Harley-Davidson to Cut 1,100 Jobs

Profits fell in 58% in Q4

Harley-Davidson said on Jan. 23 it would slash 1,100 jobs and production capacity as profits tumbled following reduced sales amid a deepening recession. The job cuts will be made over two years.

"We obviously need to make adjustments to address the current volume declines," said Harley-Davidson's chief executive Jim Ziemer. "But we are also determined to do that in a way that will make us more competitive for the long term."

The Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based company suffered a 58% reduction in profit to $77.8 million for the final quarter of 2008 from the same period a year earlier. Worldwide retail sales of the iconic motorcycle maker fell 13.1% while domestic sales were down 19.6%.

For the full-year 2008, net profit fell 30% to $654.7 million and sales dropped 2% to $5.6 billion.

"We reduced our production levels prudently in 2008, helping our dealers achieve lower inventory levels," said Ziemer, "and we're going to show similar discipline in 2009."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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