Harley-Davidson To Move More Production Oversees Amid US-EU Trade Tensions

Harley bikes

"Increasing worldwide production to alleviate the European Union tariff burden isn't the company's preference, but represents the only sustainable option to make its motorcycles accessible to customers in the European Union and maintain a viable business in Europe", Harley-Davidson said in the filing.

The company said it will raise investment in its global plants, but did not say which ones.

Motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson is going on a road trip.

The business has seen its products hit with punitive import levies by the European Union as it retaliates against a 25pc tariff the USA placed on imports of steel and 10pc on aluminium.

Retaliation by Brussels targeted producers in Republican states where Trump draws much of his support - including bourbon whiskey, Levi's jeans - and is expected to raise the prices of USA goods worth up to €2.8bn (£2.5bn).

The company said: "Harley-Davidson maintains a strong commitment to US-based manufacturing which is valued by riders globally".

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The shares dropped 2.7 percent to $43 in early US trading.

Harley-Davidson Inc. sold nearly 40,000 motorcycles in the Europe Union past year, generating revenue second only to the United States, according to the Milwaukee company.

According to Harley-Davidson the tariffs have added, on average $2,200 (£1,660) to each bike exported to the European Union from the US.

This is the first announcement of a shift of production outside of the U.S.in reaction to U.S. President Donald Trump's trade war, and it follows a profit warning from carmaker Daimler, which said its factories in the U.S. would be hit by Chinese retaliation. For that reason, Harley said it would absorb the additional costs. Harley is not raising prices for customers.

It said the cost for the remainder of 2018 would amount to $30m to $45m.

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