the situation closely and make additional adjustments as necessary in accordance with World Health Organization (WHO) and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. The majority of its USA production employees will be on temporary layoff with medical benefits. The company will use this time to continue deep cleaning and disinfecting its production areas and common areas to further protect workers upon their return.

Harley-Davidson closed its Pilgrim Road Powertrain Operations facility this afternoon after an employee tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus and is thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting the building, per the company’s coronavirus response protocol.

On Monday, Harley-Davidson asked employees at its Milwaukee-area headquarters and Product Development Center, except those business-critical roles that must be done onsite, to work remotely through at least the end of March. Additionally, the company is proactively working with its dealers to assess individual impacts and its encouraging dealers to follow the public health guidelines in their communities for the safety of its consumers. 

In accordance with social distance guidelines, all Harley-Davidson sponsored events have been cancelled until mid-April.

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Harley-Davidson Takes Additional Actions

TODAY (15 April 15 2020) Harley-Davidson announced additional actions it is taking in response to impacts of COVID-19 on its business.

“The effects of COVID-19 on economies around the world have been swift and unprecedented. It is essential for us to respond quickly, adapt and position the company to manage near-term challenges while preparing to reenergise the business for the recovery and beyond,” said Jochen Zeitz, acting President and CEO, Harley-Davidson.

In response to the near-term impacts of COVID-19, the company is taking the following actions to lower costs:

Significantly reducing all non-essential spending.

Temporarily reducing salaries.

CEO and the Board of Directors will forgo salary/cash compensation.

30 percent reduction for executive leadership.

10 to 20 percent reduction for most other salaried employees in the United States.

No merit increases for 2020.

Implementing a hiring freeze

Outside of the United States, the company will take similar actions as based on regulations governing each of its operating locations. Salary reductions will be reassessed at the end of the second quarter as the company continues to closely monitor business conditions. 

The majority of its global production employees are currently on temporary layoff. Medical benefits remain intact for all global employees. 

“We understand that navigating this new reality has a real impact on our employees,” added Zeitz. “Their dedication to Harley-Davidson is never taken for granted, and we thank them for supporting one another and rallying together as we manage the profound impact of COVID-19.”

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