Harley-Davidson considering moving bike production out of WisconsinWisconsin News
- Politicians sprung into action yesterday, after hearing that Milwaukee’s Harley-Davidson might consider moving some of its motorcycle production outside Wisconsin.
MILWAUKEE - Politicians sprung into action yesterday, after hearing that Milwaukee’s Harley-Davidson might consider moving some of its motorcycle production outside Wisconsin.
The recession has been rough on Harley – and the company said it would have to cut 54-million dollars in costs from its plants in Metro Milwaukee and Tomahawk. It expects to make its decisions by this fall.
The governor’s office says Jim Doyle will work with Harley to make sure it stays in Wisconsin and remains competitive. Republicans pointed fingers. Assembly Minority Leader Jeff Fitzgerald (R-Horicon) said Democrats passed a tax on corporate flagships that cost Harley $22-and-a-half million during the worst recession in generations. Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker said Wisconsin’s tax policies are driving jobs away, while Doyle and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett gave out tax credits to bring in a company from Spain.
Barrett, the Democrats’ main candidate for governor, retorted that the state needs “adult leadership” and not someone who criticizes those who bring in jobs to score “cheap points.” Republican gubernatorial hopeful Mark Neumann said he asked Harley to wait on its decisions until the state elects a new governor who can create a better business environment.
Company spokesman Bob Klein says Harley prefers to stay in Wisconsin, but they’ll explore other U.S. sites if necessary. Union leaders fear a repeat of what happened last year at Harley’s plant in York Pennsylvania – where half the jobs were cut as part of a promise not to move away.