USW Condemns Harley-Davidson’s Plan to Manufacture Motorcycles in Thailand

PITTSBURGH, PA – May 23, 2017 – (Motor Sports Newswire) –  United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard released the following statement after the New York Times published a story that Harley Davidson will be opening a production facility in Thailand. The USW represents members at Harley’s plants in Wisconsin and Missouri.

“Harley-Davidson has been the crown jewel of American manufacturing. It’s an iconic brand that represents true American spirit. Management’s decision to offshore production is a slap in the face to the American worker and to hundreds of thousands of Harley riders across the country.

“This decision puts in jeopardy one of the few remaining genuine U.S. brands.

“Our members have been true partners with this company, working in good times and bad to make great products that fostered its growth and success. We remember the U.S. government stepping up in the 1980s to save Harley-Davidson and contributing to its revival.

“Harley owners and prospective buyers across the globe want to continue to enjoy machines made in America that provide quality rides and unique experiences. Harley’s potential outsourcing of production puts all of this at risk.

“Offshoring production is the wrong path to prosperity. It puts in jeopardy the success that has propelled Harley over the years: It is a brand of excellence that enables riders to confidently know that they are joining a special community of enthusiasts.

“Harley-Davidson should abandon their offshoring plans and expand their operations here in America.”

The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors. For more information:

CONTACT: Wayne Ranick (412) 562-2444

Source: United Steelworkers (USW)



  1. The reason for building in Thailand is to expand their international business, and to better serve the Southeast Asian (ASEAN) & China markets it only makes good business sense to have an assembly plant IN that region. Unless the USW is able to magically transport complete motorcycles in a timely and cost effective manner that they have for some reason chosen to keep to themselves…

  2. What Mr. Girard fails to mention in his condemnation is that the plant is a knock down plant. That means most of the components are manufactured in the United States by his Union members and then shipped into Thailand for final assembly. This is done to avoid the outrageous import tariffs imposed by those countries and allows a lot more riders to afford the pleasure of riding a Harley-Davidson. He should concentrate on his business and not Harley-Davidson’s.

  3. There are literally millions of customers in Asia that want to purchase Harley’s product, but it is priced out of reach by import tariffs. Producing in those countries, limited as they may be, makes H-D more competitive and profitable. That assures American jobs if most of the components are American made then assembled in the market country.

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