UPDATE, June 6, 2022: According to the Wall Street Journal, an unnamed company spokesperson told the paper that Harley-Davidson is resuming production of its motorcycles as of June 6, 2022. This comes after the company announced a two-week halt to production on May 19.
The company has not made an official statement of its own regarding this news. So far, it has also not offered any further details about the regulatory compliance issue that it originally cited as the cause of the production shutdown.
The temporary halt to production has lasted a few days longer than the initial two weeks mentioned in the May 19, 2022 official announcement. The resumption of production is said to be happening at both the Menomenee Falls, Wisconsin, and York, Pennsylvania, plants that were previously shut down.
Original story follows.
On May 19, 2022, Harley-Davidson stated that it is officially suspending all non-LiveWire vehicle assembly and shipments for the next two weeks due to supply chain issues. This affects operations both in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, and York, Pennsylvania.
In the statement, Harley states that “this decision, taken out of an abundance of caution, 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.”
The statement does not give further information about the exact nature of said issue, nor regarding which supplier and/or part is involved. In any case, it’s clearly something serious enough to result in what will be at least a two-week production halt.
Harley-Davidson's statement says it is suspending vehicle assembly and shipments for two weeks, but when the local York, Pennsylvania news station Fox43 spoke to Harley officials, they reported that closures at that plant would last “for the unforeseeable future.” The details aren’t completely clear here, and we don’t know how many employees are affected by this closure, nor for how long. The Fox43 report is dated May 18, 2022, while Harley-Davidson's official statement—the one specifying a two-week closure—is dated May 19.
The stock market responded to this news with a 9 percent drop in Harley’s stock price prior to the markets opening on Thursday, May 19, 2022. Supply chain issues have been a problem for the Motor Company, as they have been for all motorcycle OEMs and plenty of other businesses across multiple industries.
This isn’t the first time Harley-Davidson has made the difficult decision to halt production temporarily in recent time. Back in March, 2020, the Motor Company temporarily suspended all its production at its U.S. manufacturing facilities between March 18 and March 29, with the goal of “help[ing to] support employee health and further bolster coronavirus containment efforts.” Like other companies, Harley planned to monitor the situation and adjust as global pandemic mitigation efforts demanded.
As and when we have more information regarding this 2022 temporary closure due to supply chain issues, we will be sure to keep you updated.