Updated 6/26/18 12:55 p.m. to include Trump Tweet
This isn’t the first time I blogged about Harley-Davidson’s financial troubles nor their well documented anti-Trump stance. Of course, when I blogged about this originally more than a year ago, I was accused that my opinion of President Trump led to the original blog even though statistics from well known business journals were used. So, here we are a year later and I will say- I told you so.
Harley Davidson’s recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, indicates that due to tariffs from the European Union, tariffs on exported motorcycles increased from six percent to thirty-one percent. As a consequence, Harley Davidson will now open factories overseas. Which means, money is walking out the front door of the United States.
The True Cost of the Tariffs
The tariffs equate to about an increase of $2,200 per motorcycle and $100 million per year, and about $40 million for the remaining of 2018. Harley-Davidson’s decision to relocate overseas is to avoid increasing the prices of their motorcycles, which means ultimately, the bill is passed on to dealers who pass it on to customers.
The Stock Market Reacts
Shares of Harley-Davidson Inc. aka HOG, sank almost six percent overnight. Pre-market trading is ranging between two to three percent.
Of course, President Trump tweeted:
“Surprised that Harley-Davidson, of all companies, would be the first to wave the White Flag. I fought hard for them and ultimately they will not pay tariffs selling into the E.U., which has hurt us badly on trade, down $151 Billion. Taxes just a Harley excuse – be patient! MAGA
“The ultimate goal if we can get there would be no tariffs or if anything few tariffs on anything. Because it’s not just the tariffs the present administration has brought up, it’s tariffs for years. … That’s what I’m going to push for. If we can get to a level playing field, then we don’t have this tit for tat on any number of products out there.”
Of course, it is tit for tat, and the European Union increased tariffs on what is considered icons, pieces of American history, Americana, such motorcycles, jeans and bourbon. It don’t get any more American than that.
India did have high tariffs on Harley Davidson, and it was slashed to fifty percent under the Trump Administration (still high), but the reality is the reducing of tariffs was just an appeasement, as the overwhelming majority of Harley Davidson motorcycles purchased in India are built there, thus, the tariff is somewhat inapplicable.
Below is the second Tweet by President Trump.
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Updated Tweet by President Trump against Harley Davidson.