Members of Harley-Davidson Owners Group
Members of Harley-Davidson Owners Group(Photo: The Quint)
  • 1. Why Harley-Davidson plans to shift some production abroad
  • 2. What Trump said about Harley-Davidson
  • 3. Trump’s tariff spat with India
  • 4. The road ahead for Harley-Davidson
Trump vs Harley-Davidson: Why It’s Tough to Make Bikes in America

Think American heritage and Harley-Davidson is one of the most iconic brands that comes to mind. So it is definitely a matter of concern to US President Donald Trump when the motorcycle maker threatens to shift some of its production abroad, because it has become tough to make in America.

Why has it become tough for Harley-Davidson to continue making bikes in Milwaukee, Wisconsin? The problem lies in protectionist tariffs that the US has imposed on raw materials. And this has also got its allies to impose retaliatory tariffs, which just can’t be good for business overall. We explain how this affects the bike maker on its home turf and abroad.

  • 1. Why Harley-Davidson plans to shift some production abroad

    Listen to the podcast:

    US President Donald Trump is trying to encourage more companies to manufacture their products in the US, and is hence raising tariffs on imports into the country. The trouble is this has got its allies to impose retaliatory tariffs, matching that of the US. This has made it difficult for US companies to export their products too.

    In mid June 2018, the US announced it was raising tariffs on steel imports from Europe, Canada and Mexico to 25 percent, and tariffs on aluminium imports to 10 percent. Earlier tariffs on these commodities were under 3 percent.

    In retaliation, the European Union imposed a 25 percent tariff hike on US-made motorcycles, going from 6 percent to 31 percent. Europe is Harley-Davidson’s biggest market outside the US, with the motorcycle maker selling 40,000 units there last year.

    Hence to offset that, Harley-Davidson planned to shift some of its production, especially for the European market to Thailand.

    Members of Harley-Davidson Owners Group
    The new 2018 edition Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
    (Photo: The Quint)
PreviousNext

Follow our Car and Bike section for more stories.

Also Watch