MILWAUKEE – After laying off 140 workers at U.S. plants in late June, Harley-Davidson today announced further employee cutbacks that will result in 700 jobs being eliminated by year’s end.
”Significant changes are necessary, and we must move in new directions,” said company chairman, president and CEO Jochen Zeitz in a press release.
Under Zeitz’s direction, Harley-Davidson is attempting to “rewire” the company to meet the current marketplace.
“The Rewire is progressing very well and substantial work is being done to eliminate complexity and get Harley-Davidson on a path to winning. Our new operating model is simpler, more focused and enables faster decisions across the entire company,” said Zeitz.
“We’ve taken a hard look at our entire set up, our spending, and how work is getting done, to align our operating model, structure and processes. We are building a strong foundation to drive a high-performance organization in the future.”
Keys To Reviving Harley-Davidson
The release listed key elements in getting the company on track. They included:
- Enhance core strengths and better balance expansion into new spaces.
- Prioritize the markets that matter.
- Reset product launches and product lineup for simplicity and maximum impact.
- Build the parts and accessories and general merchandise businesses to full potential.
- Adjust and align the organizational structure, cost structure and operating model to reduce complexity and drive efficiency to set Harley-Davidson up for stability and success.
Harley-Davidson did not provide any details today on the additional job cuts. The company has been suffering from severe sales declines in recent years as its baby-boomer customer base ages out of riding and the lost riders are not being replaced by younger riders.
In announcing the layoffs, the company also reported that Chief Financial Officer John Olin, who has worked for Harley-Davidson for 17 years, has left that role.
Worldwide, Harley-Davidson has 6,000 employees, according to the “Journal Sentinel” newspaper, making today’s announced layoffs significant.
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