Fact Check: Did Harley-Davidson Shut Down The Kansas City Plant And Opened One In Thailand Because Of The New Steel Tariffs?

It’s shocking how people believe anything and everything on the internet! I know it sounds ironic coming from a “guy on the internet”. However, I like to believe you guys consider us more than just “people on the internet”.  At Life Of a Rider, we endeavor to be a credible and authoritative source for whatever information we publish. And as part of our constant strive to bring out the truth of the “biker lifestyle” to all people, and true biker news to our biker brothers, every time we see a fake news about bikes, we have this urge to bust that bubble.

 

And Harley-Davidson closing down its Kansas City Plant and opening up one in Thailand is just that.

 

It’s a stupid unfounded opinion passed off as fact by “wannabe” economics, finance, industry, and motorcycle experts. A little research is all it takes to understand how none of those two decisions by Harley-Davidson have anything to do with the new steel and aluminum tariffs being imposed by President Trump.

In fact, these two decisions don’t have much to do with each other themselves!

 

Harley-Davidson has been facing declining sales since years. The brand is in deep trouble. It was high-time they pulled up their socks when it came to business, or they wouldn’t be around much longer to continue making the bikes we all love so much! Harley-Davidson and its owners take great pride in the fact that the brand is an “American legend”. The fact that these are “American bikes” and are a symbol of all good things that America represents!

 

Harley-Davidson has been fairly successful internationally because of its “American” branding.

 

However, doing business in the international business is no easy task. You’ve to deal with a whole bunch of social, legal, and economic factors. Harley-Davidson has aggressively marketed the fact that Harleys are “American-made” bikes. However, that’s only for the Harleys in the US, and that’s something that’s true mostly in the US only. Developing countries, particularly those in Asia, have high import tariffs for vehicles manufactured in developed countries. These tariffs, combined with the transportation and other costs, can often double, even triple the price of a Harley-Davidson.

 

At that price point, Harley-Davidsons become a niche luxury product.

 

At such price points, the sales numbers aren’t just flattering enough to keep its investors happy. This is why in the past decade or so, Harley-Davidson has been opening plants in foreign countries to serve the needs of those countries. They aren’t moving American jobs overseas. They’re just trying to make money, which they wouldn’t if they continued to make bikes for those markets in the US.

 

And that is why Harley-Davidson decided to open a plant in Thailand.

 

The plant in Thailand will primarily cater to the markets in Thailand, China, India, and the neighboring countries. Harley-Davidsons sold in the US, are STILL made in US. So, Harley-Davidson isn’t really the “money-hungry-doesn’t-care-about-American-jobs” evil corporate some people make the company out to be. They’re just a profit-oriented American company.

 

As for the closing down of the Kansas City Plant, that’s something Harley-Davidson HAD to do!

 

And it has nothing to do with the new tariffs being imposed by President Trump on steel and aluminum imports. Harley-Davidson announced the decision long before President Trump even talked about imposing these tariffs. Harley’s declining sales and shrinking profits meant that the company needed to cut down its costs.

 

And one of the best ways to do it is to streamline its production and assembly.

 

Harley-Davidson sales of the day don’t justify for the company to keep running an entire plant. And that’s why the brand decided to shut down the Kansas City plant to cut down on the excess production capacity and the associated costs. The production capacity from the Kansas City plant that IS actually needed by the company is being shifted to their plant in York, where they WILL be creating about 400 new jobs! Here’s an interesting video from Insane Throttle on the subject you may want to check out!

 

Please DO share this article with your biker and non-biker buddies so the lies stop spreading!

So people stop believing the lies they’re being told to malign the American legend. So people stop believing the lies that President Trump is hurting Harley-Davidson! We stand for the truth, and we urge you to join us in the fight against fake news!

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