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Thread: Harley to leave Milwaukee?

  1. #1
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    Harley to leave Milwaukee?

    Harley-Davidson and Milwaukee are synonymous – but the next couple of months could see the manufacturer leave it’s 107 year home.

    According to local press, Harley warned employees its Wisconsin manufacturing operations will be moved unless it can cut significant expenses. Harley chief executive Keith Wandell has been quoted as saying the company will make its decision on whether to move in the next two months. Other states are being considered, but Wandell declined to say which ones.

    The move would see the last of the major manufacturing concerns leave the area, with such brewing giants as Miller and Schlitz having left the area.

    Harley corporate headquarters would remain in Milwaukee.
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    Ahhsoo you come to China , we make business,, we love USA

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    and the decline begins.....

    Had to happen sooner or later....once the people realized they were being taken for a ride!
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    I feel genuine sympathy for the employees who have already lost their jobs and for those who are gonna be next but can I shed a tear for Harley itself?

    Like hell! Any loyalty I once felt towards the HD brand died the day they shafted Buell. At the time there were parties interested in purchasing Buell but HD ditched instead of SELLING.

    So now Erik Buells new company is doing well with rumours of road bike production to happen again in the future and HD is struggling...

    Oh Karma is a wonderful thing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by buellbabe View Post
    I feel genuine sympathy for the employees who have already lost their jobs and for those who are gonna be next but can I shed a tear for Harley itself?

    Like hell! Any loyalty I once felt towards the HD brand died the day they shafted Buell. At the time there were parties interested in purchasing Buell but HD ditched instead of SELLING.

    So now Erik Buells new company is doing well with rumours of road bike production to happen again in the future and HD is struggling...

    Oh Karma is a wonderful thing.
    Never a truer word has been spoken. Agree entirely BB.
    They staked their rep on "people marketing" with HOG etc and not on the product for so long that it now has come to bite them in the arse.
    If they made a bike that was more user friendly they might be on the money now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by buellbabe View Post
    I feel genuine sympathy for the employees who have already lost their jobs and for those who are gonna be next but can I shed a tear for Harley itself?

    Like hell! Any loyalty I once felt towards the HD brand died the day they shafted Buell. At the time there were parties interested in purchasing Buell but HD ditched instead of SELLING.

    So now Erik Buells new company is doing well with rumours of road bike production to happen again in the future and HD is struggling...

    Oh Karma is a wonderful thing.
    Great news indeed!
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    So harley ditched buell, sad indeed but you can't blame them for thier actions. Buell was a small part of their operation and we don't know the deeper back story and situations involved. Dumping buell instead of selling might have been in their best interest and yes to New Zealanders it was a big thing but to americans, whose motorcycling populations is VASTLY greater than us, buell might not have been that big.

    I for one believe if harley goes, the motorcycling world will have lost one of its greatest brands and companies. I for one have always thought well of harley for producing the bikes it does, the way it does and paving their own way (v rod excluded). No else does anymore. Their bikes might not be the best but they don't always try to be. If harley goes, then the world will be full of watercooled, clone cruisers.

    It is sad that people want to see harley fail. We shouldnt want any bike company to fail. (Buell can obviously stand on his own two feet, this is a good learning experience for hime and once the rotax contract starts he will be back I reckon).

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    Harley has had a long history of extreme lows and nearly going under. It's not really surprising that they are cutting loses again.

    Just hope the quality control doesn't take a step backward. With such problematic bikes as is, going back to the days of AMF styled running of the business will end with even more riders of Harleys stranded on the side of the road.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ital916 View Post
    It is sad that people want to see harley fail. We shouldnt want any bike company to fail.
    I for one never said I wanted to see HD fail.

    I merely said I have NO loyalty to them any more and I know HD riders who are with me on that.

    I would never want to see any Motorcycle manufacturer go under.

    Like I said...Karma...
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  10. #10
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    I read US bike magazines (research) and there was a big debate by the readership about Harley dropping Buell. For every derogatory comment, there was another understanding why.

    My perspective? You are struggling as a company, so you have to cut back. Buell, while interesting, was never Harley 'core business'... and did that division of the company ever bring much in, in terms of income? I don't know, but I don't think it was particularly profitable (much debate on letters pages about whether HD gave Buell enough backing, whether the dealers really promoted the brand (one writer said he had gone to buy a Buell, only for the salesman to try to aim him at a Harley). And when times are tough, the less/non-profitable divisions are the ones that get dropped.

    Same with Harley selling the MV Agusta brand. Not core business, so could be divested without too much damage to the main brand. Both Buell and MV Agusta were brought on board to try to attract a younger group of riders (get them in early, then when they get older and sportsbikes don't fit the bill any longer, draw them onto the core product). Don't think it worked, so divest in times of trouble.

