Harley-Davidson Building A Factory In Thailand To Serve Its International Customers. United Steelworkers (USW) Strongly Condemns.

The Milwaukee-based company said that this new factory will not affect its U.S. operations. “Asia Pacific is a growth market for Harley-Davidson because of its expanding economy, growing middle class, positive consumer spending trends and increasing market demand for larger motorcycle sales,” a spokesman for the company said.

But United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard released the following statement. The USW represents members at Harley’s plants in Wisconsin and Missouri. “Harley-Davidson has been the crown jewel of American manufacturing. It’s an iconic brand that represents true American spirit. Management’s decision to offshore production is a slap in the face to the American worker and to hundreds of thousands of Harley riders across the country”

“This decision puts in jeopardy one of the few remaining genuine U.S. brands. Our members have been true partners with this company, working in good times and bad to make great products that fostered its growth and success. We remember the U.S. government stepping up in the 1980s to save Harley-Davidson and contributing to its revival.

Offshoring production is the wrong path to prosperity. It puts in jeopardy the success that has propelled Harley over the years: It is a brand of excellence that enables riders to confidently know that they are joining a special community of enthusiasts. Harley-Davidson should abandon their offshoring plans and expand their operations here in America.”

29 Responses to “Harley-Davidson Building A Factory In Thailand To Serve Its International Customers. United Steelworkers (USW) Strongly Condemns.”

  1. 1 Dantes9thcircle May 24th, 2017 at 8:26 am

    … and yet the ‘ so called ‘ president still claims the MC to be the most ‘ Americun ‘ [ spelling intentional ] of companies aa they progressively shift more and more manufacturing overseas leaving only final assembly on our shores .

    Which is to say much like the Chaos in Chief : the MC is a sham . But hey ! Make American something again .

  2. 2 highrpm May 24th, 2017 at 8:38 am

    usual business school b.s. globalist bastards.

  3. 3 fuji May 24th, 2017 at 8:41 am

    Now we can call Harleys true rice burnners

  4. 4 NoH2oh May 24th, 2017 at 9:09 am

    Not sure why some have to inject politics here at every opportunity…..

    That being said, if they do build this plant, we will see offshore made HD’s being sold in the US.
    Just ask Triumph Bonnie riders where their beloved Brit bike is made.
    HD tested the waters with the Street.

  5. 5 Jim May 24th, 2017 at 9:18 am

    This article is poorly written. It fails to mention that the factory would be just like the one in Brazil. In Brazil, bikes come in almost fully assembled (by US workers) and the final assembly of certain parts happens there (to avoid high tariffs).

  6. 6 Mark hill May 24th, 2017 at 10:10 am

    So according to this article putting tariffs on overseas goods works to bring manufacturing jobs
    To the country that imposes the tariffs

    It works for Brazil and it works for Thailand

    Once we get used to Harley made in Thailand, we should be happy with lowered price for American buyers and increases in stock price of hd, because better profits for HD

  7. 7 DHBM May 24th, 2017 at 10:48 am

    80% of the bike is made overseas anyways.
    Big Deal?

    Its almost impossible to manufacture stateside and make a profit, especially when McDonald’s workers want $5/hr.

  8. 8 Greeko May 24th, 2017 at 11:00 am

    Harley is already manufacturing in India. But Thailand will be much bigger, manufacturing for all Asia. Yes, tariffs exist to discourage importing bikes and pushing local manufacturing. Local labor being cheapit it’s a great solution for Harley. Think of Apple. American brain, China production. Nobody complaining. Nobody will complain when all Harleys will be built abroad for a cost letting Americans afford their bikes. It’s one world. Workers. train, adjust, move, change. Anyway, most manufacturing jobs are going to be replaced by robots. Don’t fight destiny. You gonna lose.

  9. 9 Greeko May 24th, 2017 at 11:06 am

    DHBM. You are wrong. Thailand will receive parts, nothing partly assembled. Assembly only in Thailand.

