Harley-Davidson Will Close Its Kansas City Assembly Plant | KCUR

Harley-Davidson Will Close Its Kansas City Assembly Plant

Jan 30, 2018

Harley-Davidson has announced it will close its Kansas City assembly plant.
Credit Harley-Davidson

Motorcycle company Harley-Davidson is closing its assembly plant in the Northland, which employs about 800 people. Layoffs will start later this year and there'll be full closure by the third quarter of 2019, according to a news release.

The Kansas City plant's operations are being consolidated into its York, Pennsylvania, final assembly plant, the company says in a financial report released Tuesday. Harley-Davidson plans to add 450 jobs out east.

"This decision was made after very careful consideration of our manufacturing footprint and the appropriate capacity given the current business environment," the news release says, adding later it was "a decision we did not take lightly" and that the company is grateful to the workers "and the Kansas City community for their many years of support and their service to our dealers and our riders."

The Kansas City plant employs about 800 full-time, "casual" and contract workers, the news release says. It's unclear what the local impact will be. The Milwaukee-based company says closing the Kansas City plant will cost between $170 million and $200 million. 

"The decision to consolidate our final assembly plants was made after very careful consideration of our manufacturing footprint and the appropriate capacity given the current business environment. Our Kansas City manufacturing assembly operations will leave a legacy of safety, quality, collaboration and manufacturing leadership," Harley-Davidson President and Chief Executive Officer Matt Levatich says in the company report. 

Harley-Davidson's sales fell in 2017, a continuing trend for the company in recent years, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Kyle Palmer is KCUR's morning newscaster. You can follow him on Twitter