PA Gov. Fights to Keep Harley from Relocating
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Harley-Davidson Inc. is reportedly considering Kansas City and three other towns for a new assembly plant.
The Kansas City Star reported on its Web site that company officials met with city and economic development leaders Thursday about locating a second plant near the existing Harley plant north of town.
Harley officials said the other cities being considered are in Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee.
The Milwaukee-based company is looking at possibly reorganizing or replacing its largest plant, in York, Pa., which employs about 2,300. That plant makes Touring and Softail motorcycles.
Harley spokesman Bob Klein said the company has met with officials in the four cities. He said that regardless of whether Harley chooses to relocate the York plant or simply reorganize it, the work force will shrink.
Earlier this month, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell said his state was developing a plan to keep the plant in York, including job training and infrastructure, low-interest loans and $15 million for upgrades.
Kansas City's existing plant, which opened in 1998, makes the Sportster, V-Rod and Dyna motorcycles. It has nearby property that could hold the second plant.
Harley officials last month announced they planned to lay off 460 workers, or more than half of the plant's employees, as it dealt with declining companywide sales. The layoffs were to be completed by the end of September and the plant was also scheduled to close for 14 weeks through the rest of the year.
Bob Marcusse, chief executive of the Kansas City Area Development Council, said Harley executives met with representatives of Metropolitan Community College, Platte County and Kansas City Power & Light.
"We've got a strong team," he said.