About 800 Missourians will lose their jobs when Harley-Davidson Incorporated closes its Kansas City motorcycle assembly plant in the fall of 2019. This week’s announcement was a complete surprise to employees, who came to work and found the doors shut to them, but were told to come back to work Wednesday.
According to the Kansas City Star and the Kansas City Business Journal, layoffs will begin at the plant during the middle of this year with severance packages for salaried employees. The company cited the sharp downturn in purchases of motorcycles in recent years.
Harley-Davidson will add 450 full-time, casual, and contract positions to its York, Pennsylvania facility.
The decision to shut down the Harley plant in Kansas City apparently was made without any notice to local economic development officials. Alicia Stephens, executive director of the Platte County Economic Development Council, said she had no knowledge the company was considering closing its doors, and neither did the head of the local chamber of commerce, who says Harley-Davidson has been participating in all of the chamber’s recent programs.
Learfield data writer Mary Furness contributed to this story.