    Erik Buell has gone off and done his own thing once again. And Harley seems to be stabilising. So from the balance sheet perspective (and whether you like it or not, if their balance sheet doesn't, well, balance, then investors get nervous, start pulling their funds and down you go as a company - look at the relaunch of Indian before the current one - corporate investment was pulled despite the company making a US$25,000,000 profit... and that was it. Company gone. Hope the next incarnation succeeds), Harley's actions make sense.

    Difference between running an intersting, niche company that runs on small volume, high income sales items and a large-scale organisation who has to sell multiple units to survive. Buell worked as the former, but as a division of the latter, they weren't putting enough numbers on the balance sheet. So fell by the wayside when the parent were struggling.

    All of the above said, I do think HD could have been more magnanimous and handed over development work and so forth that would let Buell go it's own way. Not as if anything Buell was/is doing really impinges on Harley current trading plans.
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  11. #11
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    Yep I can read too.
    As a matter of fact I did a lot of reading on this topic so you are not telling me anything I don't know and understand.

    Yes business is business and emotions shouldn't get in the way...but they DO, as anyone who watched the video announcement from Erik could clearly see. The man was broken, barely keeping it together.
    The way HD went about it just left a sour taste in my mouth, even the dealers had NO idea it was about to happen. Some of them had just sold Buells at full price only 2 days before and then got to work on the following Monday to read the company email telling them Buell was dumped and to knock $5Gs off the price of every single Buell unit. I know for a fact that the guys at AMPS felt totally embarassed and gutted.

    But too bad eh? Business is business.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by buellbabe View Post
    Yep I can read too.
    As a matter of fact I did a lot of reading on this topic so you are not telling me anything I don't know and understand.

    Yes business is business and emotions shouldn't get in the way...but they DO, as anyone who watched the video announcement from Erik could clearly see. The man was broken, barely keeping it together.
    The way HD went about it just left a sour taste in my mouth, even the dealers had NO idea it was about to happen. Some of them had just sold Buells at full price only 2 days before and then got to work on the following Monday to read the company email telling them Buell was dumped and to knock $5Gs off the price of every single Buell unit. I know for a fact that the guys at AMPS felt totally embarassed and gutted.

    But too bad eh? Business is business.
    No-one said you couldn't read. But if you do read what I said, I was referencing that I read a number of US publications - relevant, as closer to the events than we are - and in the letters pages there, the reaction was really mixed.

    I've been on the receiving end of this sort of thing - I was at one company that was 'merging' with another... and was in the part of the business they didn't want to continue; and was axed. We had a "leak" that the next day was axing day - so came in prepared. But walk in, obstensibly to carry on as normal, only to get called into a small room and told to pack your bags and go home, never to come back. And then get escorted out of the building. You want harsh, that was harsh.

    My current company also decided to pull out of a certain line of business, which meant closing down an operation much larger than the Buell side of HD - no warning, announcement on the Monday morning saying that side will be closed down in X weeks, a purchaser for the business had been found, but they would only be taking a handful of people into their organisation (the top management of that area).

    And it isn't nice. Either being on the side that goes or the side that stays, as there is a bad taste in the mouth.

    But companies have to do these things in order to survive - and in the case of Harley, it does mean a lot of people do keep their jobs (though I'm with you in that I don't think they handle these things well).

    Out of curiosity, what would you have done? Kept Buell running, despite the parent company struggling and needing to take drastic action to survive? Or if you had decided to close the operation, how would you have handled it.

    No matter what HD did, I think it would have been a dagger to the heart of Erik Buell - this was his dream summarily killed off, after all.

    But as I said earlier, I think HD could have been more generous and let him have stuff related to Buell that wasn't going to affect Harley - not as if the two product lines really clash with each other, so what's the point of binning the Buell R&D so no-one can use it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post

    No matter what HD did, I think it would have been a dagger to the heart of Erik Buell - this was his dream summarily killed off, after all.

    But as I said earlier, I think HD could have been more generous and let him have stuff related to Buell that wasn't going to affect Harley - not as if the two product lines really clash with each other, so what's the point of binning the Buell R&D so no-one can use it.
    That sums it up for me why I really dislike HD. Why dump the bikes, R&D and jobs when the business could've been sold? Like you said Buell and Harley didn't clash so can never understand why HD killed and buried Buell like the way they did.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elysium View Post
    Like you said Buell and Harley didn't clash so can never understand why HD killed and buried Buell like the way they did.
    Yes, why shut down Buell(and spend US$120 mil in doing so) when it was actually making money?........

    only thing i can think of is a lack of chrome on them?......so not in keeping with H-F'N-D's core market.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elysium View Post
    . Like you said Buell and Harley didn't clash so can never understand why HD killed and buried Buell like the way they did.
    True, puzzled me.

    But as per all posters on this thread: I didn't know all the facts of the issues H-D were having..
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