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Iconic American Harley Davidson Motorcycles to be Made in Thailand


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Iconic American Harley Davidson Motorcycles to be Made in Thailand

 

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Workers unpack new motorcycles arriving at a Harley-Davidson showroom in Bangkok on May 15

 

BANGKOK -American Motorcycle builder Harley-Davidson, praised by US President Donald Trump as a pillar of American manufacturing and keeping jobs at home, is building a new plant in Thailand.

 

Harley-Davidson serves as an example of the nuanced economic realities that are pushing US companies to lay off workers at home and set up new factories overseas. Unions representing its workers accuse the company of cutting US jobs to hire lower-paid foreign workers. Yet global trade barriers and proximity to a growing base of new customers also play roles, complexities inherent in Trump’s ambition to overhaul trade policy.

 

Motorcycles made in the new factory – plans for which had not been previously disclosed – will be sold in Asia, not the United States, which its domestic plants will continue to serve, Harley-Davidson said.

 

“This is absolutely not about taking jobs out of the United States,” said Marc D McAllister, a managing director of international sales at Harley-Davidson based in Singapore. “This is about growing our business in Asia.”

 

Full story: http://www.chiangraitimes.com/iconic-american-harley-davidson-motorcycles-to-be-made-in-thailand.html

 
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-- © Copyright Chiang Rai Times 2017-05-25
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There's another icon that has gone to the dogs and  cheap labor,

gone is the pride, heritage and good al American made hogs...

what happened to Trump promises to keep US  manufacturing in the

US? gone to dogs as well I guess...

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Sales declining in the US.
The company should take a good look at their product range therefore.
Maybe Americans are wising up to the fact that there are much better bikes out there. .

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11 minutes ago, ezzra said:

There's another icon that has gone to the dogs and  cheap labor,

You could say the same thing about Toyota, but you really can't.  They are expanding, not shifting away, same as Toyota. 

 

The worst thing is is that US taxation makes it unattractive to  repatriate profits, which could benefit workers in the US.  Parts for Harleys have been made in Asia for years.  Profits in Asia will probably go towards buying parts for the US production.  Import taxes are more easily stomached than taxes on money repatriated to the US.  Allowing companies to repatriated money to the US without a tax penalty is what Trump should look into.  

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 ''made in Thailand ''models will sell for thousands less than the American made, this is to market a cheaper line to the poorer buyer ,as did fender guitars ,with the made in japan, korea and mexico models...these bike will always be know as '''Thailand harleys''..it will only increase the value of the true American models...

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Woooohoooo !!!!

 

Say good bye (eventually) to the HUGE mark-ups on Harleys in the future !

 

Remember - it is an "assembly" plant, not a "manufacturing" plant. The parts will no doubt still be taxed and the bikes will probably be subject to VAT as well so they still won't be as cheap as in the US, however the parts will still be manufactured in the states.

 

One reason Harleys are so frakken expensive in Thailand is the tax/tariff charged to import them. A brand new bike in Thailand can cost twice as much (or more) as the exact same one in the USA. I was told (a few years ago) that Thailand slapped the high tariffs on to protect the domestic bike market. (As there are plants that make Hondas and Kawasakis and other "big bikes" in Thailand - not sure who makes what in this country though.) A new (2017) Heritage Softail in the US retails for around 615,000 baht ($16,500 US) while in Thailand you are looking at over 1,200,000 baht for the same bike.

 

If Harley starts assembling bikes in Thailand that may eliminate (some of) those taxes/tariffs and let people buy at a decent price. As we know, S.E. Asia has a large market for big bikes and it will probably get bigger in the near future. (Pretty sure Harley wouldn't even considered opening a plant in Thailand unless they'd conducted feasibility studies first.)

 

 

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HD has always outsourced parts. Yep, the bikes will be cheaper here but still overpriced as far as I'm concerned. Personally, I never buy parts from Harley, here or in the States. Overpriced & too many aftermarket companies out there that do more R&D and are not hampered by the EPA.

I remember reading recently about HD laying off workers in 1 or both of their US plants. Maybe this is part of their grander scheme. HD does far more R&D in marketing than on the quality of their machines.

Having said that, I've considered riding other machines many of times & am still more comfortable on HD's (touring models). The ergonomics & sound of the primitive flywheels design is where it's at for me.

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I thought they were originally looking at India where they could manufacture their 500cc range of bikes, but India who owns Royal Enfield and is now manufacturing in England was probably a contributing factor.  They may manufacture the 500's here for export and assemble the "real" bikes, this would give them tax breaks into ASEAN.

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39 minutes ago, darksidedog said:

Given the horrible import tax on Harleys in Thailand currently, making them locally should have a very substantial impact on reducing the price.

 

Not really... not at all, see Honda and Toyota cars that are exported

to other countries, Australia for instance, there they cost like 30% less than

here in Thailand and you get better equipment and add-on while all shipping

and duties included...

