Harley Outlines Coronavirus Strategy, Delays Bike Releases
Since COVID-19 concerns reached critical mass in the US in March, Harley has responded like many other companies have by restricting its travels and closing down facilities that host high concentrations of the general public, namely the Harley-Davidson Museum, as well as thoroughly sanitizing its sites of operations. It has taken more proactive steps in combating the coronavirus’ effects on the economy and specifically the motorcycle industry with its United We Will Ride community relief efforts and Harley-Davidson Foundation donations.
These measures to reduce the pandemic’s impact also extend to The Motor Company’s current employees and potential hires. There will be a hiring freeze in effect for all of 2020 in addition to reductions in salaries. Current salaried employees will continue to work from home. Global manufacturing is suspended in compliance with local/state/federal ordinances and suggestions, with plans to eventually restart production on the table.
Besides customers and employees, H-D has made attempts at keeping their dealership network afloat during these pressing times. This includes extending credit on display bikes that have been financed and offering discounts on GM products, on top of promoting government help to be directed toward dealers.
Harley’s current COVID-19 strategy also comes with a major course correction. The manufacturer is set to release 2021 model-year bikes beginning in the first quarter of 2021, in lieu of the usual fourth quarter release.