  10. 10 Marcus May 24th, 2017 at 11:45 am

    Per the MoCo the Thai plant will initially employ about 100 people assembling knock down kits just like India and Brazil. Where it goes from there is anybody’s guess.

    Harley Davidsons, like US made autos, are ASSEMBLED in the US which allows them to claim that it is made in the USA. However, as most have noted, the parts and components come from all over the world.

    Like India, this is a tariff play. Thailand has about a 60% tariff on motorcycles. Some neighboring Asian countries are even higher. Assembling in Thailand and selling in neighboring Asian countries will all but eliminate those tariffs for ALL of the Asian countries.

    Ironically the TPP would have eliminated the need for this assembly plant. An interview with Levatich from about a year ago before the election:


    In world trade nothing is simple.

  11. 11 Jeff May 24th, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    For H-D to compete internationally they have to be able to manufacture motorcycles in country or at least in the region. Its not cost effective to ship a motorcycle from the US. It also allows them to make product adjustments per region at the factory instead of trying to do that locally. This is being way overblown.

  12. 12 GeezerRider May 24th, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    I’m not a fan of HDMC’s current executive team at all. Some comments so far are misleading.

    The components on the Harleys we buy in the US are mostly made in the US. EG: Made in the USA – Frames, engines, transmissions, ECMs, wiring, sheetmetal (tanks, fenders), Tour-paks, saddlebags, fairings, windshields, tires, batteries, seats, etc.

    Every country is unique as to how they tax imports. Most charge high taxes on complete vehicles. Some, like India allowed major components to be shipped to India for assembly in the first few years. That was a temporary reprieve. India’s goal is have as close to 100% production in India as possible to benefit their economy and citizen employment.

    Lastly, I doubt Levatich told Trump the plan was to open a plant in Thailand. Levatich, I’m sure, conveniently kept the focus on what HDMC does here in the US. And, if Trump gets his way on heavily taxing goods sold by US companies, but made overseas I doubt we will be buying Harleys made in Brazil, India or Thailand. That’s a fair game plan for the US, you and me.

  13. 13 bigalyts May 24th, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    Why don’t H/D send 20% of their Work Force to Thailand? To relocate their Employees and then train new ones for to replace the Work force that went to Thailand sounds like a amicable solution. i am sure that sending a very experienced portion of American workers would be nice to see quality Motorcycles being Made in Thailand! Win/Win for H//D Employees & H/D for the Branding.

  14. 14 Highrider May 24th, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    For Harley to complete, how about raising the currency of these countries, the Walmart shoppers of America will not like it.
    As for all the Harley bashing and Trump Haters , the people spoke AND will speak again, we aren’t giving up on this country that easily. Now there is nothing wrong with these other countries , but they ain’t the USA. and never will be. too bad your liberty to run your hateful ideas is supported by the US constitution.
    Oh well

  15. 15 Chop May 24th, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    WELCOME to the real World…..The american Dream is just that, a Dream. To be honest more than half Americans would not even know where Thailand even is, especially those who don’t except that Harley has be using overseas parts for decades.

  16. 16 MSP Dan May 24th, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    “Harleys are 50% foreign parts anyways” is a myth that sprung up about the time the “metric cruisers” started to appear. “Made In USA” and “Assembled In USA” are two entirely different animals. To label a product “Made In USA,” that product must be of very high percentage domestic content.

    I’m well aware of Showa forks and I’m sure someone will want to tell me all about the (insert part here) they just bought from their local dealer that says “Made In Malaysia” right on the box. Sad but true… but what many fail to realize is the fact that replacement parts are often made overseas but the parts that went on the bike new, as it came down the assembly line, were indeed made in America.

    That’s not because H-D is some great corporate citizen… it’s because they have to be if H-D wants to keep applying the “Made In USA” label. We should be touting that fact and encouraging people to buy American instead of propagating a myth that all but encourages them to buy foreign instead.

