Report: Harley-Davidson Plans 180 Layoffs Amid Sliding Sales

The company said motorcycle sales fell by 6.7 percent in the second quarter of the year.

Harley-Davidson plans to cut dozens of jobs in coming months in an effort to cope with slowing motorcycle sales.

Leaders of unions representing Harley production workers told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that about 180 jobs are on the chopping block. Factories in suburban Milwaukee and in Kansas City will see the bulk of the cuts.

The number of layoffs could be reduced through voluntary buyouts, but the paper also noted that the Menomonee Falls., Wis., engine plant will also see temporary furloughs as the motorcycle maker cuts production.

"Lower expected shipments means we will need to reduce plant production, and this has an implication for our manufacturing facilities, our people and our financial performance," President and CEO Matt Levatich told analysts in a conference call.

Word of the layoffs plans came after Harley reported lower sales and earnings in its latest quarterly financial results.

The company said overall motorcycle sales fell by 6.7 percent in the second quarter compared to the same period last year; in the U.S. alone, sales fell by 9.3 percent.

Harley responded by reducing its shipment and margin targets for the full year.

“We are pleased with our ability to deliver strong margins in the quarter despite challenging market conditions, particularly in the U.S.,” Levatich said in a statement.

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