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