Harley-Davidson to lay off staff

The Harley-Davidson merchandising division is to lose 40 staff as part of a restructuring exercise

Harley-Davidson LiveWire

HARLEY-DAVIDSON is to lose 40 staff from it’s merchandising department in Wisconsin in Milwaukee Reuters has reported.

Reuters also reports that the news comes from somebody within the business that is a ‘company official with knowledge of the matter.’ In a response that was emailed to Reuters, Harley-Davidson did confirm the layoffs but didn’t share further details. Harley-Davidson did confirm it was reorganizing the division to manage its business with “focus and discipline”.

The news comes amid a tough time for the brand, as they battle withering sales, an aging customer base, and ever-tightening trade tariffs eat into sales and profits, at home and abroad. It’s estimated that H-D’s sales in the US account for half of their global total, with merchandising accounting for about 5% of last year’s revenue.

While 5% doesn’t sound like a massive amount, when you consider that Harley-Davidson’s revenue in 2018 was reported to be in the region of $5.7b, that makes it a very healthy sum indeed – more than some motorcycle manufacturers total turnover

Harley-Davidson – down, but not out!

Just last week we reported that Harley’s Q3 sales were falling again, and it looks like it may be some time before the turnaround begins. With new models, like the Livewire, soon to hit dealers, and a new design ethos and models incoming, a turnaround is possible but sadly for the Milwaukee maker, it’s going to be years not months before it happens.

What do you think of Harley’s chances in the coming years? Is a fight back possible, or is it time for the brand to step aside?

Let us know in the comments below.