Harley-Davidson Layoffs Imminent Amidst Declining Sales

Oct 26, 2015

The headlines have suggested that the third quarter of the fiscal year was not a bright one for Milwaukee's Harley-Davidson.

"Their sales dropped in the last quarter 1.4% and the biggest area where they're dropping is in the U.S. They seem to be struggling to convince their main demographic to buy more motorcycles," Olivia Barrow says. She's been covering developments at Harley-Davidson as a manufacturing reporter for the Milwaukee Business Journal.

Sales and profits were down considerably, and Harley Davidson announced this month that it will lay off around 250 people as part of a significant reorganization plan that company leaders believe is needed to turn around the company's fortunes.

The third-quarter report also noted it would reallocate $70 million of its current expenses into new investments in marketing and product development.

While American sales are down, Harley is still appealing to the overseas market. Most notably the smaller Street 750 and 500 motorcycle are top-sellers in India and similar markets where bikes are used as a primary mode of transportation. These smaller, cheaper bikes are now in the works to be marketed to new audiences in the U.S. to bring sales back up.