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44 minutes ago, grumbleweed said:

What I've seen of these things here is that they're used as treatment for "Little Dick Syndrome"

Anti social to say the least "I have an inferiority complex but my machine is louder than yours"

And that's why i'm not happy with this. More harleys in Thailand means much more noise along the roads.....no fun.

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Don't blame Harley Davidson for the high pricess in Thailand. Blame the real cause; Thai import taxes. Case in point, the Mini Cooper. In the US you can buy a fully equipt Mini for under $30,000 US. Same one in BKK; over 2 million baht ($60,000) ....

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17 minutes ago, alant said:

India, Thailand, it seems the Trump manufacturing drive is being defeated by Asian tariff barriers 

Easy to fix...slap the same tariffs on anything manufactured (regardless of if it is foreign owned) in those countries coming into the US. Force manufacturers that want to access your domestic market to manufacture them domestically which is basically why Harley Davidson is doing so in Thailand to access the domestic market here and neighbouring countries. This is the very reason why economies in these regions are still growing and why they are in decline in places like the US. It's not really a level playing field and it needs to be. This would have a positive effect in forcing countries like Thailand with draconian protectionist policies to revise them and make them more competitive and attractive to manufacturers. Or don't...and watch your economy decline rapidly. If your getting it all your own way there's is no incentive to change the status quo.

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Fingers crossed they develop their line of E-Cycles for the Asian market...

 

HD has as good an opportunity as anyone to make electric scooters mainstream, with their ubiquitous distribution network and their dedicated following (and the moneyed wannabes).

 

Well, maybe not as good as Honda and Yamaha, who have dealers on every block in Thailand, but they don't have the dedicated following.

 

To those hoping they'll drop their prices in Thailand- I'd bet they drop the prices a little, but increase their profits a lot.

 

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1 hour ago, bheard said:

Sales declining in the US.
The company should take a good look at their product range therefore.
Maybe Americans are wising up to the fact that there are much better bikes out there. .

...like Yamaha and Honda motorbikes and motorcycles. Clean, swift, sleek, inexpensive, and not like booming air plane engines like Harley's make especially when driven in packs and herds of rough riders. Say goodbye to quiet Thailand.

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1 hour ago, KarenBravo said:

Makes good business sense to manufacture close to their target market.

 

Does it really?

 

Especially for a niche product whose perceived value comes largely from the fact that it's American and iconic and exclusive.  Make 'em locally and they're just another scooter competing down in the dirt with Honda, Yamaha, the Chinese brands, and the others who set up manufacturing in Thailand to reduce import costs.

 

They're going to thrash the brand, just like AMF (?) did when they tried to mass market them in the USA.  Edit:  Not to mention the Asian propensity to work for an iconic brand for a year, swipe the drawings and vendor list, then set up in competition in every town in the country.  I'm forecasting HD knockoffs dominating the Asian market in 5-10 years.

 

Edited by impulse
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8 minutes ago, Dukeleto said:

Easy to fix...slap the same tariffs on anything manufactured (regardless of if it is foreign owned) in those countries coming into the US. Force manufacturers that want to access your domestic market to manufacture them domestically which is basically why Harley Davidson is doing so in Thailand to access the domestic market here and neighbouring countries. This is the very reason why economies in these regions are still growing and why they are in decline in places like the US. It's not really a level playing field and it needs to be. This would have a positive effect in forcing countries like Thailand with draconian protectionist policies to revise them and make them more competitive and attractive to manufacturers. Or don't...and watch your economy decline rapidly. If your getting it all your own way there's is no incentive to change the status quo.

I agree. But WTO regs say that as long as Thailand charges all importing countries alike, no foul.

 

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Made in Thailand,drop in price,I dont think so,its like when Kellogs

began to manufacture here instead of importing everything,which

was why the prices were so high here, made in Thailand,the prices

stayed at the same obscene levels as before. 

regards worgeordie

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“This is absolutely not about taking jobs out of the United States,”  BS, straight up, but nuanced. IF don't need to import from US, then US workers won't have to put them together there. Pretty sure it would mean new hires would be happening in Thailand, not USA.

Thailand wasn't part of TPP, but that was aimed at eliminating absurd tariffs in Asia, Trump played to crowd by throwing out baby with bathwater on that one, rather than saying "Let's fix broken parts or unfair parts, and make this work".

".. to market a cheaper line to the poorer buyer ,as did fender guitars ,with the made in japan, korea and mexico models...."

 Bit nit pick here, but Fender Japan models are prized, many think actually better than American models. I  have some Korean made guitars, such as Reverend and Vox model Prince played (funny thing about that is Korean made about $1000 less than Japanese model), that are very high quality, nothing "cheap" aka inferior about them. It is all about quality control, not country of origin. Quality, and crap, can be built anywhere

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2 hours ago, ezzra said:

There's another icon that has gone to the dogs and  cheap labor,

gone is the pride, heritage and good al American made hogs...

what happened to Trump promises to keep US  manufacturing in the

US? gone to dogs as well I guess...

According to the article they are for sale in Asia if manufactured in the US and shipped here they would face a huge import tax the same as other vehicles and therefore sales would be minimal 

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