With sales plunging in the US, Harley-Davidson is planning to slash 500 jobs this year. These layoffs are part of a restructuring strategy being implemented by the CEO of the American motorcycle manufacturing company.
The Company’s chief financial officer (CFO) will leave with immediate effect, and his place will be taken by the treasurer, who will serve as the interim CFO.
The falling sales is not only attributed to the pandemic and resultant economic slump. The baby boomer population in the US, which is the motorcycle manufacturer’s biggest market, is ageing, and therefore, the demand for bikes has fallen. As a result, production had to be cut down. Earlier, 140 jobs were slashed in June 2020 at the Harley-Davidson factories in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Jochen Zeitz, who became CEO early this year, is known to have helped saved Puma from the edge of bankruptcy. He is know focussing on making Harley-Davidson a more agile and lean business, by reorganizing product lines, leveraging the Company’s core strengths and concentrating on money-making markets.
A five-year plan is taking shape at the Company for revival of sales. Globally, about 700 employees may be rendered jobless. This restructuring is expected to be completed by December 2020 and will result in extra restructuring charges next year.
Interestingly, Harley-Davidson was one of two major American motorcycle companies to survive the Great Depression.