Harley-Davidson Suspends All Vehicle Production for Two Weeks

Harley-Davidson pauses production

Harley-Davidson announced it is pausing assembly and shipments of all motorcycles for a two-week period due to a problem with a component from a third-party supplier. Production halted as of May 18, the day after Harley-Davidson was notified about the problem by the supplier.

The official statement was brief, and offered very little in the way of detail. It reads:

Statement from Harley-Davidson

MILWAUKEE, May 19, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Yesterday, Harley-Davidson, Inc. (“Harley-Davidson”) (NYSE:HOG) took the decision to suspend all vehicle assembly and shipments (excluding LiveWire) for a two-week period. This decision, taken out of an abundance of caution, is based on information provided by a third-party supplier to Harley-Davidson late on Tuesday (5/17) concerning a regulatory compliance matter relating to the supplier’s component part.

There are a few details we can deduce from Harley-Davidson’s statement. Harley-Davidson says vehicle assembly is suspended, which suggests it will mainly affect its facility in York, PA. There is no indication that its powertrain operations in Menomonee Falls, Wisc., is affected, though there will likely be some trickle-down affect from the backlog. This suggests that the suspect component isn’t part of the powertrain.

LiveWire production will continue at the York facility, so we can assume the affected part isn’t used on the electric motorcycle. And yet, the suspect component must be common to a large number of models for it to affect production at this scale.

The fact that shipments are affected suggests that the non-compliant part may have already been installed on some assembled models. What remains to be seen is whether the part is present on motorcycles that have already been shipped and may already be in the hands of consumers. If so, then a recall may be issued to address the problem. At the moment, there is no indication that products from previous model years are affected.

The phrase “regulatory compliance matter” suggests that the component in question isn’t necessarily faulty but that it may not meet standards established by a body such as the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency. This can include a number of things, and at the moment, there is not enough information to make any further assumptions.

As of this writing, the production delay is expected to last for two weeks, which will give the third-party supplier timer to provide compliant parts, or for Harley-Davidson to find an alternative source. The stoppage may go on longer if a solution isn’t in place in two weeks time.

This is a developing story, and we will provide further updates as information becomes available.

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