Harley Taking the Open Road Overseas

DICKSON CITY, Pa. -- Harley Davidson, the iconic motorcycle maker, announced this week plans to move some more of its manufacturing overseas to avoid tariffs from Europe.

Those tariffs are in response to President Trump's trade policies.

Harley Davidson's decision to move some of its manufacturing overseas has ruffled feathers all the way from the White House to Harley riders here in northeastern Pennsylvania.

But people who sell Harleys want to clear up a misconception: Harleys sold in the U.S. will still be made in the U.S.

There are few brands as quintessentially American as Harley Davidson and few Americans as brand-loyal as Harley riders.

"I just like the nostalgia of having a Harley," said John Clement of Union Dale. "There's nothing like it."

The motorcycle maker announced this week that it will move some of its production from Kansas City to Thailand to avoid a tariff on importing motorcycles into Europe as a result of President Trump's foreign tariffs on aluminum and steel.

The move has drawn criticism from the president and questions from customers at Electric City Harley Davidson in Dickson City.

"It's actually been a whirlwind. I'm getting questions from friends, family, customers, everybody," said Electric City Harley Davidson manager Justin Hunold.

Hunold says U.S. Harleys will still be made in the U.S. In fact, the company has been manufacturing overseas for years. They'll just be doing more of it now.

All the Harleys at Electric City are made about an hour and a half away in York, Pennsylvania, and the folks here don't expect that to ever change.

"Hey, you can still go to the factory and see maybe your bike coming off the line at some point, and this is really to service the overseas customers. I mean, for instance, if you buy a Ford truck, it's built in Toronto. If you buy a Chevy truck, it might be built in Mexico, and Toyotas are built in Tennessee, so same principles apply. It's just in an industry that hasn't seen it before," Hunold said.

Still, it's causing John Clement of Union Dale to question the brand he's loved for most of his life.

"Harley's saving the tariff cost, is what they're doing. I can understand that, but I just don't want to see jobs lost over it.

Harley hasn't said how the move from Kansas City to Thailand will affect jobs, but the folks at Electric City Harley say they actually expect more jobs at the manufacturing facility in York since some of the production will be moved there.

1 Comment

  • J (@ds18301)

    The greatest irony of the trump disaster is the pain it is going to cause those to whom he made his biggest “promises”. I think the momentary “joy” his base feels over now being free to express their vile r*cism and hate is not going to sustain them standing in line at the unemployment and food stamp offices. Ask the Carrier and Harley workers, the soybean farmers facing ruin over tariffs, the farmers in California with food rotting on the vine. Forget about getting health care as this has been destroyed, while this week legislation is being crafted to destroy Medicaire and Social Security (someone has to pay for the billionaire’s tax cuts — and that’s you!). Hang on to your wallets folks, you asked for it and the s*itstorm is just beginning. And the trumps, Koch Bros, the Rupert Murdochs just laugh and laugh at you for voting against your own interests.

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