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Harley-Davidson eliminating 700 jobs,
Chief Financial Officer John Olin has left the company

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Posted By: MDConservative, 7/9/2020 4:50:30 PM

Harley-Davidson Inc. says it is eliminating 700 jobs this year as part of its comprehensive effort to rebuild the company. Chief Financial Officer John Olin, who has been with Harley 17 years, has left the company. His duties are being assumed on an interim basis by Treasurer Darrell Thomas, the company said in a news release. "Significant changes are necessary and we must move in new directions," Jochen Zeitz, chairman, president and CEO said in the release.


This is an iconic American company forced to deal in the real world of both global competition and politics. Toss in a pandemic, and global bike sales were down 25 percent across manufacturers. Honda is anticipating its first down year in five. Motorcycling is a cyclical business, and despite it all H-D paid a cash dividend of $0.38 per share for the first quarter. It will be interesting to see how Rewire works to revitalize the company and its product line. Something needs to be done, and it's a good sign some of the old leadership is being displaced - one hopes with new thinking. Nonetheless, it's hard to sell bikes to those uninterested in riding. (Of course, this is good news for the Harley haters...)

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Reply 1 - Posted by: earlybird 7/9/2020 4:55:55 PM (No. 472653)
FTA: In a significant cost-savings measure, Harley is now producing motorcycles at its new plant in Thailand and shipping those bikes to the European Union and China. How many Thai employees were laid off?
9 people like this.

Reply 2 - Posted by: bad-hair 7/9/2020 5:27:55 PM (No. 472692)
Saturated market. The last goofy white haired Harley guy has 2 more than he needs.
8 people like this.

Reply 3 - Posted by: volksford 7/9/2020 5:58:09 PM (No. 472717)
My bro -in -law and good friend has four Harleys that he has accumulated thru the years I encouraged him to sell but to no avail. The market is non-existent, the soy boys don't want a Harley .
4 people like this.

Reply 4 - Posted by: bad-hair 7/9/2020 6:06:26 PM (No. 472729)
But I must admit I have a really old car with a clutch . I's fun as hell to drive around and so I suppose is a Harley. Won't get me on one though.
1 person likes this.

Reply 5 - Posted by: seamusm 7/9/2020 6:11:22 PM (No. 472734)
Covid's finishing off the last of the Boomers who were their base. Been coming for a while now. When my kids turn 50 there will be another resurgence of the brand.
0 people like this.

Reply 6 - Posted by: Strike3 7/9/2020 6:41:07 PM (No. 472768)
Used Harleys for sale in front yards all over the place. When I was interested in buying one they could not be found and a new one was pushing 30K. So I went Kawasaki and lived happily ever after. I hope that during their rebuilding that they use the bike itself as an attraction to customers instead of the outlaw image lifestyle and the noise. Those aftermarket pipes do tend to irritate people. Pricing the bike at nearly twice as much as the average Japanese machine also tends to drive down sales. It's a seat, two wheels and a motor for Willy's sake!
3 people like this.

Reply 7 - Posted by: DVC 7/9/2020 8:55:47 PM (No. 472898)
How many youngsters coming up are total pansies and terrified of riding motorcycle? My bet is that the wimpification of American is the root problem.
5 people like this.

Reply 8 - Posted by: coldoc 7/9/2020 9:12:35 PM (No. 472906)
Their reputation for being unreliable rolling scrap heaps is finally catching up to them. I knew they were toast when they went electric. Having worked on them in the 70's, I never understood the appeal.
3 people like this.

Reply 9 - Posted by: Rumblehog 7/9/2020 10:22:01 PM (No. 472944)
Fewer and fewer among the younger set want a new Harley. Kids ride rice rockets. Harley is a throwback to the 1957 Chevy Bel Air in terms of technology. They were never able to break that legacy.
0 people like this.

Reply 10 - Posted by: chumley 7/9/2020 10:31:02 PM (No. 472948)
The darned things cost as much as a new car and as often as not its being ridden by someone who looks like he just murdered his parents. Not something I'm interested in.
3 people like this.

Reply 11 - Posted by: NYbob 7/9/2020 11:38:03 PM (No. 472987)
The Harley electric is a good bike and would be very competitive, but the rumored price is something like $50,000. I hope that is wrong, but I'm pretty sure it is north of $30,000 and that is just stupid. Just when they needed radical shift in mission statement, the management did every trick in the book to enrich themselves at the cost of Harley's future. Their core business is now a curiosity and should have been drastically downsized. They should be thinking about new markets, performance electric motorcycles at affordable prices, electric assist bicycles, anything other than big road hogs using century old designs.
1 person likes this.

Reply 12 - Posted by: MickTurn 7/10/2020 8:48:55 AM (No. 473252)
How about building an engine that doesn't self destruct?
1 person likes this.

Reply 13 - Posted by: ROLFNader 7/10/2020 9:32:57 AM (No. 473304)
As a Japanese bike enthusiast, I've always found if funny that many Harley riders will justify the pipes as adding to the safety of having cars ahead of you hear you coming. All the noise is wasted on the people behind you , instead. If Harley goes electric, will the bars in Sturgis and Deadwood have to add more outlets out front?
1 person likes this.

Reply 14 - Posted by: DVC 7/10/2020 11:57:24 AM (No. 473505)
An electric Harley.....kinda like reading about sex, it would seem, rather than actually participating in it.
1 person likes this.

Reply 15 - Posted by: NYbob 7/10/2020 1:28:34 PM (No. 473648)
I have to add this. When I was a kid some of us like the mufflers rusting out. It made the parents car sound tougher than it was. Since most of us could not afford a muscle car, the cherry bomb mufflers or a stock muffler with a hole was the only 'performance' option. THAT is a big part of potato potato bang Harley engines. A lot of shaking a lot of noise, but so much mass, long strokes and weight that they really aren't for riding fast on curves. You can strip them and modify them into flat trackers, but those glory days are gone. V rod was an attempt to update the tech, but for the same money there are many other options that do more. If you really want to ride and enjoy the acceleration and handling of a motorcycle, you don't seriously consider any Harley for long. That's why their electric bike was a pleasant surprise, until you see the price. Even that breakthrough probably isn't the best electric motorcycle. It might be the most expensive. Electric motorcycles are the future and they are already far ahead as far as acceleration, which is a prime factor for a lot of riders. Range issues, but unless you are an iron butt guy, most riding is a day trip of less than 150 miles, so you will see a lot more electric bikes as the price comes down and they get better.
0 people like this.

Reply 16 - Posted by: franq 7/10/2020 5:31:29 PM (No. 473919)
Bells and whistles are not what motorcycling is about. I had a '99 Springer for 4 years. Sold it 2 years ago. Fun bike, easy to service. The new ones? Can't change the brake pads without a laptop computer. And who wants a $450 a month payment for seven years?
1 person likes this.

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