  17. 17 sbashir May 25th, 2017 at 12:48 am

    Yes, my 1986 Softail had a Keihin carburetor. The speedometer may have been made in Japan. Some newer bikes have Showa shocks and Brembo brakes. Why make a big deal about it? The most important parts are made in the USA, just like a KTM is made in Austria even though it uses parts from several European countries.

  18. 18 NoH2oh May 25th, 2017 at 6:04 am

    Except for the KTM’s made in India……

  19. 19 Jeff Duval May 25th, 2017 at 7:11 am

    Silicon Valley invented the 21st Century and generated trillions of very American US Dollars the world over. I am European and I aint complaining! That’s the real world, why would I ?! 🙂

  20. 20 Pat h May 25th, 2017 at 8:19 am

    Geezer rider and msp dan summed it up best, all the parrots mimicking the other dopes don’t have a clue they repeat what they hear and don’t have a leg to stand on to back up there comments,

  21. 21 Shanedrive May 25th, 2017 at 8:54 am

    Geezer & MSP Dan—-yup. Agree. On a side note, My 76 FLH w/side hack really IS 100% american tho. Had the ol’ girl now for 28 yrs. Hydra glide forks ‘n all! 🙂

  22. 22 Mark hill May 25th, 2017 at 10:05 am

    To succeed in the new global economy you need to put high tariffs on imports and negotiate low tariffs on your exports
    The countries that do that will have their economy’s grow
    The country that does not will see its manufacturing infrastructure crumble

  23. 23 morpion May 25th, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    next one is polaris (indian),,,,to do the same,,,

  24. 24 Chris May 26th, 2017 at 9:02 am

    How do you simultaneously “negotiate” low tariffs on exports while slamming the door shut on your trading partner’s goods that they want to send your way? It’s a reasonable enough idea, but not one that is realistically executable.

    Build a quality product and price it right and your goods will sell. Getting the price right often times means setting up knock down shops overseas. If foreign workers are employed, they just might buy American goods.

  25. 25 MSP Dan May 27th, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    Many, if not most, foreign markets manipulate their currencies to be artificially weak against the US dollar. This makes their goods cheap to us and our goods insanely expensive to them.

    The ONLY way we’ll ever get our manufacturing back is if we quit buying foreign goods. And it can be done; It isn’t easy, but it can be done.

  26. 26 patrick de gregoriis May 28th, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    better call Donald…

  27. 27 hark May 29th, 2017 at 8:00 am

    Hundreds of lay offs last year and more this year, something stinks about this…Harley built in the USA had so much pride for all of us. We have all heard the saying Houston We Have A problem! How long will Harley last in Milwaukee?

  28. 28 Mike May 29th, 2017 at 10:05 am

    Discussion !

    How does an American motorcycle compete in the world market? Can a company pay union wages and compete in the global economy? What steps would you take to keep a company profitable and viable in the stock market? When the baby boomers are gone , why would a millennial brought up in the world market by a expensive American bike? Millenials have little to no loyalty to American made.
    I would like to hear a positive discussion.

  29. 29 MSP Dan May 30th, 2017 at 10:10 am


    Some manufacturers keep telling us that union wages are the problem but if that’s true, how come the vehicles built down South in non-union plants cost just as much, if not more, than their union-built counterparts? Think about that. Lower wages & benefits for our fellow American workers helped NO one other than the greedy bosses. Yes, it’s those bosses’ right to be greedy but it’s our right not to be led around by the nose, ignorant to what’s really going on around us. It’s our right to simply look at the actual facts and see the actual, real-world results.

    “Trickle down” has never trickled down and it’s never going to. It’s based entirely on the premise that when given all these concessions and tax breaks and whatever else they can dream up, the bosses will CHOOSE to allow all that extra money to trickle down as opposed to putting it in their own pockets. So far, it’s all gone into their own pockets, with the grand promise that it’s going to start trickling down “any day now.” It’s been nearly 40 years… “any day now” has come and gone several times over.

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Cyril Huze