Harley-Davidson says that it has been assessing the COVID-19 situation since January. The MoCo says it has been taking proactive measures in the interest of the health and safety of its employees.
COVID-19 concerns suspend production
But its most recent measure is the temporary suspending of the majority of production at its U.S. manufacturing facilities. The work stoppage started Friday evening March 18th and will continue through at least March 29th. Harley’s York Vehicle Operations in Pennsylvania as well as the Wisconsin facilities at Tomahawk Operations and Pilgrim Road Powertrain Operations.
One Pilgrim Road Powertrain Operations facility employee has tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus.
According to Harley’s acting CEO Jochen Zeitz:
“We recognize the unprecedented nature of this global crisis. In order to best support our employees and following the social distancing guidance issued by public health authorities, we are temporarily suspending the majority of production at our U.S. manufacturing facilities. We will continue to monitor the situation and take necessary steps to prioritize employee health and safety.”
Harley says it is continuing to monitoring the COVID-19 situation and will continue to make additional adjustments as necessary in accordance with World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The majority of Harley’s U.S. production employees will be on temporary layoffs but will still retain their medical benefits. During this production pause, the company says that it will continue its “deep cleaning” and disinfecting its production areas and common areas as per their coronavirus response protocol.
On Monday, March 16th, Harley-Davidson made the decision to have its Milwaukee-area headquarters and Production Development Center employees, except those who have business-critical roles that must be done onsite, to work remotely through at least the end of March.
Harley says it is working with its dealers to assess individual impacts and encourage dealers to follow public health guidelines. As a final measure, Harley is canceling all sponsored events until “mid-April”.
Harley-Davidson joins several other manufacturers that have temporarily suspended production. For more information on those manufacturers, go to Yamaha Suspends Production in Italy and France, and Ducati, Moto Morini, KTM, Brembo All Suspend Production.