Harley-Davidson Announces Temporary Halt on Production: Here’s Why

by Chris Haney

On Thursday, American motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson announced that the company is suspending production and shipments for the next two weeks. The manufacturer revealed that the suspension is due to a parts shortage related to supply chain issues. As of now, Harley-Davidson is still producing and shipping its electric vehicles within the company’s LiveWire division. Yet the work stoppage is impacting more than just customers waiting on their motorcycles. In fact, stockholders took a hit this morning when the Milwaukee-based company’s stock plummeted. During premarket trading today, the motorcycle manufacturer’s stock dropped 9% to $32.51 per share.

What to Know

  • Harley-Davidson is suspending production and shipments of its fleet of motorcycles for two weeks
  • The company is facing supply chain issues leading to a lack of bike parts used for their vehicles
  • The manufacturer’s electric vehicle company LiveWire will continue production and shipments
  • The news led to Harley’s stock dropping 9% to $32.51 on Thursday morning

Harley-Davidson Shares Statement on Production Suspension

Recently, a third-party supplier informed Harley-Davidson about a regulatory compliance matter. The issue was in relation to the supplier’s component parts, which led to the motorcycle manufacturer’s decision to suspend production temporarily.

The halt on producing bikes will affect operations at both the companies production plants in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, and York, Pennsylvania. In a statement, Harley officials shared that they found out about the supply issue late on Tuesday. Therefore they made “this decision, taken out of an abundance of caution,” the statement says. The company added that the decision “is based on information provided by a third-party supplier to Harley-Davidson late on Tuesday (5/17) concerning a regulatory compliance matter relating to the supplier’s component part.”

Additionally, a representative for Harley spoke to a local Pennsylvania news station near the company’s York facility. The spokesperson shared that “the company is committed to finding a solution and resolving this situation in a matter of urgency.”

This isn’t the first time Harley-Davidson decided to stop production in recent years. In March 2020, as the Covid-19 pandemic began, the company temporarily suspended all work on their motorcycles at each of their U.S. manufacturing facilities. During that stoppage, it lasted from March 18 to March 29. At the time, a spokesperson said the suspension was to “help support employee health and further bolster coronavirus containment efforts.”

Last month in April, Harley-Davidson reported a drop in the company’s first-quarter profits. Higher costs and chip shortages led to tighter margins for the motorcycle manufacturer. Previously, the company also admitted that supply chain issues impacted motorcycle sales in North America. Issues with production resulted in lower dealer inventories, which meant lower sales across the nation.